Attend MSU’s Virtual Turf School short course in December

The MSU Turf School, Dec. 1-17, 2020, is a virtual, seven-session course designed to teach the basics of turfgrass science as well as the practical techniques of managing turfgrass.

Dollar spot in lawn
Dollar spot in a Kentucky bluegrass lawn. Photo by Kevin Frank, MSU.

The Michigan State University Virtual Turf School is a course designed to teach the basics of turfgrass science as well as the practical techniques of managing turfgrass. The school will be team-taught by MSU turfgrass faculty and staff. The curriculum is designed to deliver a wide range of turfgrass management topics including basic soils and soil management, turfgrass species identification, selection and physiology, turf establishment and renovation, fertilization, proper pesticide use and environmental stewardship.

The strength of the school lies within the depth of the turfgrass faculty at MSU. This will provide an excellent opportunity for one-on-one interaction between participants and the MSU turfgrass faculty. This is your chance to get to know the MSU turf team. All team members instruct, including Joe Vargas, Trey Rogers, Jim Crum, Kevin Frank, Thom Nikolai, Emily Merewitz-Holm, Dave Smitley and Nancy Dykema. If you know the name but not the face, this is your chance to meet the team and get all your questions answered!

Who should attend?

Anyone looking to add to their turf knowledge. The school starts with the turf basics and expands from there throughout the week. Past attendees include golf course employees without formal training, lawn care company employees, turfgrass equipment technicians, industry sales representatives and school employees responsible for grounds and athletic fields.

What is covered?

Topics include turfgrass species and cultivars, establishment and renovation, nutrition and fertilizers, weed, insect and disease management, and turfgrass soils, cultivation, compaction and thatch.

Where and when?

New for 2020, the school will be virtual with programs being taught through Zoom. Participants will be able to select specific sessions or add all at a discounted rate. All programs will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.

Program dates:

  • Dec. 1: Turfgrass Species and Establishment – Trey Rogers
  • Dec. 3: Turfgrass Soils – Jim Crum
  • Dec. 8: Turfgrass Nutrition, Fertilizers, and Programming – Kevin Frank
  • Dec. 9, 9-11 a.m.: Turfgrass Environmental Stress – Emily Merewitz
  • Dec. 10: Turfgrass Diseases – Joe Vargas, Jr. and Nancy Dykema
  • Dec. 15: Turfgrass Weeds – Thom Nikolai
  • Dec. 17: Turfgrass Insects – David Smitley


Need some MDARD credits or GCSAA education points? The Virtual Turf School is the place to clean up. Turf School has applied for a max of 20 MDARD pesticide recertification credits available in categories Commercial Core, Private Core, 3A, 3B and 6. Turf School expects that each program will be awarded three credit hours with the exception of the Dec. 9 program, which will be two credit hours. Participants must attend the program live for the entire time period to be awarded credit hours. Partial credit will not be awarded.

How much? 

Sessions are $35 each or attend all for a discounted rate of $200.

How do I register?

Online registration is now available at MSU Virtual Turf School 2020. For more information, contact Kevin Frank at If you need help with registration, please contact ANR Events at or 517-353-3175.

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