News & Articles

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  • 11 Oct 2018 2:10 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Tired of smelling like gas after using your landscaping equipment? That smell is from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air pollutants, that come from gas-powered landscaping equipment. These emissions impact employee health and the air quality in the populated communities the equipment serves. Using electric-powered equipment has many benefits including:

    • No smell – Safer for employee health and more pleasant to work with
    • Lighter -- Easy to use, haul up, and carry across distances and multiple locations
    • Powerful -- Equal performance to gas in most applications
    • Saves money -- No more buying gas. Save lost productivity from less maintenance and time spent in the shop as well down time from flooding.
    • Safer for employees -- Reduces respiratory health impacts, lessens hearing loss, eases cord and lifting-related injuries, and reduces cuts and burns
    • Battery life - Often a short charge time and battery lasts for hours

    Up to $300,000 in grant funding available to switch from your old, 2-cycle gasoline to electric-powered landscaping equipment.

    The maximum grant amount is $24,000. There are 50% grant funds to replace and scrap your equipment, and 30% grant funds for complementary purchases, so you can still keep your current equipment. Example equipment: pole saws, string or hedge trimmers, leaf and backpack blowers, lawn mowers, and chain saws.

    Eligible applicants include all Minnesota-based businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, non-profits, or trade groups/associations. Special consideration given for targeted applicants in environmental justice and highly urbanized areas.

    The easy, 2-page application has a calculator to help you figure out emissions -- all you need to know is the horsepower, hours used annually, and estimated remaining life left on your gas engine. The calculator does the rest!

    Apply now! Deadline: December 5, 2018.

    Projects of all sizes encouraged to apply! Find grant materials on the MPCA grants to improve air webpage. For general questions, contact kari.cantarero@state.mn.us or 651-757-2875.

    Over $15,000 has already been awarded to organizations switching to battery-powered landscaping equipment. These purchases reduced VOCs by 11.3 tons, NOx by 0.04 tons, and PM by 0.33 tons per year.

    The estimated 20 million small engines sold each year in the U.S. are the largest single contributor to non-road emissions. The average gasoline push mower creates nearly 15 pounds of air pollution an hour – the same amount of pollution as driving your car for 200 miles. Landscaping equipment emissions are not regulated and a large contributor to bad air quality, which is why the MPCA is relying on voluntary efforts to reduce these emissions in populated areas.

  • 04 Oct 2018 5:25 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Have an employee who is interested in the turf management industry but needs a nudge?  Desire to "brush up" on your knowledge at an incredible price and convenient times?  Looking for some great base knowledge from the convenience of your home?

    Check out the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science

    MGCSA members or sponsored individuals can apply for registration scholarship too!

  • 02 Oct 2018 12:15 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    The chapter’s gift will help fund research, education, scholarships and advocacy.


    Environmental Institute for Golf

    The Minnesota GCSA has donated $5,000 to support the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of GCSAA. With the donation, the chapter becomes a new member of the EIFG’s Platinum Tee Club, which recognizes organizations that give $5,000 or more annually.

    The Minnesota GCSA is also recognized at the Governor’s Club level in the EIFG’s Cumulative Giving Program, which denotes a donor that has contributed between $50,000 and $99,999 since 1987.

    “The Minnesota GCSA is only one year younger than GCSAA itself, and they have a long history of support for the association,” says Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA and the EIFG. “We thank them for their latest donation to the EIFG, which will help fund research, education, scholarships and advocacy.”

    The Minnesota GCSA was founded in 1927. It is one of 99 GCSAA-affiliated chapters in North America.

    “The EIFG lives up to its mission statement, and experience has proven to the Minnesota GCSA, time after time, the EIFG’s presence and leadership in the industry is worth every penny we can spare,” says Brandon Schindele, president of the Minnesota GCSA.

  • 28 Sep 2018 3:44 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Joe Brettingen, Assistant Superintendent at Hazeltine National Golf Club is 1 of 50 elite members selected to attend the premier educational and networking event for golf course superintendents.

    John Deere Golf and Environmental Science, a business unit of Bayer Crop Science, have announced the Green Start Academy class of 2018, which includes Joe Brettingen, Assistant Superintendent at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

    “Every year, Green Start Academy illuminates some of the highest caliber assistants in the business – and 2018 is no exception,” said David Wells, golf segment manager for Bayer. “Their knowledge and passion for the industry is truly unheralded, and we ‘re grateful for the opportunity to help support them as the next generation of golf course management leaders.” 

    Since 2005, Green Start Academy has invited 50 prestigious assistants per year to the Bayer Development and Training Center in Clayton, N.C., the John Deere Turf Care factory in nearby Fuquay-Varina and the John Deere headquarters in Cary, N.C. Through a plethora of hands-on learning activities, networking opportunities, panelist presentations and breakout sessions, Green Start Academy attendees have a chance to learn from likeminded peers as well as top industry professionals in career development, turfgrass science and general management. 

    “For years, Green Start Academy has been recognized as a premier experience for assistant superintendents looking to build strong careers,” said Ren Wilkes, marketing manager for John Deere Golf. “Cultivating the leaders of tomorrow is critical not only for the impressive professionals that attend this event – but to the industry as a whole. With each new class of graduates, we become even more proud to support this unique development program.”

    About John Deere

    Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

    About Bayer
    Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.


  • 28 Sep 2018 8:42 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has recently adopted and posted the Turfgrass Best Management Practices (BMPs) for nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use in Minnesota. Please see highlights from the announcement below.

    The purpose of the BMPs is to protect water quality while at the same time being economical and practical to implement. They refer to practices relating to the timing, rate, placement and source of fertilizer application and other practices that increase fertilizer use efficiency and decrease potential loss to the environment.

    Draft BMPs were posted for review and comment on July 31, 2017 in the State Register.  The final adopted BMPs are based on comments received from turfgrass managers, turfgrass fertilizer manufacturers, university specialists, state agency specialists, and educators.  The MDA appreciates the input it received and thanks the Turfgrass Science Program at the University of Minnesota for their partnership in preparing the document.

    The BMPs for nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use on turfgrass can be used as a stand-alone document or used as a source document for developing targeted outreach publications and programs. In the coming months the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will develop a short guidance document based on the BMPs that is primarily focused on homeowners.

     A copy of the final BMP document is available at www.mda.state.mn.us/turffertilizerbmps or by contacting Jen Schaust, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, jen.schaust@state.mn.us, 651-201-6322.

  • 29 Aug 2018 5:59 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    The MGCSA, with support from PBI Gordon, is excited to offer four scholarships to eligible individuals to participate in the 2019 session of the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science Online.

    In order to enhance the educational opportunities of our existing membership/staff and promote the Golf Course Management Industry, the MGCSA is offering a new Reimbursement Program for the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science Online.  (4) Reimburse coupons will be offered annually to approved applicants who complete the Online program and submit their Certificate of Completion.  Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.  All decisions of the committee will be final. Applicants will be notified by December 15th prior to the School’s Registration deadline.   Applicants will still need to register/pay for the Online School as if they were attending on their own.  The Reimbursement check of $495 will be issued to the individual or company paying the initial Class Fee following the completion of the course.


    1.   Applicants must either be a MGCSA member or sponsored by a MGCSA member to apply.

    2.   Completion of the program and providing Certificate of Completion is necessary for reimbursement.

    Link here for complete application form

  • 27 Aug 2018 8:39 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Business Insider, Erin Brodwin

    Last week, a jury in San Francisco ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after years of using Roundup, the company's popular herbicide. A scary-sounding reportpublished by an environmental group shortly after the trial found traces of the chemical in dozens of everyday foods, from cereal to granola bars.

    But the trial's outcome doesn't mean that Roundup — or its chief chemical, called glyphosate — causes cancer.

    Instead, it means that members of the jury believed that Monsanto (which recently merged with chemical giant Bayer and announced plans to dissolve its name) intentionally kept information about glyphosate's potential harms from the public.

    The lawsuit is just the first part of what could be a decades-long legal fight over glyphosate. Meanwhile, the science linking Roundup to cancer is limited at best, and only further research can change that.

    Before developing a type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the plaintiff in the recent trial, Dewayne Johnson, had used Roundup regularly in his job as a groundskeeper at a California public school. For neglecting to alert Johnson (and the rest of the public) about the potential links between Roundup and cancer, the jury ordered Monsanto to pay Johnson $39 million to cover his medical bills, pain, and suffering, plus an additional $250 million for punitive damages (or punishment).

    But as for whether Roundup could actually have been the sole or even primary cause of an individual's cancer, the research leans heavily toward "no."

    The scare over a potential link between Roundup and cancer appears to have begun with a now widely-criticized statement put out by a World Health Organization group known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015.

    That year, the IARC put glyphosate — Roundup's active ingredient — in a cancer-risk category one level below widely-recognized harmful activities like smoking. But several researchers have said the IARC's determination was bogus because there is no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. In fact, a lengthy review found that the IARC had edited out portions of the documents they used to review glyphosate to make the chemical look far more harmful than its own research had concluded.

    During the latest court case, Monsanto attempted to counter plaintiff Johnson's claims that Roundup caused his cancer using extensive testimony from expert witnesses. They pointed out that the evidence definitively linking the glyphosate in Roundup to cancer is scant. More broadly, figuring out what caused one individual's cancer is a tricky business for any scientist — a point several experts have made since the most recent Monsanto verdict came out last week.

    "This verdict is just the first in what could be a long legal battle over Roundup, and proving causality in such cases is not easy," Richard Stevens, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine who specializes in cancer and its causes, wrote in a recent post for The Conversation.

    The IARC's 2015 statement is not final.

    "The agency has often changed its classification of an agent based on new evidence after initial evaluation," Stevens wrote. "Sometimes it has become more certain that the agent poses a hazard, but in other cases it has downgraded the hazard."

    Based on new studies (typically in mice), glyphosate could go from its current status — where some people see it as a potential cancer risk — to being recognized as having a very low risk for harm.

    Several studies of glyphosate and cancer are ongoing, and more are coming out each year. Just last year, a review of studies looking at the ties between glyphosate and cancer concluded that in the low amounts of that people are actually exposed to, glyphosate "do[es] not represent a public concern."

    Conversely, the new evidence could come out strongly against glyphosate and suggest that it's incredibly harmful. As Stevens points out, new evidence dramatically changed the public perception of another popular product which was initially labeled cancerous — a zero-calorie sweetener called saccharin, which is sold under the brand name Sweet' N Low.
    In the 1980s, any product containing the sweetener was required to carry a warning label saying that it was "determined to cause cancer." But the science was flawed: the rats that had been used in the studies were especially prone to bladder cancer, and the findings did not apply to people. So in 2016, the sweetener was removed from a list of cancer-causing ingredients.

    But glyphosate's status remains to be seen. For now, the court case merely reflects the determination of a jury — not the conclusion of the majority of scientific experts.

  • 09 Aug 2018 6:34 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    By Patrick Rehkamp  – Data Reporter, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

    The PGA Tour has announced when its annual event will be played at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine in 2019 — and golf fans accustomed to making holiday trips to the cabin may have a big decision to make.

    The 3M Open will be held in early July, with the first day of the tournament on Thursday, July 4 of next year. The final day will be Sunday, July 7.

    The PGA recently committed to a tour stop at TPC for seven years, and Maplewood-based 3M Co. is the lead sponsor. Minnesota hasn't hosted a regular tour event for nearly 50 years. Work to lengthen to the course so it provides some challenge for the pros will start shortly after the senior event's final tournament there in the coming weeks. 3M’s long-time PGA senior event partner, Pro Links Sports, will manage the new event.

    Hollis Cavner, the CEO of Pro Links Sports, realizes the event will lose some Minnesotans to cabin country, but the fourth of July is still a date many people have off and not everybody owns a second home.

    "We’re gonna lose some to that but not everybody has one," he said. "There’s no way 3M is going to spend this kind of money without doing due diligence."

    Cavner added there will be concerts, fireworks and other events to attract fans. Plus, Vikings training camp isn't expected to be underway and he said the field of professional golfers will be strong enough over the holiday weekend.

    "They know they’re going to play in front of a lot of people and they love that," he said. Television ratings for previous PGA events over the Fourth of July have been solid, Cavner said.

    Professional golf apparently really likes Minnesota. Hazeltine National will become the first U.S. golf course to hold the Ryder Cup twice, as PGA of America announced in March it's bringing the event back to the Chaska course in 2028 — after Hazeltine hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup. 

  • 29 Jun 2018 5:47 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)


    A common complaint this summer in Southern Minnesota this summer?

    "It keeps raining!  Our park is completely flooded and well I don't think it's going to go down too soon," said Karla Angus of the Madelia Chamber of Commerce.

    The Watonwan River has crested in some parts, but in others it's still climbing.

    Take Madelia for example.  The portion of the Watonwan that runs through town is still rising, creating flooding conditions at one major park and the local golf course.

    Madelia is no stranger to a little spring flooding, it's just the time of year with this one that makes it unique.

    "If we get a lot of snow I mean sometimes we have some early flooding but this time of year?  No," explained Angus.  Usually the park is beautiful and we're able to use it and it is a beautiful park but this year is a different year."

    At this point, there's not much the community can do besides wait for the water to retreat back inside the river banks.

    Some parts of the Watonwan River have risen more than nine feet.  Both Watona Park and the Madelia Golf Course have been completely flooded out.  For perspective, the water is nearly halfway up the garage doors of a building located in the park.

    "We're having an emergency meeting tonight to make some new plans, hopefully we won't have to cancel," said Angus.  "We'll just try to find a new location, maybe on Main Street."

    Park Days is the annual town festival Madelia throws every summer.  Slated for the weekend of July 13th, city officials will need the water to move out of the park and the grass area to dry in a matter of a couple weeks to avoid moving the festival.

    --KEYC News 12

  • 25 Jun 2018 8:09 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    In an effort to make the Distinguished Service Award meaningful to the recipient and the Association, the 2018 Awards Committee has created the following set of guidelines.  Any member can be nominated, but greatest consideration will be given to those who have distinguished themselves supporting the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association.  Date for submission is November 15th.

    The required point total necessary to be considered for the MGCSA Distinguished Service Award can be a combination of any of the following.  The minimum number of points necessary for the DSA Award is 25.

    The Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame nominee must have previously attained the MGCSA DSA Award and fulfilled an additional 15 points beyond those previously acquired.  DSA recipients prior to the establishment of the new criteria will require 15 additional points in any category based on Committee suggestion.

    The Board of Directors and Awards Committee will be responsible for final decisions.

    • Terms on the MGCSA BOD  = 2 points per term, including officer position, 4 maximum
    • Officer Position = 1 point per office elected
    • Audubon Certification and re-certification = 2 points, 4 maximum
    • ESI Award = 2 points maximum
    • Support of the University of MN research plots = 2 points, 4 maximum
    • Support of the GCSAA committee members = 2 points, 4 maximum
    • GCSAA, MTGF and Allied Association BOD or committee role = 1 point per year, 3 maximum
    • MGCSA Membership =1 point per decade
    • Certification = 2 points then 1 per renewal, 5 maximum
    • MGCSA event participation = 2 maximum
    • Civic Community Service points =1 point for each position 3 maximum
    • Mentor potential= 1 point per professional through superintendent class, 3 maximum
    • Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry Presentations =1 per presentation, 4 maximum
    • Any MGCSA or GCSAA or industry articles written =1 per article, 3 maximum
    • Completion of any MGCSA Environmental Initiative Packet = 3 points per packet
    • Contribution to golf that can’t be anticipated = 5 points maximum

    *** The Committee can assign any number of points to those individuals who do not have access to this point system due to placement in our industry.  For example, educators and affiliate members.

    Please provide your nomination to the Awards Committee through jack@mgcsa.org.  Include a list of nominee accomplishments and statement of recommendation.  The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting during the Service Award recognition.

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