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News & Press: OTF News

Conference and Show Highlights

Monday, December 30, 2013  
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Thank you to all of the participants in the 2013 OTF Conference and Show. Once again, thousands of turfgrass professionals gathered in Columbus to participate in nearly 100 of industry leading education and to see the latest products and services on display from the 120+ exhibitors who participated in the tradeshow.

On Wednesday, Ohio Turfgrass Foundation honored several individuals for their commitment to the turfgrass profession and for their exemplary performance throughout 2013:

PROFESSIONAL(S) OF THE YEAR

Joe Rimelspach and Todd Hicks of The Ohio State University's Department of Plant Pathology were honored as the 2013 Professional(s) of the Year. Together, Joe and Todd have spent countless hours in service to turfgrass professionals throughout the region. 

In addition to teaching and conducting research at the OTF Research and Education Facility, Joe and Todd are regularly speaking to and meeting with individuals and groups in the lawn care, sports turf and golf industries. They are also regular contributors to OTF's Turf Tips, bringing you real time disease updates every week during the season. 


PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

OTF honored two individuals this year with Professional Excellence Awards. 

Jeff Bisker of Your Lawn, Inc was first presented with the award for his continued advocacy for his industry. As a long-time member of the OLCA and OPARR boards, Jeff has invested a significant amount of his time to further the lawn care profession.

Jeff is a regular at legislative events, including Turfgrass Day at the Capital, Green Industry Advocacy Day and more.


Next to receive the Professional Excellence Award was Paul Latshaw of Muirfield Village Golf Club. 

In addition to hosting the annual Memorial ournament in the spring, MVGC also played host the the biennial President's Cup matches which pair the best golfers from the United States against the best International players in a team competition.

Paul and his crew not only hosted two of the biggest events in golf within just five months of one another, but also took on a major reconstruction of the 18th tee complex in between events. Paul's leadership was most evident when facing torrential rain that threatened President's Cup play. After a few minor delays, his crew was able to get the course back in shape and the event finished on Sunday, as scheduled.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

2013 marked the first year that OTF recognized one of its members for their commitment to environmental stewardship. Dr. Michael Hurdzan of Hurdzan Golf received the award for his life-long pursuit of working in harmony with the environment. Long before sustainability became a hot topic, Dr. Hurdzan created his golf courses with the idea of minimizing their impact on the natural environment.

Dr. Hurdzan also was responsible for designing the first environmental demonstration golf course (Widow's Walk) and the first environmental education golf course (Farm Links).


OTF LIFE MEMBER

The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation welcomed Charlie Tadge as its latest Life Member, bringing the total number of individuals to have received the honor to 13. 

Mr. Tadge served as OTF President in 1968 and during his tenure, the Foundation realized unprecedented growth in revenue and participation. He was instrumental in developing the relationship between OTF and Ohio State. The $10,000 that OTF contributed to the OSU College of Agriculture in 1968 was the second largest donation ever to the college at the time, second only to the US Department of Agriculture.

Charlie has been instrumental in the advancement of the turfgrass profession. In addition to serving OTF, he also has served at the GCSAA chapter level and was the president of the national association in 1979.


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