It’s Winter. Let’s Talk About You!

It’s Winter. Let’s Talk About You!

Now is the time for learning, growing, and looking inward.

With last year’s growing season, a distant memory, and the holidays finally behind us, January and February are great months to prepare for another growing season and focus on personal growth and improvement.  We spend most of our time at work checking boxes related to our fulfilling the responsibilities outlined in our job description.   We commit ourselves to those we work with and the “customers” we serve. 

They may be school and municipal administrators, patrons, residents, students, parents, other department heads, government agencies, etc. Assuming things are quieter around your office, consider taking advantage of the next few weeks to do something for yourself instead.  This is how we decompress, recharge, and make ourselves better.

Learn More About What You Don’t Know

Professional associations, manufacturers, and suppliers offer countless educational opportunities so you can bone up on new turfgrass management practices, tools, turf equipment, and products.  These training sessions cost little and may even be free.  Educational content from local, regional, and national associations serving the Green Industry is only a click away.  Research your educational options, participate, and learn.  There’s no better time than right now to discover ways to do your job better than before the spring rush is upon us.  Contact your Reinders sales rep for association names, contacts, and learning opportunities they might know about.  They can help match your needs and interests with the right sources.

Online courses such as Greenkeeper University, Michigan State University Turf Short Course, and The Cornell University Turf Webinar Series are excellent and offer instruction from many of the best university academicians and industry professionals in the Midwest and throughout the U.S.

You can also find a broad assortment of turf and landscape topics addressed on the Reinders YouTube channel.  Whether you’re reestablishing turf, doing irrigation work, or installing holiday lighting, you’ll find useful info here.

If you’re a sports field manager, excellent educational opportunities are readily available to members of the Sports Turf Managers Association and your STMA state chapter.  You can also score big by attending the Reinders Green Industry Conference, held every other March. This great two-day event offers relevant Green Industry topics covering multiple tracks.  If you can’t find what you want, then you’re too picky!

This year’s event has been pushed back to 2022.  However, a virtual educational event is being planned.  Please check the Reinders website regularly for updates on this great education opportunity coming in early March 2021.

Check Out the Latest & the Greatest Turf Research

The Internet is a terrific source of valuable grass-growing information that can help advance your professional career.  It’s all behind that computer screen.  You need to know where to look.  If you like treasure hunts, spend an hour or two on a cold, wintry day perusing various university, manufacturer, and supplier websites.  Information sources are endless, and they’re just a click away.  Type a keyword into your favorite search engine and dig.  You’ll want to stick with reliable information sources and proceed responsibly, discerning truths from conjecture.  If the product or the info shared seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Your Reinders rep is a great sounding board who can help you sort fact from fiction.

Check Out New Products

The winter months are the best time to research new equipment to replace the old stuff or add to the fleet.  It’s also a great time to look into new, cutting edge products that can either replace the old ways you’ve been doing things or enhance your efforts and desired results as you strive to grow healthier, better looking, and safer turf.  Spend time looking into new products and turf management procedures.  Network with your peers to learn what they do differently.  Maybe they’ve tried a new product or maintenance practice that would also work great for you.  You can also return the favor by sharing your own stories and experiences.  Learning from others’ experiences and mistakes is one of the most valuable reasons to network with peers.  As they say, there is power in numbers.  Belonging to a local chapter of a professional association far outweighs the nominal expense of membership.

Personal Improvement

Perhaps this topic falls into the saving the best for last.  Consider exploring self-improvement opportunities that can help you hone personal skills that will improve work efficiency.  This will arguably make your job less stressful and more fun. Self-improvement training to develop better leadership, organizational and communication skills could launch your career.   Improving self-confidence, self-motivation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills can make you a better person at work and home.  Check with your employer.  Sometimes they offer tuition reimbursement to help offset the expense of class enrollment.  Your employer directly benefits from the skills you enhance or develop.  AND they’ll most likely notice your commitment to personal development that makes you a better and more effective employee.  Think about it.

Turf Care Questions?  Ask Joe.

Joe Churchill


Picture of Joe Churchill

Joe Churchill

Joe works with sports turf managers at all levels, including K12 schools, colleges, universities, municipalities, and professional ball clubs in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. He is an active member of the Minnesota Turf & Grounds Foundation, the Minnesota Parks & Sports Turf Managers Association, the Minnesota Association of School Maintenance Supervisors, and the Sports Turf Managers Association, where he serves on the STMA Editorial Committee and is a member of the STMA Best Management Practices Task Committee. He is a 40-year Green Industry veteran and has worked for Reinders for 11 years.

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