• 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.

  • 27 May 2019 5:08 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)
    • Washington Post May 3 coverage of the Court of Special Appeals decision upholding Montgomery County’s pesticide use ban






      On May 2, 2019, the Court of Special Appeals for Maryland upheld Montgomery County, Maryland’s ban on the use by licensed professionals and consumers of all EPA-registered pesticides on private lawns and landscapes. This decision:

      • Overturned the Montgomery County Circuit Court’s August 2017 ruling we received along with co-plaintiffs that the county’s private property use ban was preempted by existing state law and Maryland Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive regulatory program.

      ·          Gives broad authority to localities to regulate virtually any pesticide use on any property in Maryland, providing a basis for expansion of Montgomery County’s ban and for new bans across the state.

    ·          Absent further court action, the County ban will go into effect and will be fully enforceable as soon as June 3, 2019.  Companies and private citizens in Montgomery County would then face civil and criminal enforcement for any pesticide use in violation of the County ordinance.

    The next step is petitioning Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, to undertake a review of the Court of Special Appeals decision. This court takes at its discretion some 20-25 percent of cases for review with those cases having met the standard of being in the public interest of the people of Maryland.


    To persuade the Court of Appeals to hear the case, we need to explain the practical impacts on residents and businesses if each Maryland locality is authorized to adopt its own bans of EPA- and State-approved pesticide products.  If the Court of Appeals refuses to take this case, no further appeal is available to us and the ruling will remain as binding state-wide precedent regarding the scope of local authority to regulate pesticides. Your support is essential to any effort to seek to reverse the Court of Special Appeals’ decision.

    As before, we are building a coalition of Friends of the Court (Amici) to show the Appellate Judges that there are many Maryland stakeholders who support the responsible use of pesticides under State and federal law, and who oppose local laws that attempt to countermand State law. We have plans to expand our group to even more interested parties. Please also connect me with other stakeholders in Maryland, and I will reach out to them.


    Karen Reardon

    Vice President, Public Affairs


    1156 15th St. N.W.

    Washington, D.C. 20005


    O 202-872-3893

    M 202-595-4964

     MoCo Appeal Call for Support 5-22-19.pdf -Click Link for more more details. 

  • 13 May 2019 12:26 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)


    In response to a troubling trend of poisonings on the Eastern Shore, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is reminding all farmers, applicators, and retailers that the use and sale of carbofuran (commonly known as Furadan) is ILLEGAL under state and federal law. Violations of Maryland’s Pesticide Applicator Law are subject to a fine of up to $25,000 and/or prison. Violators may also be subject to further penalties from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    On December 31, 2009, the EPA revoked all food tolerances for the pesticide carbofuran, equating to a ban of the product. While it is not illegal to possess an unregistered or banned pesticide, it must be stored in compliance with state regulations and may not be used, sold or traded. We urge any individual in possession of carbofuran to responsibly dispose of the pesticide immediately.

    For directions on proper disposal of pesticides, contact the Department’s Pesticide Regulation Section at 410-841-5710 or pest.reg@maryland.gov.

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are investigating recent carbofuran poisoning events in Kent and Talbot counties that have killed at least seven bald eagles and one horned owl. These are the latest in a string of similar incidents dating back to February 2016, when 13 bald eagles were poisoned under similar circumstances in Caroline County.

    The department urges anyone with relevant and specific information to come forward. USFWS has offered a reward of up to $10,000 to eligible individuals for information that furthers this investigation.

    Citizens who know about illegal fishing and hunting activities as well as the illegal killing of wildlife can make an anonymous report, 24/7, to Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers by calling or texting, 443-433-4112, email mwc.dnr@maryland.gov, or report violations using DNR’s free mobile app.

    Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please visit Help.

    This service is provided to you at no charge by Maryland Department of Agriculture.

  • 01 Oct 2018 5:31 AM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

        NEWS RELEASE www.mda.maryland.gov

    Office of the Secretary  50 Harry S. Truman Parkway   Annapolis, Maryland 21401                                                                                             

    Changes to Lawn Fertilizer Law to take Effect October

    Annapolis, MD—(September 14, 2018) The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that new regulations regarding the use of fertilizer products will take effect October 1, 2018 as a result of changes made to Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law during the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The changes make the regulations regarding organic fertilizer products consistent with those for synthetic products. Additionally, they give professional fertilizer applicators more choices in the products they can use.  Specifically, the new law:  

    ·         Allows lawn care professionals to apply up to 0.5 pound of soluble or insoluble nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. from November 15 through December 1. Currently only soluble nitrogen is allowed during this time period.

    ·         Removes the requirement that organic fertilizer products be “low phosphate.” The change allows these products to be applied according to University of Maryland recommendations and soil test results.

    The Fertilizer Use Act of 2011—also known as Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law—authorizes the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program to regulate the use of fertilizer on turf not used for agricultural purposes. It requires both homeowners and lawn care professionals to follow University of Maryland fertilizer recommendations and use best management practices when fertilizing lawns. In addition, the law requires lawn care professionals to be licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to apply fertilizer to the properties they manage. The department maintains a list of certified lawn care professionals along with additional information on Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law on its website at www.mda.maryland.gov/fertilizer.


  • 03 Mar 2018 3:26 PM | Ben Ellis (Administrator)

    Dear Turfgrass Field Professionals,

    We need you!  To educate legislators on durable grass fields and funding for grass fields​ - to tell them that GRASS CAN TAKE IT!

    Please​ consider writing testimony and perhaps testifying in person March 7. Either way-  If you want Senator Manno’s office to make and deliver the required 30 copies for you please see instructions below and email the testimony to roger.manno@senate.state.md.us  no later than NOON on March 5th. Please also cc michelskm2016@gmail.com  shpfc.contact@gmail.com and  sheldon.fishman@gmail.com

    (and just a warning- as soon as you talk about $50,000 per year or more for  maintenance they jump on it as "grass can’t take it"  because the high cost of grass maintenance vs quoted $10,000 for synturf which needs more maintenance to be safe but often doesn’t get that maintenance or testing 


    WE NEED TO ADD GRASS and GRASS BUSINESS INFO to our message. Please recommend additional references and language)

    Who will be resubmitting/ submitting written​ testimony by March 5 (see instructions below)​?

    WE NEED to add more ​athletes, coaches, GRASS INDUSTRY/ BUSINESS EXPERTS and PARENTS who will be able to testify March 7 for the Senate Bill  1 pm

    PLEASE WRITE and PLEASE INVITE OTHERS TO WRITE -In just ten minutes, you can make a HUGE difference to protect both children and the environment from hazardous materials on sports fields and playgrounds.
    Please provide Testimony on:  SB0763:  "Use of Public Funds - Playground and Athletic Field Surfaces - Preferences and Prohibitions" 
    On March 7th, at 1 PM.  SB 0763 will be presented in the Maryland State Senate.

    “Establishing a preference for the use of state-of-the-art natural surface materials in any projects to construct playgrounds or athletic fields using public funds; prohibiting the use of State funds to finance any portion of a project to build a new, or replace an existing, playground or athletic field with a synthetic surface; and providing for the prospective application of the Act.”
    Some background:
    If you want to do some more research or want more information please see:
     Www.safehealthyplayingfields.org ; Www.ehhi.org;  Www.synturf.org

    By the end of 2018 at least 100 million pounds of plastic and tire waste will have entered air water and landfills from disposal of synthetic turf fields. An equivalent amount of petroleum-based plastic will be used to create new fields. Children face unique risks from toxins, heat, hardness and abrasions playing on plastic fields (with any kind of infill) or playgrounds made from tires. Infection due to abrasions is one major risk). For a good overview about the health hazards see:  http://www.center4research.org/nchr-letter-dc-city-council-artificial-turf/. Here are some basic background documents:
     Instructions on how to submit your testimonial:

    1. ​​Modify the letter below (attached word document) as you wish but please keep all the header and information and include  your full address and contact information.  Try to include personal experience or concerns.
    1. Paste your letter into an email. and add the letter as an attachment to the email.
    2. Address the email (with attached/included letter) to Senator Manno roger.manno@senate.state.md.us  and CC: your state senator  (or at least give your full snail mail address so your district can be ascertained. You can look up your state senator using this link and typing in your address: http://mdelect.net)
    3. PLEASE CC: michelskm2016@gmail.com, shpfc.contact@gmail.com  and sheldon.fishman@gmail.com , the volunteers who will coordinate in Annapolis on March 7th. 
    4. Send!

    Testimony Letter Format Click Here

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

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