Kwantlen Turfgrass Diploma Students Ace WCTA Conference Experience
by Stan Kazymerchyk
12 Kwantlen Turfgrass diploma students travelled to Penticton March 2-5 for the 50th WCTA Conference. Students saw the latest products at the Trade Show, learned at great presentations and networked extensively with industry professionals. They also rang the show in by organizing a very successful Pub Night attended by 70 turfgrass managers. Many thanks to David Duncan and the Kwantlen Turf Club for sponsoring this very successful event, along with Bos Sod for the bentgrass turf.
Students contributed over 160 hours of volunteer efforts to conference organization. They helped exhibitor setup/takedown, manned the silent auction booth, conducted CEC sign-ins and assisted at AGM meeting. Three of the students played in the annual “Dave Creamer Memorial” hockey game, where they potted 4 goals for the winning Islander team. They raised money by conducting two “Putting for Research” competitions and three 50/50 draws. At conference closing, students presented Turfgrass Research with $2,000 from their conference efforts and fundraising events over the last school year.
WCTA President Tab Buckner, a Kwantlen Turfgrass alumni, lauded the students at conference closing, saying: “Kwantlen students did a phenomenal job with setup, administration and fundraising. All their hard work was greatly appreciated by the WCTA”.
The student’s Turfgrass Instructors were especially proud of every aspect of their professional conduct throughout the conference. Turf student Krista Hewlet summarized the event for them: “It was a superb experience, everyone was friendly and generous. It is always great to see everyone and to talk about what has happened to them over the last year. Looking forward to next years’ show” Turf student Glen Atamanik said: “The conference was an eye opening experience into the turf grass industry. This conference has taught me that there is a lot more then meets the eye when becoming a turf manager. I have a new motivation now because of the exposure to all of the professional managers, dealers, and speakers that I was able to meet and I will bring this experience with me where ever I may be for years to come”.
Turf students raise money for conference attendance and donations by their fundraising events such as golf tourneys, raffles, poinsettia sales and Pub Nites. Thank you to all who have graciously donated prizes, sponsored events or attended events!
Stan Kazymerchyk Turfgrass Management Instructor Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Note from the Executive Director: For me, the conference is a blur. It represents a year of careful planning and organizing that unfold in 3 days and there are a lot of moving parts that keep me busy. I would like to personally thank the Kwantlen Turf Club students for their efforts, without which we could not have done all the things you just read about - help from the students is invaluable to the show. There is a wonderful culture that has developed at KPU, or should I say nurtured? However it's come to be, the hard work, determination, positivity and professionalism is certainly being noticed. If I was still a golf course superintendent and in need of staff, I would hire the lot of them if the budget would allow it!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the WCTA membership, thank you KPU Turf Club for your amazing work at the conference again this year!!!