News & Articles

  • 19 Apr 2018 8:37 AM | John MacKenzie

    From:   Manuel Jordan
                Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

    MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF) is proud to announce that it is donating $134,715 
    towards Minnesota Turf and Grounds research. Since 1992, the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation has donated $1,484,041 
    towards turf and grounds research.

    In March, the MTGF Board of Directors approved four funding requests at its March Board Meeting. The Board approved a donation 
    of $65,000 towards TROE Center operations. The Board feels the continued research and operations at TROE Center is a major benefit 
    for Minnesota turf managers. 

    The MTGF Board approved a MTGF donation of $49,715 towards Teaching, Research, and Outreach Programs at the Urban Forestry, 
    Outreach, Research & Extension (UFore) Nursery and Lab. 


    The MTGF Board approved a $5,000 for students at the University of Minnesota/Crookston to pursue a Pre-Game Agronomic Field Safety 
    Assessment for Sports Fields: Future Implications of Risk Management. Field safety is a concern. This research will benefit sports field managers.

    The MTGF Board approved a donation of $15,000 for Tree Trust's Green Teens program. This program will place teenagers as interns at 
    Green Industry related companies. The Board feels introducing teens to various companies involved in the Green Industry is a worthwhile use of funds.

    The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education and 
    outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. The MTGF pursues its mission in various ways. One of these is an annual "Call For Proposals," 
    titled the "MTGF Research Gift Program," whereby researchers, instructors and outreach faculty and staff involved in turf and grounds work may 
    submit requests for unrestricted gifts to support their activities. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, funding approved by the MTGF will not be subjected to 
    overhead or other indirect charges or costs. The dates for submission, review and approval may change on an annual basis as well as the protocol stipulated 
    for the submission of gift requests.

    For more information about the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, visit www.mtgf.org or contact the MTGF Business
     Office at 952-473-3722.

  • 04 Apr 2018 8:28 AM | John MacKenzie

    Minnesota DNR request to stay an order restricting heavy water use is roundly rejected. 

    By Josephine Marcotty Star Tribune

    MARCH 30, 2018 — 9:00AM

    In a blistering order issued Thursday, the judge in the landmark White Bear Lake case stood by her previous ruling directing the state to restrict groundwater pumping and lawn watering to protect the sensitive lake, setting up an unusual collision between the courts and the Legislature.

    Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan denied a request by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to stay her September ruling and its request for a new trial, harshly criticizing the agency for what she called a “stunning” history of failing to comply with state laws designed to protect the environment.

    DNR officials had no comment on the latest ruling, though earlier they said they may ask the state Court of Appeals to reverse it.

    But now the Legislature has entered the fray as well. A new bill would prevent the agency from the continuing steps it’s already undertaken under Marrinan’s order to impose water-use planning and restrictions on east metro communities and businesses, which they are fighting in administrative courts.

    Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, one of the bill’s sponsors, said Marrinan’s decision “made things worse,” and that it stops citizens and local communities from managing their water.

    The judge “has stepped into the shoes of the legislative and executive branches of government, and citizens have no recourse,” Chamberlain said. “She is in conflict with us.”

    If the bill were to become law, it’s not clear which directive the DNR would follow, said Barbara Naramore, assistant DNR commissioner.

    We would be in an undeniably uncomfortable position,” she said.

    But Shannon Whitaker, one of the plaintiffs in the case who testified against the bill this week, said that not only would the bill stall critical progress in protecting the lake, its introduction ignores the authority of the courts and the separation of powers in government.

    “Is this a precedent that people want?” she said. “That one body of government can supersede another?”

    A long, intense battle

    The 2013 lawsuit against the DNR was filed by residents of White Bear Lake, a northeast metro summertime landmark, after the lake shrank before their eyes, leaving docks and boats high and dry. It dropped as low as 919 feet above sea level, recently recovering to 923 feet only after heavy rainfalls.

    The real long-term problem, they said, is excessive demand for groundwater among the growing communities around the lake, coupled with the DNR’s reluctance to deny permits for large-volume pumping, which was draining an aquifer that sustains the lake and supplies drinking water to many communities.

    Much of the case relied on a study by the U.S. Geological Survey that found that many lakes in the region are closely tied to groundwater flow and extremely sensitive to withdrawal.

    After a monthlong trial, Marrinan agreed. She said that the evidence showed that the DNR had known for many years that groundwater use in the area was not sustainable, but refused to limit groundwater permitting or impose water restrictions.

    In her decision, she outlined the agency’s failure to comply with state environmental laws, and what she called its betrayal of the “public trust doctrine,” the legal obligation of the state to protect natural resources for its citizens. She ordered the state to restrict groundwater pumping unless sustainable levels could be established, and to issue lawn-watering bans when the lake level is below 923.5 feet above sea level. Lawn water, a nonessential use, accounts for 30 percent of the annual water use in the northeast metro area, she said.

    DNR officials said the opinion was unreasonable, and disagreed with Marrinan’s interpretation of the science. They also said it went beyond what is necessary to ensure sustainability, and added that the DNR was in the process of developing a regional water use plan. They asked her to stay the order, which she declined to do Thursday, saying that the inconveniences it presents are minor and manageable.

    “On the one hand stands the demonstrated, irreparable, disproportionate injury caused by the permanent depletion and impairment of …(a) public resource,” she wrote. “On the other is the … temporary inconvenience to those who mindlessly waste these assets on nonessential uses.”

    The DNR, she added, “failed to enforce requirements it has been under an obligation to enforce for years.”

  • 03 Apr 2018 5:51 PM | John MacKenzie

    GreenJacket becomes TarpDevils’ Master Distributor!

    GreenJacket and TarpDevil have formed an agreement where GreenJacket is the Master Distributor of the TarpDevil throughout the United States as well as Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Russia and Australia within the International market.

    TarpDevil was introduced to the turfgrass industry with great fanfare in late August of 2017. The first of its kind, TarpDevil is the industry's new solution to reduce the burden of collecting and deploying covers on the golf course and in the sport turf and equestrian arenas. This tractor mounted, hydraulically controlled cover management system exponentially reduces the labor required to manage tarps in spring and fall. A short video of TarpDevil can be seen here: http://tarpdevil.com/tarp-devil-product-video-live/

    "GreenJacket and Sto-Cote have a track record of bringing leading solutions to our current and future cover customer base. This latest innovation is particularly exciting and we are proud to be affiliated with and represent TarpDevil across the USA and around the world!"

    -Jim Stoller, President of Sales and Marketing for GreenJacket

    "We are thrilled to have forged an agreement with progressive industry-leaders like Jim and Garry at GreenJacket. They have a long-standing reputation of serving their clients with best in class cover solutions and we couldn't think of a better partner to help us serve end users as well as dealers and distributors in the US and international markets."

    -Jordan Kitchen, President of TarpDevil:

    The TarpDevil will make the work of Rolling and Unrolling covers so much easier. Jordan and his team invented a durable, tractor-mounted, hydraulically driven Cover Management System. It's North American made, compact, and can work with a tractor you have on hand.

    About TarpDevil TarpDevil was founded in 2017 and is proudly Canadian. Owned wholly by 2579099 Ontario Inc. the company is a boutique innovation company who engineers, patents, builds and supplies key solutions to the green industry rooted in efficiency. The company has offices and manufacturing facilities in Puslinch, Ontario, Canada.

    About GreenJacket

    The GreenJacket® project began in the spring of 1996. The family business, Sto-Cote Products, Inc., was established 70 years ago in 1948 and over the years has been heavily involved with the flexible plastics industry. Sto-Cote offers a complete line of engineered flexible plastics for a wide array of creative applications. GreenJacket®, has continued to work closely with turfgrass professionals as well as university professors and researchers to make refinements and add a full suite of supporting accessories. Now 30 million square feet and 20 years later, the firm continues to take pride in helping its clients achieve a wide variety of turf protection goals.

    To learn more about how the TarpDevil and GreenJacket Turf Covers can help your turf, please contact us: Phone: 888-786-2683 Email: garry@greenjacket.com  www.greenjacket.com

  • 28 Mar 2018 5:50 AM | John MacKenzie
    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. –The PGA of America announced today, with a sweeping social-media assist from the gold medal-winning U.S. Men’s Curling Team, that Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota will host the 47th Ryder Cup in 2028.

    Hazeltine -- site of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team’s 17-11 victory in 2016 -- will become the first American venue to host a second Ryder Cup. Four English courses have hosted multiple Ryder Cups: The Belfry (1985, ’89, ‘93, 2002); Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club (1961, ‘77); Royal Birkdale Golf Club (1965, ’69) and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club (1933, ’37).

    Four members of 2018 U.S. Curling team – skip John Shuster, vice skip Tyler George, second Matt Hamilton, and lead John Landsteiner – participated in the 30-second video spot, which blended equipment, athletic postures and traditions usually reserved for either golf or curling.

    The video was posted this morning on RyderCup.comTwitter and Instagram, and culminates with the U.S. Curling Team sending a curling stone gliding down the ice (“sheet”) to the red circular target (“house”), where the iconic Ryder Cup Trophy is waiting to symbolically declare the Ryder Cup’s return to Minnesota in 2028.

    Last month in South Korea, the Men’s Curling Team captured America’s first Olympic gold medal in the history of the sport.

    Officials from the PGA of America and Hazeltine will gather on April 10 in Chaska to discuss the return of the Ryder Cup, which comes little more than 18 months after the completion of the 2016 event.

    Designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1962 and enhanced by his son, Rees Jones, in 2002 and 2005, Hazeltine National Golf Club takes its name from nearby Lake Hazeltine. The par-72 layout blends the rolling hills, lakes, mature woods and prairies of the Upper Midwest and is consistently ranked amongst America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

    Hazeltine began its tradition of hosting major championships more than 50 years ago. Beyond the most recent Ryder Cup, it has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open (1966, ’77), the U.S. Open (1970, ’91), the U.S. Senior Open (1983) and the PGA Championship (2002, ’09).

    Hazeltine is also scheduled to host its third women’s major championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 18-23, 2019.

  • 12 Mar 2018 2:02 PM | John MacKenzie

    Associated Press · St. Paul · Mar 6, 2018

    Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a revised measure Tuesday to reduce elevated nitrate levels in water supplies that includes restrictions on the application of farm fertilizers in the fall, his administration's latest move as it seeks to make protecting water a hallmark of his final term.

    The rule would create a system of voluntary and mandatory mitigation practices in vulnerable areas with porous soils, and in locations that have high nitrate levels in public water supplies. Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson announced the update after holding 17 public meetings attended by over 1,500 farmers, landowners and other Minnesotans, and receiving more than 800 written comments on an initial draft that was released last summer.

    "One of the ways in which we're protecting water quality in Minnesota is by asking farmers to look twice at their practice of spreading nitrate ... on their land in the fall," Dayton said at a news conference.

    • Previously: Free nitrate tests meet farmer resistance in Brown County

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said most nitrates entering groundwater come from human-caused sources including manure and other fertilizers. Excessive levels can be toxic, particularly to bottle-fed babies under six months old, because they can affect how blood carries oxygen. They can cause a life-threatening disorder known as blue baby syndrome. There's also been some research associating high nitrate levels in drinking water with elevated risks for certain cancers. High levels can harm fish and other aquatic life.

    Several communities and private well owners in Minnesota and other farm states have had to install expensive treatment systems to bring nitrates down to safe levels. The Des Moines Water Works in Iowa even sued, unsuccessfully, to recover some of the millions of dollars it has spent to remove pollutants running off from farms upstream. Reducing nitrate levels is one goal of Dayton's signature environmental accomplishment so far, his law requiring farmers to play buffer strips between their fields and waterways to filter out pollutants.

    But Minnesota's nitrate rule has been a tough sell to farmers. It's common and convenient for farmers to apply chemical fertilizers and manure in the fall after harvesting their crops, instead of waiting for spring when there's often limited time between when the soil dries out and planting deadlines. Doing so, however, raises the risks of nitrates seeping into groundwater and running off into streams and lakes when the snow melts.

    The subject was so sensitive in heavily agricultural Brown County that the county board last December rejected the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's officer of free well tests for nitrates. Local farm groups objected, and commissioners expressed worry that the state would use the data to regulate how farmers use fertilizers.

    • Study: Wetlands key to keeping harmful nitrates out of waters

    Steve Suppan, senior policy analyst at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which promotes sustainability, said the fertilizer industry is largely self-regulated and that approach hasn't been working well to cut farm pollution. But he said Minnesota's rule could become a good model for other states, particularly the upper Midwest.

    GOP Sen. Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks, who has introduced a bill to require legislative approval for the rule, called the new version "a step in the right direction." He said it expands the areas where the fall fertilizer restriction wouldn't apply because of lower risks. But he said it's still "about 10 years behind schedule" because computerized modern farm machinery allows farmers to apply fertilizer only where it's needed.

    "This rule maybe will help protect some areas but right now I think it's really behind the curve," he said.

    Frederickson said the proposal focuses largely on the Mississippi River watershed, which has porous geology that lets nitrates more easily leach through to the groundwater. Though he and Dayton hope the change improves water quality in local wells, Frederickson said the origin of the Mississippi River in Minnesota makes it even more important to reduce nitrates. High nitrate levels in the Mississippi are blamed for fueling the growth of algae that deplete dissolved oxygen and cause the annual "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "We literally have a moral obligation to do what's right," he said.

    A 30-day public comment period will begin in mid-May, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will hold more public hearings sometime this summer. The department expects to submit the final revised version in December.

  • 06 Mar 2018 6:59 AM | John MacKenzie

    Jim Seaberg, Hydrologist and Greg Hanson, Ag Chemical Consultant

    The conversion of golf courses to other land uses, especially residential, requires that land is safe for development. Past pesticide use has led to heavy metal contamination of some golf course property. The MDA has new guidance for soil sampling at golf courses. These procedures are different than sampling procedures at properties with other types of contamination.

    An investigation should begin with a thorough assessment of past pesticide use. Good historical records and interviews with available grounds keeping staff can be invaluable. Greens and tee-boxes are the most likely areas of contamination and their locations may have changed, so historical air photographs must be carefully reviewed.

    Contamination investigations include sampling for arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver and other pesticides including no longer used pesticides such as DDT, heptachlor and chlordane. Contamination typically extends to the outer margins of greens and tee-boxes and is shallow. Other locations of concern are the product loading, storage and mixing areas, and, in some cases, the dedicated dumping areas for grass clippings.

    Soil Sampling at Golf Courses for Contamination guidance can be viewed at: www.mda.state.mn.us/chemicals/spills/ incidentresponse/guidelist.

    Contact the Incident Response Unit for assistance through the Agricultural Voluntary Investigation & Cleanup (AgVIC) program at 615-201-6681 or visit: www.mda.state.mn.us/ chemicals/spills/incidentresponse/agvic.

  • 26 Feb 2018 10:40 AM | John MacKenzie

    Public Information Meeting Set for March 6

    St. Paul, MN: The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in parts of Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill and Kenwood neighborhoods this spring. In anticipation of the proposed treatment, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at an informational meeting on March 6 in Minneapolis.

    Gypsy moths are ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests. The insect has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.

    The MDA maintains a monitoring program to watch for start-up infestations, and when an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial treatments of the infestation before it can spread. In 2017, the MDA found a gypsy moth infestation in the Lowry Hill Neighborhood. The MDA implemented a quarantine of the area in July.  The department is now developing a treatment plan for an affected area that runs approximately from Interstate 394 on the north to West 22nd Street on the south, and Penn Avenue on the west to Lyndale and Hennepin avenues on the east. (SEE MAP) Details of the area can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments.

    The MDA will host a meeting from 4:45 – 6:45 p.m. on March 6 to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment and how officials plan to protect the urban forest. A presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m.

    Meeting details:

    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    4:45 – 6:45 p.m.

    Kenwood Community Center
    2101 W Franklin Avenue

    Minneapolis, MN 55405

    Over the years, the MDA has successfully treated dozens of gypsy moth infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Portage to the Twin Cities to Houston County, including treatments in Richfield and Minneapolis in 2017 and Anoka County in 2015. These successful treatments help postpone the full-scale invasion of gypsy moth, saving local communities and homeowners money and protecting the health of the state’s urban and natural forests.

    For more information on the proposed treatments, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments.

  • 19 Feb 2018 3:45 PM | John MacKenzie

    From the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

    By day, Mark Pedelty, Tim Gustafson and Robert Poch are professors at the University of Minnesota. By night, the trio form The Hypoxic Punks, an environmentally conscious folk-punk band spreading eco-friendly messages through catchy tunes and fun music videos like “You Can Build A Garden.”

    So, when Pedelty called us on behalf of the Ecosong.net team, expressing interest in creating a music video to help the MWMO’s outreach efforts, our interest was piqued. He proposed a music video that would encourage others to help keep water clean in the Mississippi River and other local water bodies. To learn more about their project idea, we suggested Pedelty and his project partners apply for a Mini Grant.

    Pedelty and his team settled on chloride pollution as the subject of their music video. It’s a timely topic. The overuse of deicing chemicals — especially salt — on our roadways is creating an environmental catastrophe. Melting snow and rain flushes the deicing chemicals into stormdrain systems and out to the local lakes, rivers and streams. The chloride from the salt and deicers is toxic to aquatic life and virtually impossible to remove.

    Beyond just raising awareness of the issue, Pedelty wanted to encourage fellow residents to take positive actions that could make a real difference for water quality. The MWMO awarded the project $3,000 in funding to help pay for professional videography, video editing, and sound recording and editing by Karl Demer at Atomic K Studios.

    Their completed music video (below) serves as an upbeat “how-to” guide on using less salt while still preventing icy sidewalks and driveways. Composer and guitarist Tim Gustafson created lyrics that remind us the downside of ignoring our shovels is that we’re “brining” our waters with salt. The song explains that salt washing into waterways with stormwater is killing fish and birds, while making “our fountain of life” — our drinking water source — saltier.

    As the video plays out, you’ll see some lively dance steps and creative choreography as the actors demonstrate the steps to using less salt: Shovel first to prevent ice buildup; select deicers with care (and only if needed); scatter them sparingly; and sweep up any excess to prevent water pollution.

    It’s hard to think of a more fun or creative way to address this issue, but those who are interested in more resources can check out our Snow and Ice Removal page, featuring useful links, brochures and videos about smart salting techniques.

    We hope you’ll check out the video and join in the movement to stop salting our waterways.

  • 19 Jan 2018 4:25 PM | John MacKenzie

    From AmericanHort:

    Amidst a series of bipartisan White House-convened meetings to pursue a deal on border security and a solution for the DACA program came a disparaging comment from President Trump. He questioned aloud why America would want immigrants from some less-fortunate nations, including those in Africa as well as Haiti and El Salvador. The backlash to the words and apparent underlying sentiment was broad and fierce, and the DACA dialogue has come to a screeching halt, at least for now.

    Meanwhile in the horticulture industry, many are waiting with bated breath in the hopes of progress on the politically fractious immigration reform issues. Here are key recent developments that affect us. 

    H-2B disaster looms. The visa cap for the first half of the fiscal year, which started October 1, was hit before Christmas… a lump of coal in many landscape employers’ Christmas stockings. This means many who got shut out will join the large number of landscape companies seeking workers starting April 1. On New Year’s Day, the Labor Department filing process opened for April 1 employment dates. Over 80,000 H-2B positions were applied for – more than twice the 33,000 visas that Congress has made available. Your odds are much better in an old fashioned coin toss.

    This is a looming train wreck for horticulture. The landscape sector is the single biggest user of the H-2B program. Serious labor shortages affect landscape firms themselves. They also affect greenhouse and nursery growers, equipment suppliers, and beyond. AmericanHort is working with coalition colleagues on three separate strategies to provide cap relief. Meanwhile, we urge employers to contact your elected officials to plead for urgently-needed H-2B cap relief.

    Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Over the years, various administrations have granted or extended “temporary protected status” to individuals from various countries that have been ravaged by natural disasters, civil strife, or both. TPS status has often been extended on the grounds that the conditions in the sending countries have not improved sufficiently for people to safely return.

    The Trump Administration recently announced termination of TPS for roughly 200,000 Salvadoran individuals, effective September 2019. Why should we care? Many of these individuals have been in the U.S. for as long as 20 years. They have an estimated 190,000 U.S. citizen children. Workforce participation rates are 88%, and many of them own homes. The landscape sector is the third largest industry in which these individuals are employed. Some are employed in nurseries and garden retail establishments, too. Their departure would worsen already-serious labor shortages.

    The Salvadorans now join some 50,000 Haitians and 5,000 Nicaraguans for whom termination dates had already been announced. Meanwhile, 54,000 Hondurans are bracing for a decision on their status. Of course, Congress could intervene to provide a path to lasting residency for some of these individuals based on their equities in our society. 

    New “Hard-line” Enforcement Bill. A group of House Republicans has introduced a new and very tough immigration enforcement bill. Among a much longer list of provisions, it would reduce legal immigration levels, restrict some family-based migration, end the diversity visa lottery, authorize a border wall, clamp down on “sanctuary cities,” hire 10,000 more Border Patrol and CBP agents, and make the E-Verify program mandatory for all employers. In exchange, it would provide for continued deportation deferrals for DACA recipients, but no path to residency status. The package also includes the AG Act, an agricultural guest worker bill that was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in October. While that bill has a few attractive features, it also has serious flaws and low support in the agricultural community. A new visa cap and unrealistic options for current agricultural workers top a longer list of concerns.

    Politically, most experts see that such a hard line approach stands no chance of enactment into law, and as such, is a distraction from ongoing efforts to achieve a more balanced solution that pairs status for DACA recipients with some border security measures and a few other immigration system improvements.

    Will cooler heads and rhetoric prevail? Only time will tell.

  • 11 Jan 2018 6:01 AM | John MacKenzie

    The 36-year GCSAA member’s golf advocacy work has made an impact in his home state of Minnesota and throughout the industry.


    Jack MacKenzie

    Jack MacKenzie, executive director of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association and retired Certified Golf Course Superintendent, has earned the 2018 Excellence in Government Affairs Award from GCSAA for his passion and hard work in advocating for the golf course management profession. GCSAA annually recognizes a chapter, coalition or superintendent for outstanding advocacy or compliance efforts in government affairs.

    MacKenzie, a 36-year member of GCSAA, transitioned from golf course superintendent to executive director of the Minnesota chapter six years ago, with the job change offering him a bigger platform for his already-established interest in advocacy.

    “I grew up on a golf course, and I have been civically minded since high school,” MacKenzie says. “But it was really when water issues came up that I started getting involved. I asked myself, ‘What can I do to help out the golf industry?’”

    He has helped by becoming a “known commodity” at the state Capitol in St. Paul, having been appointed to statewide government committees such as the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pollinator Best Management Practices Lawn and Garden Committee; MDA Pesticide Review Committee; Department of Natural Resources Surface/Groundwater Negative Threshold Committee; MDA State Pesticide Licensure Category A&E Rewrite Committee; and the multi-agency Water Reuse Stakeholders Committee. He has also given testimony on behalf of the golf industry to legislators and governing agencies.

    “When I first joined the pollinator committee, I walked into a room with two dozen beekeepers, and the room went silent when I said what I do,” MacKenzie, who was a key figure in the creation of best management practices for Minnesota golf courses, says. “But it gave me the opportunity to tell the good story of golf. Soon, I had people giving me their business cards and wanting to work together.”

    A native of White Bear Lake, Minn., MacKenzie brought together golf in the state by organizing and hosting the Minnesota Golf Day on the Hill in 2016 and 2017, a joint venture of the Minnesota GCSA, Minnesota Golf Association, Minnesota Club Managers Association, Midwest Chapter PGA and the Midwest Golf Course Owners Association. But he also sees his winning of the Excellence in Government Affairs Award as a testimony to the specific role superintendents are playing in making positive change in Minnesota.

    “I am very honored and thrilled to be recognized by my association,” MacKenzie says. “But I am most excited that the Minnesota GCSA is being recognized. Our superintendents are interested and invested, and are becoming players in the game.”

    MacKenzie will be formally recognized Feb. 6 at the Opening Night Celebration of the 2018 Golf Industry Show, Feb. 3-8 in San Antonio. He will also be featured in an upcoming issue of GCSAA’s official monthly publication, Golf Course Management magazine.

    “If all politics are local, then Jack MacKenzie is a great example of how you can make a difference in your home state or your hometown,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “He’s helping bring superintendents to the table for discussions that affect their operations, and raising the profile of all superintendents in Minnesota. He’s most deserving of the award as a strong advocate for the golf industry, and I congratulate him.”

    Nominees were judged by the GCSAA Government Affairs Committee based on how their efforts best serve the interests of the golf course superintendent profession and the golf course management industry.

    View the complete list of past GCSAA Excellence in Government Affairs Award winners.

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