Featured Speakers of the Month

SFMA’s Conference Education Committee has put together an exciting and informative education program for the 2023 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah!  Each month, speakers presenting at the conference will be featured. Don’t miss the networking and educational opportunities offered this year!

Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. is the Director of Agronomy for Pinnacle Agricultural Research Center. He will be presenting multiple times at SFMA’s Annual Conference.

On Tuesday, January 17, he will be presenting “Turfgrass 101: Back to Basics.”

This presentation will break down how plants function, why various maintenance practices are necessary, and how season can affect everything. Understanding how plants function is critical to knowing how to manage them. The impact that specific practices such as fertilizing, watering, and mowing have on turfgrass will be discussed.

Attendees will:

  • Gain an understanding of plant growth and development.
  • Appreciate how their management decisions impact plant growth and how this affects disease, insect, and weed pressure.
  • Learn about a comprehensive plan for best management practices throughout the seasons to promote plant health.

On Wednesday, January 18, Dr. Munshaw will be presenting “Problem Solving for the Sports Field Manager” with Mike Goatley, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist at Virginia Tech.

Problems in sports field management arise in a variety of situations and are not always agronomic in nature. Real-world sports field problems will be presented, and the audience will be tasked with asking the right questions to begin the problem-solving effort, followed by the development of possible solutions to the problem.

Attendees will learn:

  • An improved ability in knowing the types of questions to ask about the problem.
  • New skills in sampling, diagnostic tools, and the use of consultants in problem solving.
  • An improved ability to communicate why problems occurred and how they were corrected with those associated with the facility.


Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. is a Professor at Brigham Young University. He too will be presenting multiple times at the conference.

On Tuesday, January 17, he will be presenting “Cool-Season Bermudagrass.”

This presentation will discuss saving water with Hybrid Bermudagrass replacing Kentucky bluegrass in cool-season climates.

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of Hybrid Bermudagrass in a cool-season area.
  • Risks and cautions of Hybrid Bermudagrass in a cool-season area.
  • Best management practices for Hybrid Bermudagrass in a cool-season area.

On Wednesday, January 18, Dr. Hopkins will be presenting “More Pop per Drop: Water and Oxygen Management 101.”

Surveys show that most managers waste water, often resulting in oxygen deficiencies in the root zone. Using water for grass during a mega-drought is bringing us under severe scrutiny. It is possible (and even better for the grass) to grow healthy/functional grass with significantly less water.

Attendees will learn:

  • Fundamentals of the grass water stress index and plant-soil-water science.
  • State of the science for sensing and controlling technologies.
  • Case studies in irrigation management using cutting edge technology.