GCSAA-affiliated chapters may find it easier to achieve their goals by working with their state turfgrass associations. The New York State Turfgrass Association (NYSTA) works closely with GCSAA-affiliated chapters in New York State on a variety of initiatives with the goal of furthering the common interests of both groups.
For example, the following New York chapters have participated in NYSTA’s POA Annual Golf Fundraiser Tournaments whose proceeds are donated toward common industry goals: Adirondack GCSA, Central New York GCSA, Finger Lakes Association of GCS, Hudson Valley GCSA, Long Island GCSA, Metropolitan GCSA, Mohawk Valley GCSA, Northeastern GCSA and Western New York GCSA. Chapters are encouraged to use the resources of NYSTA in planning and implementing POA Annual tournaments. In addition, the Northeastern GCSA and Hudson Valley GCSA have membership incentive programs affiliated with the NYSTA. These programs benefit both the association and NYSTA and allow chapter members access to NYSTA membership and benefits at a reduced rate.
Michael Maffei, CGCS, vice president of NYSTA, Back O'Beyond, Inc., and treasurer of the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns presented the results of the New York Turfgrass Survey.
The key element of success for the association and the profession is involvement. When NYSTA members join forces with GCSA chapter members to meet with legislators to effect change, pool resources to disseminate research findings, attend conferences and fundraiser events, and cooperate with each other in an effective manner, there is no limit to what both groups can achieve.
In the fall of 2004, the New York Turfgrass Survey was released by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York Agricultural Statistics Service, and NYSTA showing the turfgrass industry in New York contributing $5 billion annually to the economy of the State. NYSTA committed $50,000 towards the cost of the survey and GCSA chapters generously donated towards that commitment.
Assemblywoman Lifton, 125th Assembly District, (center) meets with William Heintz (right) - president of the Metropolitan GCSA, Centennial Golf club, and Chris Rein (left), The Links at Erie Village.
NYSTA has made significant strides in the legislative arena, with the help of several GCSA chapters in New York State, by supporting the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns and their addition of an effective lobbyist representing green industry issues. His presence in Albany has let our voice be heard and our concerns met. Each year NYSTA’s Turfgrass Advocacy Day has a powerful impact on the laws and regulations that are proposed governing the turfgrass industry and affecting NYSTA members and golf course superintendents. Each year NYSTA arranges a Golf Focus Group meeting just prior to our Lobby Day event. Key chapter representatives meet with NYSTA leaders and review the issues that are important to both groups. The governmental and regulatory issues that will be our focus that year are discussed and as a result GCSAA-affiliated chapters in New York State and NYSTA attend the Turfgrass Advocacy Day as a united front with a single voice.
The focus group meeting also leads to discussions revolving around how research grants are awarded, golf education programming for the major green industry conference NYSTA holds each November, as well as any other chapter initiatives or pertinent issues of concern.
Senator Marcellino (left), Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, addressed participants during lunch at NYSTA's 2005 Turfgrass Advocacy Day held on Tuesday, February 1, 2005. Elizabeth Seme, (center), executive director of NYSTA and Northeastern GCSA; James Diermeier CGM/CNP, (right) president of NYSTA.
Golf course superintendents and turfgrass association members have many of the same needs and goals. Pesticide recertification requirements, legislative and regulatory issues and concerns, and research project funding are a few. Turfgrass associations have many programs already in place such as fundraising golf tournaments, Lobby Day events and scholarship and grant programs that GCSAA-affiliated chapters can become involved with in order to have a greater impact on achieving their chapter’s goals and strengthening their industry in the future.
Submitted by Elizabeth Seme,
Executive Director, New York State Turfgrass Association
Executive Director, Northeastern Golf Course Superintendents
To share your chapter's success stories, please email them to Leann Cooper.
William Heintz (center), president of the Metropolitan GCSA, Centennial Golf Club, meets with other GCSAA members and presidents, including Joseph Hahn, CGCS; Tim Hahn - president of Finger Lakes Assn. of GCS, and Tom Leahy, CGCS, Sleepy Hollow Country Club.