Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

We Were There. (Viewpoint)

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

We Were There. (Viewpoint)

Article excerpt

L & I magazine had the distinct honor of being the only green-industry publication represented at a U.S. Department of Agriculture Turfgrass Workshop in Dallas in January (see "The Buzz," page 7). This was indeed a unique experience, because -- at most industry events -- I'm usually just one of a pack of green-industry editors looking for a scoop.

Keeping up with the discussion was not an easy task. Despite the fact that I've been in this business for nigh onto 20 years now, my own knowledge was dwarfed by others in attendance, including the top turfgrass minds in the nation -- people like Dr. Bob Shearman of the University of Nebraska, National Football League consultant George Toma and many other old pals.

Turf research in the U.S. has been, to this point, largely funded by land-grant universities and suppliers of certain products. Thanks to the USDA, that could change in the near future. It's a change that should be welcomed with open arms, and a change that's fairly long overdue.

It's a change, however, that will have mostly long-term rather than immediate impact on the industry. Initial proposals being presented to our nation's legislative leaders may supply only $2 to $3 million for turfgrass research. However, if people like Kevin Morris of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) have their way, federal funding could grow to $20 million per year in the next 5 to 10 years.

What does that mean to you? It means a lot. Or it could mean a lot. …

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