Final President’s Message of the Year

Looking back at previous messages, I may have stepped on toes, possibly bruised some egos and have potentially sounded a bit preachy, my apologies if you were negatively affected.  That being said, it’s important for an industry association President to bring up the tough subjects so we can all do our best in whatever we do and achieve higher levels for our industry in the process.

Whether the subject is turf research, the importance of education and networking or giving back to an industry that has given so much to you/me, we need to constantly challenge the status quo so in the end, I/we are better than we/I was the day before.  With that in mind, right now, let’s challenge the status quo of:

Fungicide use on our golf courses greens.

Leading by example, there is a superintendent in Metro Vancouver who has not sprayed a fungicide to control Microdochium this year and only one in the last 20 months.  How is this possible?  Researchers like Clint Mattox at OSU, Doug Soldat at UW-Madison or Tom Nikolai at MSU have shown that by using their research in a best management program for Turf/Microdochium, it is possible to almost be fungicide free when managing putting greens.

I am way too busy to volunteer to be on an association’s Board of Directors. 

We need leaders!  Association work is too important to not volunteer your time; apathy is the enemy.  Engaging government and other stakeholders on our member’s behalf in big issues like Japanese beetle, water restrictions, pesticide bans or more recently, Worksafe’s proposed rollbar requirements for all mobile equipment, requires insight, strategy, organization and execution, more commonly known as leadership.  If we don’t tell government how to do our job, they will tell us how to do our job and we will most likely not like the way we have to do our job.  You cannot afford the government to tell you how to do your job, so get involved, make sure your/our voice is heard.

Multiple associations are better for our industry than a coalition working together for the benefit of the whole. 

Normally I would say competition is a good thing except that speaking from experience, government does not want to deal with several different groups regarding one topic, government wants to have one conversation with a unified group of stakeholders.  Speaking with one voice can only be done by forming permanent partnerships between overlapping associations.  These partnerships reduce duplication by disseminating information from one location and we avoid unhealthy competition that simply cuts our supplier support into too many small pieces.  Several associations doing the same thing, with the same conferences, with the same magazines, with the same administration needs, all seems a little redundant.

There is more to discuss but I’ll stop it there.  To close, know that we are stronger together, our voices are louder the closer together we are and we can pull on one rope a lot harder if we are pulling the same direction.  This is the future I’m hoping for.

All the best throughout the remainder of 2018!

Peter Sorokovsky
WCTA President