September 11, 2024

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


ILCA Advocacy Update – In the Weeds
Scott Grams, ILCA

Morning Keynote: Biostimulants – Three Years In and What Have We Learned?
Dr. Ed Nangle, Ohio State University
This talk discusses what is classified as a biostimulant, the many facets of what may create a biostimulant effect, and where biostimulants might fit into a lawncare program.

Morning Break

10:00AM Breakout Session
Turf Protectant Pigments – Just Colors or Impacting Light on Turfgrass?
Dr. Ed Nangle, Ohio State University
This talk covers a broad range of content related to synthetic pigments that have proliferated in the turf market, how you can potentially use them, and pitfalls to avoid when applying these products.

10:00AM Breakout Session
Athletic Field Construction and Management
Jim Walsh, Sportsfields, Inc.
More information coming soon!

10:00AM Breakout Session
A Lawn Disease Recap of 2024
Paul Koch, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison
Diseases are often less common pests on lawns than weeds and insects, but they can cause serious damage in the right environment. In this presentation, we’ll cover the most common diseases from 2024, how to identify them, and strategies for managing them and minimizing their damage in future years.

Morning Break

11:15AM Breakout Session
An Introduction to Residential Commercial Mosquito Control
Dr. Fred Whitford, Purdue University
We will give a brief overview of the biology of mosquitoes and what we are trying to control. We’ll take a look at application timing and techniques, appropriate personal protective equipment, site assessment, mitigating drift, equipment used, and customer communications.

11:15AM Breakout Session
Transitioning to Electric Maintenance Equipment
Mike Annes, Director of Operations for Greenwise Organic Lawn Care
Mike will share what Greenwise has learned as they transition their landscape maintenance to being fully electric. This includes trialing and purchasing new equipment as it hits the market as well as the challenges both financially and culturally in implementing this equipment shift. They have ditched the gas cans in most of their core territories and plan to complete this transition in all service areas for maintenance within the next season or two.

11:15AM Breakout Session
Illinois Department of Agriculture Regulatory Update
Brad Beaver, IDOA
More information coming soon!


1:00PM Afternoon Keynote
Topic TBD
Dr. Fred Whitford
More information coming soon!

Afternoon Break

2:00PM Breakout Session
Turf Grass Management in a Changing Climate
Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist
Climate change in the Midwest has created or worsened many challenges in horticulture and landscape design including shifting hardiness zones, increasing insect and disease pressure, and more exposure to extreme heat and humidity. Many of the changes we’ve seen recently are projected to continue or intensify in the future. However, sustainable turfgrass management landscape design is an effective means of adaptation. And with an increasing reliance on nature-based solutions, a healthy green industry is critical for climate resilience in the Midwest. We’ll discuss climate change and the unique turfgrass problems it’s created. We’ll also highlight solutions to help successfully develop and manage landscapes now and into our uncertain future.

2:00PM Breakout Session
Using Fertilizer Technology to Reduce Costs and Improve Results
Keith Woodruff, EC Grow
This session will cover the use of Polymer Coated Urea products in lawn care and landscape maintenance programs. Both agronomic and economic information will be included. Manufacturing and quality control of polymer coated urea production will be explained. Keith will also explain how the nitrogen releases. Rates of application to achieve optimum results will also be discussed. The positive environmental impact of these programs versus more traditional programs will be included.

Organizer: Melissa Custic

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