In March of 1960, thirty to forty turfgrass professionals gathered in Room 222 of the Student Union at Purdue University. It was here where Bill Lyons, famous at the time for his Cheese Bars at turfgrass conferences, hosted this group of professionals and the idea of the Ohio Turfgrass Council was born. Following a presentation from Dr. Bert Musser, who spoke to the audience about the formation of the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council, the group in Room 222 decided to pursue an organization of their own in Ohio. In 1961, the Ohio Turfgrass Council was officially formed (later changed to the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation).
The purpose of the Ohio Turfgrass Council, as written in the original bylaws, was as follows:
The purpose of the Council is to promote the turfgrass industry in Ohio; in particular, to encourage the further study and research in turf grasses, to analyze and disseminate information related thereto, and to represent the judgement of this organization in the matters of policy in the turfgrass industry. The objective of the Council is better turf for all on athletic fields, cemeteries, golf courses, lawns, parks, playgrounds, roadsides, and any other turfgrass areas.
For more than 50 years, the Foundation has maintained its focus on providing resources to the turfgrass community. Nearly $5 million has been contributed to the industry in the form of research grants, gifts and student scholarships. These funds have benefited the industry by providing financial aid to more than 300 students, building and donating a state-of-the-art research facility at The Ohio State University, creating opportunities for leading educators and researchers within our state, and much, much more.
Ohio Turfgrass Foundation continuing education seminars, such as the annual Conference held each December and Research Field Day in August, have provided countless professionals the tools required to be more efficient and effective at their facilities. OTF continues to be one of the largest organizations of its kind, with members and event attendees from all over the United States and even Internationally.