March 20-21, 2024

Field Staff Skills Training

NIU Naperville



Get Your Team Ready for the Season!

Field Staff Skills Training is a 2-day seminar for English and Spanish-speaking field staff, foremen, supervisors, and grounds managers. The seminar covers skills that everyone needs to know.  Make sure your employees are prepared for the busy landscape season and have them attend Field Staff Skills Training!


Wednesday, March 20, 2024
7:30 – 8:00 a.m. Attendee check in & badge pick up

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. Welcome
Join ILCA Executive Director, Scott Grams and the ILCA President for a warm welcome to start the day!

8:15 – 9:00 a.m. J.U.L.I.E.
English Language Presenter: Dave Van Wy, J.U.L.I.E.
Spanish Language Presenter: Lucy Martinez, J.U.L.I.E.
Before you dig, call J.U.L.I.E.! Our presenters will provide an overview of what J.U.L.I.E. is, review what dig tickets are and how to file and then read one, timing of tickets, marking the site, excavating to ensure your team is digging with care!

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Installation Calculations
Attendees will take basic math rules and learn how they are applied in the landscape setting. We’ll have handouts, rulers and worksheets for attendees to apply their learning in real time.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Morning Break

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Plan Reading
The audience will be introduced to a design print or plan, and how to read it. They will gain an understanding of tools used in the field, interpreting the plant list or legend and common problems in the plant layout.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Approaching Maintenance Throughout the Day
English Presenter: Pete McNamara, Dependable Lawn Care
Learn essential skills to keep landscape equipment operational in the field. Gain insights on how to optimize equipment performance by identifying and addressing common issues to minimize downtime and maximize efficiency.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Planting & Pruning
English Presenter: Dave Froede, Logan Tree Consultants
Spanish Presenter: Adam Keppel, McGinty Bros.
Acquire the knowledge in proper planting techniques and basic pruning of trees and shrubs.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Drainage
Explore common issues such as standing water or soil erosion and uncovering their root causes. Discover effective solutions and learn about various materials and installation methods to ensure optimal drainage in your job site.

3:00 – 3:10 p.m. Afternoon Break

3:10 – 3:40 p.m. Grading and Topography Reading
Demystify grading plans, decipher contour lines, and master the language of the land. This session equips you with the skills to read grading & topography plans, from calculating slopes to visualizing elevations.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
7:30 – 8:00 a.m. Attendee check in

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Human Preventative Maintenance
Safety begins before you leave the yard. Learn what steps you can take to prevent injury to yourself, understand why safety is important on and off the job site, review of OSHA rules and regulations, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

8:45 – 9:30 a.m. Case Studies in Incident Reporting
Using real landscape scenarios, we’ll walk through the proper steps you should take when an incident happens on the job site.

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Morning Break

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. Plant and Shrub ID, Part 1
English Presenter: Kim Hartmann, Rosborough Partners
Spanish Presenters: Fredy Lopez and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Rosborough Partners
Identify plants and shrubs frequently used throughout the region, and in residential and commercial landscapes. The speakers will identify characteristics to help field staff identify the species and type of plant so that proper care may be taken during installation and maintenance.

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Plant and Shrub ID, Part 2
English Presenter: Kim Hartmann, Rosborough Partners
Spanish Presenters: Fredy Lopez and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Rosborough Partners
Attendees will continue to identify frequently used plants and shrubs throughout the region. And begin to incorporate common pests and diseases seen in the landscape.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Proper Cultural Practices
English Presenter: Jeff Kolbe, Spring Green
This presentation will review the proper way to mow cool-season grasses along with correct watering practices and the importance of core aeration to the overall health of the lawn. There will also be an explanation of fertilization and how much should be applied per year. Finally, we’ll review some of the common turf diseases that appear throughout the season.

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Efficient Communication for Field Staff
From clocking in and out at the job site, reporting incidents or snapping pictures of problem job sites there are several…. It is impossible for account managers to be everywhere all at once. We’ll teach field crews what are the most common uses for using their devices in the field to make them a better team player.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Evaluations and Raffle

Organizer: AnneMarie Drufke

Click here to contact [email protected] for further information about this event.