September 21, 2023

Turf Education Day (TED)

NIU Naperville



The Must-Attend Event for All Turf Care Professionals

Lawn care is a big part of many of our businesses and organizations. Whether you choose to subcontract some of those services or provide them in-house, it is critical to your profitability and customers’ satisfaction to stay informed about the latest turf care products and practices.

Attend education sessions to broaden your knowledge and visit our sponsors to see what exciting products are available.

Schedule of Events

7:15 AM Attendee Badge Pick Up

8:15 AM – 8:30 AM
Shane Griffith, Weedman, ILCA Turf Committee Chair

Start the day with a warm welcome from the Turf Committee Chair!

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM
ILCA Advocacy Update – In the Weeds
Scott Grams, ILCA Executive Director

8:45 AM – 9:30 AM
KEYNOTE – Bees, Pesticides & Politics: Challenges & Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Daniel Potter, PhD, University of Kentucky

SPONSORED BY: Russo Power Equipment

This talk will help attendees better understand why bees and other pollinators are in peril, the role of insecticides and other factors in pollinator decline, and how to safeguard pollinators when managing lawn and landscape pests. It will empower Green Industry professionals to objectively discuss this issue with the public. Pollinator conservation initiatives that can be implemented by land care professionals, garden centers, and homeowners will be discussed, as well as the best woody landscape plants for supporting bees and other pollinators.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Break and Visit with Exhibitors

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Breakout Sessions

Improving Rootzones Using Organic Amendments
Dan Dinelli, North Shore Country Club
Room 105

SPONSORED BY: Contour Landscaping

A review of onsite research and demonstrations at North Shore Country Club testing various organic amendments including compost, biosolids and biochar. Focus on sustainable inputs to improve soil ecology and function for long-term plant health.

Managing Lawn Insect Pests: It’s Getting Easier to be Green
Daniel Potter, PhD, University of Kentucky 

SPONSORED BY: SiteOne Landscape Supply

This talk covers diagnosis and control of important lawn insect pests in the Midwest using reduced-risk insecticides and non-chemical tactics, with straight talk on which approaches are most effective. It also includes tips for safeguarding beneficial insects when controlling pests, and information to help land care professionals communicate with the public about the considerable safety margin of modern insecticides.

Sports Field Variability and its Impact on Athlete-Surface Interactions
Chase Straw, PhD, Texas A&M University
Room 111

Sports field surface characteristics are not uniform due to field construction, use, and management. This inevitable variability can impact athlete injuries, biomechanics, performance, and perceptions of a field. This presentation will describe ways to quantify variability and provide several examples of studies illustrating how it influences athletes. It will conclude by suggesting strategies to minimize the variability of surface characteristics through effective management.

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM Break and Visit with Exhibitors

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Breakout Sessions

Diseases of Turf – Those We Can See and Those We Cannot (Roots)
Derek Settle, PhD, Chicago District Golf Association 


This session will be an overview of turfgrass diseases in the upper Midwest. The focus will primarily be on cool-season lawns. Aboveground Diseases: Some are relatively easily to identify based on the host and the symptoms we see, from spots to patches. Belowground Diseases: Others tend to be more chronic and perennial and are difficult to identify because they are belowground, from fungal root rots to plant parasitic nematodes. Attendees will learn what to look for and then what they can do, from cultural practices to chemicals.

An Overview of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District
Dave Zazra, North Shore Mosquito Abatement District
Room 111


Dave Zazra, Communications Manager of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD), will speak about the NSMAD’s integrated pest management methods of controlling mosquitoes and minimizing the risk of vector-borne disease in the 14 municipalities they serve in the north eastern portion of Cook County. Mr. Zazra will also present information regarding how to best collaborate with a mosquito control district or other public health entity.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Regulatory Update
Brad Beaver, Illinois Department of Agriculture
Room 105

SPONSORED BY: KO Supply Company

Join Brad as he provides an update on the Department Pesticide Programs. He will also address changes to the licensing and certification system, online options for training and testing, and more. Finally, Brad will provide updates on pesticide misuse including issues with posting and notifications.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 1:50 PM
KEYNOTE – Technologies for Turfgrass Management: Current Trends and Future Applications
Chase Straw, PhD, Texas A&M University

SPONSORED BY: Russo Power Equipment

The turfgrass industry is under increasing pressure to reduce management inputs. Data-driven management can be instrumental in making informed decisions about applying inputs only where, when, and in the amount needed. This presentation will provide an overview of several technologies for data-driven management, including drones, soil moisture sensors, and GPS sprayers/spreaders. Additionally, it will offer valuable insights into current trends and future applications of these technologies that are applicable to all sectors of the turfgrass industry.

1:50 PM – 2:00 PM: Last chance to visit with exhibitors!

2:00 PM – 2:50 PM Breakout Sessions

The Right Turf in the Right Place
Rusty Stachlewitz, Advanced Turf Solutions


Turfgrasses have advanced a lot in the last 20-30 years.  This talk will cover which species and varieties of turf to choose for different landscape applications.

New and Old Insect Pests of Turf and Their Control
Nikki Hendrickson, Advanced Turf Solutions
Room 111


We’ve seen plenty of insects attacking turfgrass over the last couple years.  Some are very common, and others are a little more odd. Join Nikki, as she covers pest biology, scouting methodology, and how to control turf pests.

Organizer: AnneMarie Drufke

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

Need a Hotel Room?

Click here to book your room!

Interested in Sponsoring? 

Click the guide below to see sponsor benefits and pricing.