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  • 24 Feb 2022 4:53 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    The University of Maryland has officially announced the long awaited Turfgrass Pathologist for the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. 

    Following is the official announcement to the University and industry professionals from Professor and Chair, Dr. John Erwin.

    Thank you for everyone involved in this processes as I am sure we are excited to see what the future will hold for the Turfgrass Industry. 

    Fereshteh Shahoveisi to Join PSLA as the New Turfgrass Pathologist

    Dr. Shahoveisi will be joining our department by May 1.  She will be accompanied by her husband, Seyedali Hosseinirad.  Seyedali is currently finishing his PhD at NDSU in wheat breeding and will be joining Dr. VJ Tiwari’s research program in our department as a postdoc after graduation.

    Dr. Shahoveisi is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University (NDSU).  She received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Plant Pathology from Tehran University and her PhD in Plant Pathology from NDSU.  She also holds a College Teaching Certificate.  Her thesis title was “Characterizing genetics of host resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and epidemiology of the disease in Brassica napus L.”  In addition to her strong plant pathology background, she brings unique expertise in epidemiology statistics and nematology to our department. She has taught coursework in both Plant Pathology and Plant Disease Epidemiology. She has published in several refereed scientific journals, written extension bulletins, and has given numerous scientific and extension presentations.  She has worked on various issues in plant pathology across a wide range of plant species, including grasses, on different continents.

    Other areas of expertise/areas of interest Dr. Shahoveisi has include a) statistical analyses (using multiple software including R and SAS), b) conducting Verticillium wilt disease field trials for NDSU and companies such as Bayer and Syngenta including field map proofing, assessment of temporal disease progress, processing the samples, conducting qPCR assays, and statistical analyses, c) analyzing sequencing data and conducting genetic (QTL) mapping studies including GWAS and bi-parental mapping, d) conducting population genetic analyses on black dot disease of potato to study the emergence and adaptation of the pathogen in different continents, and evaluating the application of image processing and deep learning in the detection of plant diseases using rust disease as a model, and e) advising the scientific team of SafteySpect Inc. in plant disease management practices and co-investigator in SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase I proposals to study the application of UVB and UVC lights along with machine learning algorithms (CSI-Dtechnology) in the detection and management of plant diseases. 

    The great work of the Turfgrass Pathology Search Committee needs to be acknowledged.  They did an exceptional job attracting a number of great candidates, organizing a search process and presenting a thorough evaluation of candidates and summation of input that they received.  Thanks to all those that participated in the department.  

    I would also like to thank the Dean for approving the refilling of this position and participating in the search process (as well as the Associate Deans).  The Turfgrass industries also need to be acknowledged for their longstanding support of UMD and their participation in the search process.  I am sure Fereshteh will be a welcome addition to the turfgrass team.

    John Erwin

    Professor and Chair

    Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

    (We grow the food you eat and design the landscapes we live in.)

    University of Maryland - College Park

  • 01 May 2021 5:04 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Register Here

    Topic: Brood X: Billions of cicadas may be coming soon to trees near you


    Billions of cicadas may be coming soon to trees near you! One of the largest groups of 17-year cicadas, Brood X, last emerged from underground in 2004. The next generation will begin arriving in April 2021.

    Join W.S. Connelly Companies and Stanton Gill; University of Maryland's IPM and Entomologist to learn how one of the largest broods of 17-year cicadas will emerge from underground in a dozen states, from New York west to Illinois and south into northern Georgia.

    These events raise many questions for entomologists and the public alike. What do cicadas do underground for 13 or 17 years? What do they eat? Why are their life cycles so long? Why are they synchronized? And is climate change affecting this wonder of the insect world?


    May 4, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

  • 07 Feb 2021 2:33 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

  • 24 Apr 2020 6:28 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Attention All Members of the MTC,

    It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Eugene "Gene" Bowie Roberts, Jr. (October 16, 1939 - April 18, 2020).

    Gene was honored to have been involved in the Maryland Turfgrass Association representing Fairwood Turf Farm, serving the entire turfgrass industry as a member of the Maryland Turfgrass Council Board as a Directors, and was one of the early Turfgrass Representatives on the Maryland Agriculture Commission.
    As a member of what ever organization he was involved in, Gene always provide an insightful and beneficial decisions, thoughts and actions.
    Gene was a good friend to the Turfgrass industry and was friends with his fellow Turfgrass Professionals, even his competition.

    A small private family service is planned for Tuesday, April 28. A "Celebration of Life" will occur once it is safe together.

    Condolences by e-mail may be sent to Gene's lovely wife Lynn Roberts at Antiquelynn@hotmail.com Or his daughter Anne C.B. Roberts at anne.cb.roberts@gmail.com

    Cards and U.S. Mail can be sent to 4700 Old Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

  • 31 Mar 2020 7:44 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Hi Folks,

    Hope everyone is surviving the virus and staying healthy.

    I received this “Update” from MDA after Governor Hogan’s latest executive order yesterday.

    Since Sod Farming is classified as “agriculture” and other turf work including Landscaping, Lawn Maintenance, Golf Course Maintenance and Sports Turf Maintenance are still classified as “essential”.

    I would encourage each and every company to heed the recommendations below and prepare and provide to EACH EMPLOYEE including yourself a letter identifying the employee as essential and listing the other information suggested below in the event any authority questions why they are driving or working..

    • Name and address of the employee
    • Name and address of the business
    • Nature of the employee’s essential work
    • Signature and contact information for the employer

    Remember, Turfgrass is essential because of:

    • Controlling rodents snakes and other pests found in high grass on the property.
    • The safety of elderly folks from tripping and falling due to high turfgrass.
    • And as always “protecting the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways in the State due to preventing thinning turf which allows for increased erosion and pollution of soil nitrogen and phosphorous.
    • And other reasons you can think off that are specific to your company.

    If we can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact me.


    Vernon W. Cooper

    Turfgrass Agronomist

    Executive Director, MTC

    Maryland Turfgrass Council

    303 S. Talbot St.  #389

    St. Michaels, MD 21663

    410-745-9643 office/home

    410-745-8867 fax

    443-742-6618 cell



    Maryland Department of Agriculture

    For official updates on the state’s response to COVID-19, please visit governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/.

    A full list of current executive orders and interpretive guidance is available at: governor.maryland.gov/covid-19-pandemic-orders-and-guidance/.

  • 17 Mar 2020 9:32 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Dear Maryland Turfgrass Council Members,

    By now I am sure everyone has been effected in some way or another by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Many of us in Maryland have had businesses closed, hiring freezes for employees, and revenue reduced by the government mandated quarantine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is effected both directly and indirectly by the Coronavirus.

    Unfortunately, the MTC and University of MD combined Pesticide and Fertilizer Applicator Recertification class scheduled for March 27 at MDA has been postponed due to concerns for everyone’s health and Governor Hogan’s directives and closures. We have tentatively rescheduled this class to occur on Friday, May 15 at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. If the emergency crisis is still active at that time, we will postpone once again and find the next logical date.

    Governor Hogan has declared a 30-day grace period after the crisis ends to complete all Professional Licenses. That is not a long period of time considering the number of license holders that must recertify; thus we are trying to stay proactive by scheduling recertification class dates so you can plan accordingly. 

    The May 15th Recertification class has a maximum capacity of 100 people which we hope you can attend. We will also be offering a recertification class on June 26th at the Paint Branch Turfgrass Research Farm (maximum 30 people) and on August 19th at the Talbot Agriculture and Education Center in Easton Maryland. 

    We hope that everyone remains safe while we work through the Coronavirus epidemic.


    Ben Ellis

    Maryland Turfgrass Council, President


  • 14 Nov 2019 7:10 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Turfgrass Professionals,

    Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) has recently received grant funding from the American Association of Community Colleges to establish a Landscape Management Technician Apprentice Program. Over the next three years, AACC has committed to partner with local and regional landscaping, nursery, lawn care, and greenhouse wholesale and retail employers to train 150 new and incumbent workers for a career in the industry and we are actively recruiting businesses to:

    •    Provide recommendations during the curriculum development process;

    •    Refer and enroll current employees in the apprenticeship program; and

    •    Provide paid apprenticeship opportunities for program participants.

    Apprentices will receive 200+ hours of training at no cost to them or their employer. However, employers will be required to pay a materials fee of approximately $400 for each participant. Employers will also commit to paying participants an apprentice wage while they are actively working during the apprenticeship. 

    Join us on Thursday, November 14th at 11:00 am for a webinar to learn how you can become involved in this exciting opportunity. Please register for the webinar at https://bit.ly/2JopPr9. 

    I look forward to meeting you on November 14th.


    Dawn Carter

    AACC’s Landscape Management Technician Apprenticeship Program website: https://bit.ly/2VKwMaI


    Dawn D. Carter, PMP

    Director, Strategic Initiatives

    School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development

    Anne Arundel Community College

    101 College Parkway, CALT 116

    Arnold, MD 21012

    Office: 410-777-2928

    Fax: 410-777-4928

    Email: ddcarter@aacc.edu

  • 20 Oct 2019 6:05 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Wor-Wic Community College is offering Concepts of Turfgrass Management. 

    Continuing Education and Workforce Development

    Wor-Wic Community College

    32000 Campus Drive

    Salisbury, MD 21804


  • 23 Sep 2019 4:57 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Passing of Emory Patton

    It is with a sad heart that I must inform you of the passing of Emory Patton on Tuesday September 17, 2019.

    Emory R Patton of Silver Spring went home to be with the Lord on Sept. 17,  2019. Emory, the son of Raymond & Ruhama Patton, was a life long resident of Montgomery County.  He was owner of the family business; Turf Center, Inc., a company he started with the purpose of growing and supplying  quality sod to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Emory, a pioneer of the turf business, was always looking for new ways to produce, harvest and deliver a better product for his customers.  Emory was the first in Maryland to purchase an automated sod harvester in the late 60's, was the largest sod distributor in the metropolitan area throughout the late 70's and 80's and brought new methods to Tufcote bermudagrass into athletic fields and golf courses in the 90's.

    His love for his industry led him to be a charter member of both the Md. Turfgrass Association and the Md. Turfgrass Council.  He served as president of both organizations and was active in helping establish the Md. Sod Certification Program, securing the establishment and funding for the University. of Md. Turfgrass Research Facility at Cherry Hill and the beginnings and evolution of the Md. Turfgrass Conference.

    His love for his community and the LORD were displayed with his tireless work for the Colesville Lions Club, his church, Christ Fellowship and Gideons International.  He served as King Lion many times. His property on Spencerville Rd. is still the home for many Lions activities including the Spring and Fall Yard Sales and the Medical Supply Closet.  Many county residents still talk of the Lions Equipment Auction held at Turf Center for many years. Cloverly residents continue to enjoy the huge Christmas Tree in front of the church which was one of Emory's many creative ideas to bring the community together.  Emory could be found many fall days doing a Bible Distribution at local colleges with the Gideons. He also enjoyed the fellowship of his friends in the Enterprise Farmer's Club.

    Emory is survived by his wife of 66 years, Pat, daughter Diana, son, Larry (Eileen), grandchildren Brian (Meghan) and Mary and Great grandchildren Erin and Sean.

    The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).  This is the branch of Lions Club that gives grants to local clubs to enable their charitable work. Recently our local group received a grant for major renovations at our camp for handicap children, it also helps with the eye bank, Eye Institute and Leader Dogs.  

     Checks can be mailed in care of  Kelley Randolph, 4702 Alcon Dr., Camp Springs, Md.  20748. Please note the donation is in memory of Emory Patton.

    Arrangements Include:

                Memorial Visitation

                Tuesday, September 24 from 6-8PM

                Roy W. Barber Funeral Home

                21525 Laytonsville Rd.

                Laytonsville, MD  20882


                Celebration of Life

                Wednesday, September 25 at 11AM

                Christ Fellowship Church

                15600 New Hampshire Ave.

                Silver Spring, MD 20905

    Emory, his wife Pat, and his children Dianna and Larry were all active in the function and activities of both the MTC & the MTA.

    Emory had served as President of both organizations and was instrumental in their development.

    Please keep Emory and the family in your thoughts and prayers

  • 07 Sep 2019 5:00 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    The Entire Turf Industry Mourns the Loss of Bob Lynch, Jr.  of Eldersburg, MD.  MTC Past President 1988 & 1989

    Charles Robert Lynch Jr., former sales and service manager of the C.R. Lynch International Harvester Company in Reisterstown, has died, August 30, 2019, after a long illness. The Eldersburg resident was 86.

    Born on January 8, 1933, Bob was the first of six children born to Charles Robert Lynch, Sr., an accountant for the International Harvester Company, and Mary Katherine Kerr Lynch, a Mercy nurse. The family's original home was located on North Hilton Street in the Walbrook section of Baltimore. Bob was a student at St. Cecilia's Catholic School where he met many friends to whom he remained devoted throughout his entire life. After completing his education at Loyola High School and City College, Bob joined his father's fledgling farm equipment dealership in Glyndon. By the mid-1950's, the family had moved to Glyndon and had become parishioners of The Sacred Heart Church. It was there that Bob met and fell in love with Nancy Lee Hughes, the daughter of a Worthington Valley farmer. They married on a snowy day in January of 1956. One of Bob's lifelong friends from elementary school, Bart Duerr of New Smyrna Beach, FL, said that in spite of good naturedly kidding Bob about “taking the plunge”, “marrying Nancy was one of the best things Bob ever did.”

    Shortly after their wedding, Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was soon given orders for a tour of duty in Germany. Initially despondent about leaving his new wife, his melancholy was replaced by rejoicing when Nancy was able to join him in Germany for the duration of his stay. Bob often reminisced about the exceptionally happy days they spent together in Europe, a place they could only have dreamed of visiting.

    Bob's career in the equipment business continued after the family's operation was closed in 1980. He took a job with the Toro Company in 1981 and within a year or so, moved on to the G.L. Cornell Company in Gaithersburg. Cornell specialized in equipment for the maintenance of golf courses, an enterprise that took Bob to country clubs all over the state. To enhance his knowledge of the propagation of specialty grasses, Bob joined The Maryland Turfgrass Council and ultimately served as the council president.

    Aside from his life's work, Bob enjoyed many other things. He was an excellent wood-worker and the birdhouses he made for family members continue to offer nesting places for homeless birds in many a backyard. He was also interested in antique cars and was a long-standing member of the Chesapeake Region Antique Automobile Club of America. But ever present in all of Bob's endeavors was a songbook of delightful music that leaned toward smooth jazz, but was dominated by the luscious harmonies of The Four Freshmen. He never ever tired of listening to them.

    In the winter of his years, Bob often looked backward on his life, gilded with golden memories. He was blessed with the rare talent of being able to recall in accurate detail the people, places, events, and most astonishingly, the exact date of the occasion, including the day of the week. He enchanted many an avid listener with stories of the 1940's and 1950's. A lovely piece of writing by Mark Twain aptly describes Bob's state of mind in his later years: “The old days have trooped by in their glory again. The old faces have looked out of the mists of the past, old footsteps have sounded in my listening ears, old hands have clasped mine, old voices have greeted me, and the songs I loved ages and ages ago, have come wailing down the centuries.”

    Among Bob's life-long friends was Edward Hainke of Lusby, Maryland. Several days before his death and barely able to speak, Bob reached Ed by phone to tell him good-bye and that he loved him. What a fine final gift to give to an old pal.

    Bob leaves behind two very devoted sons, Matthew Joseph Lynch of Eldersburg who counts himself “so blessed to have had this great man as my father.” And Patrick Dennis Lynch of Santa Ana, California. To him, Bob was “the greatest father a son could ever have.”  Also he leaves five cherished grandchildren: Benjamin, Tyler, Patrick, Francesca and Bianca; four siblings: Michael Lynch, Anne Collins, Mary Whitcraft and Elizabeth Myers, and a host of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Edward, and by his most beloved wife, Nancy, who died in 2009. Not a single day has passed since then that Bob did not speak lovingly of her.

    The family will receive visitors on Wednesday, September 4, from 3-5 and 7-9 pm at the ECKHARDT FUNERAL CHAPEL, P.A., 11605 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, MD 21117. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, September 5, at 12:30 pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 63 Sacred Heart Lane, Glyndon, MD 21071. Interment to follow in Lake View Memorial Park, Sykesville, MD.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

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The Maryland Turfgrass Council      P.O. Box 389, St. Michaels, MD 21663   Phone: (443) 742-6618       

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