The EarthWorks Podcast - Archive

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Sean Kauffman

Listen to the a recap of the 2021NFL season from the perspective of Sean Kauffman, Director of Stadium Field Management, The Baltimore Ravens. This talk gets into all of it: the use of technology, transitioning from warm season to cool season, and even pre-germinated seed. When you host a full year of high pressure events you have to get creative. Sean didn’t hold back and we have a great conversation.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Ron Read

I had the honor to interview Mr. Ron Read, former official of the USGA. His final 24 years were spent announcing players on the first tee of many USGA championships, including the US Open. Ron and I first met when I was the superintendent at Desert Forest GC in AZ almost 30 years ago. We discuss golf history, championship golf, conditioning and environmental issues facing golf. Ron has always been a fan of the contributions golf course superintendents give to the game. We start with a short intro about the history of Ron’s time as a starter for USGA Championships. Then we discuss his book, Starting the US Open, that is bound to bring back memories for many of you who have been around the game for as long as I have. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Bob Ranum

Bob Ranum, Superintendent (retired) of Atlantic Golf Club talks about the best place in the world for golf, the east end of Long Island New York. Bob shared many of the tricks he used to be a successful superintendent and last in the business for over 40 years. Now in retirement he stays busy working for Golf Magazine rating the top 100 courses. Lots of laughs, as always, with Bob.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Randy Booker, Part 2

Randy Booker joins us again for a recap on a recent intensive program on Regenerative Agriculture. Listen to how he plans to apply what he’s learned at Otter Creek GC. Our first podcast with Randy has remained one of our most popular because he’s been willing to look at how we grow turf in a completely different light. We cover the definition of good compost, how to reduce inputs through fostering healthy biology in the soils, and many other topics.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Carl Samuelson

Carl Samuelson is one of the most innovative parks directors in the country. Managing the city parks of Newtown, Connecticut is not without its challenges. Carl talks about those challenges and how he started by focusing on one of the most visible sites in town. He proved that with a little effort all fields could be in championship conditions.He also shares a story of how he took a pile of road sweepings and built a couple of sports fields out of that waste. Great conversation for any turf or landscape manager.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Joe Belmonte

This podcast dives headfirst into the Energy and Infrastructure Sector. Solar farms are a growing source of electricity on the USA power grid, and we, the Turf and Ornamental Industry, are playing a big part! Our guest Joe Belmonte reveals how the T&O Industry is rewriting the standard protocol for vegetation establishment on very large scale construction projects.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Tony Leonard

Tony Leonard, the Director of Grounds for the Philadelphia Eagles has one of the best stories in the NFL. His twenty plus years as a grounds manager started by managing dirt fields on the stadium parking lot, maybe the worst practice facility in of the NFL. In the 2000 he moved to what is one the very best practice facilities in all of football. Today he manages grass fields in both his practice facility and at the Linc, the stadium field. A great conversation with a friend of many years about football, sports turf management and a few funny stories.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Ben Wilmarth

Mistakes made, lessons learned, and a chance at a golf course start up…for the second time. Join us this week as we talk with Ben Wilmarth, Superintendent at the Osprey Meadows GC At Tamarack Resort. He had the opportunity to re-start the venerable Robert Trent Jones II course built in the early 2000’s and then shuttered in 2016 due to bankruptcy. We also discuss many of the common mistakes turf managers make and the importance of talking about them to help others avoid similar pitfalls.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Pete Bachman

Welcome Pete Bachman! On this edition of the EarthWorks podcast Pete chats with Jack about the importance of perseverance, networking, and everyday hard work. Join them as they reminisce about their time together in college and what it was like to be part of Penn State’s Spanish for Agriculture minor during its inaugural year.

EW Podcast - Sit In with The EarthWorks Agronomy Team

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Monday mornings at EarthWorks have been a geek session for our agronomy team. After discussing business issues, we spend another hour learning. Lawrence Mayhew, our chemist and internationally recognized humic substance expert, joins us and we talk “dirt”. After 30 plus years in the business if learning wasn’t still our first priority and passion, we would have failed our clients and ourselves. Take this opportunity to be a fly on the wall and hear how we navigate some tough science.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Dave Wilber - Construction & Renovation

This week Dave Wilbur joins us to talk about construction and renovation. What are the pitfalls to avoid? What are non-negotiable steps during the planning and execution stages that will yield the best results? Tune in for this and much more. There’s a nugget or two in this podcast, whether you’re planning a project or not. Thanks for tuning in and subscribing on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Armen Suny Part 2

The second go around with Armen is as good as the first. Armen shares his thoughts on sand greens mixes. We talk about what is good and what could be better with a sand construction mix. Once again the conversation with Armen is lively, funny and worth listening to.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons, Jack Higgins and Lisa Kiefer with Mark Nuzum

Fertilizer prices have been on the rise for a year and are showing no signs of slowing down. We interview Mark Nuzum, a long-time business partner and expert in the fertilizer market, to discuss where the prices are today and where they might be for the next couple of years. Carbon based fertilizers are not rising at the same rate and this may be a great opportunity to discover the long term cost value of “organic” fertilizers. We also talk with Lisa Kiefer, Vice President and Operations Manager at EarthWorks, to better understand today’s freight market and where it may be heading.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Patrick Coakley

Join us for a visit with Patrick “Irish” Coakley live from the Myrtle Beach STMA Conference and Trade Show. Patrick tells the funny story of where the name “Irish” came from and we go through his career managing sports turf. Irish has been involved in Minor League Baseball for his entire career, and we have a healthy discussion about the state of where Minor League Baseball is today.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Keith Wood

Keith Wood, Director of Greens & Grounds at Quail Hollow Club is no stranger to hosting tournaments. This year their tradition tournament, the Wells Fargo, will move north and instead Quail Hollow will be getting ready for a new venue for the fall 2022 Presidents Cup. Keith also talks to us about his career, lessons learned, and the construction work done at Quail Hollow to prepare for the 2017 PGA Championship which is coming back in 2025!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jason Pierce

Greenkeeping runs deep for Jason Pierce, and it better because he’s got a lot to manage! Forty-five golf holes at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, VA plus a role as Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist for Kemper Sports. Jason puts a lot of effort into staying organized and efficient probably because he learned how to green keep during a time when you were forced to make more with less. This is a characteristic that he has carried throughout his career. You will also enjoy hearing Jason tell some great old “Joel Stories” from his early days of building greens at Whitetail Resort in PA and Heron Glen in NJ.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Chuck Barber

Chuck Barber, Superintendent at St. Charles (no relation) CC in St. Charles, Illinois is our guest on the EarthWorks podcast this week. Of course we "talk turf", and also included some personal interest topics: Chuck’s recent health campaign, taking risks, raising kids and the work/life balance. Chuck discusses positivity and how leaders in the industry, like Dave Wilber, have influenced all of us. It was thoroughly enjoyable to be a part of this winding path through so many interesting topics. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to get weekly updates.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jeremy Hreben

This is a great talk about working for a municipal golf course. These golf courses have some unique challenges in providing excellent golfing conditions at an accessible price. It’s also a nice chat between friends that have supported each other’s career - and that’s what it’s really all about! Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Allen Reed

Allen Reed has an awesome perspective of the full evolution of the sprawling FC Dallas complex. He started as Field Manager 16 years ago, just weeks after construction of the stadium field began. Allen keenly recalls great details from his time at FC Dallas and shares entertaining stories of his introduction into the world of turf. Enjoy this interesting talk from a renowned Major League Soccer Field Grounds Director.

EW Podcast Highlights

This week we highlight the three most popular EarthWorks Podcasts to date featuring: Recruiting Consultant Armen Suny, Superintendent at Winged Foot Golf Club Steve Rabideau, and our friend and independent consultant Dave Wilber.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Zach Bauer

Zach Bauer of Valley Country Club in Colorado is one of the up and coming superintendents in the west. Zach and Kevin discuss a wide range of topics including: construction projects he’s overseeing, staffing and retention ideas that have worked in a very tight job market, and of course hobbies he enjoys to get his mind off of work. Zach’s passion for the industry is very apparent and he offers many ideas that could be applicable to everyone. Please enjoy the conversation and hit the subscribe button to automatically get updates on future interviews.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Pat Jones

Pat Jones is one of the most recognized names in the golf course industry and has been a passionate advocate for superintendents for over 30 years. He spent most of his career as a writer, editor and public speaker working for many major turf publications. He started his career in public relations and fund raising with the GCSAA. He may be best known for his research and tracking of the state of the golf course maintenance markets across the country and we sat down with him to discuss some of the trends that he sees happening today.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Kevin Hauschel

interest to his position as West Coast Sales for Greensight a company that provides drone technology to turf managers. This technology is providing a tremendous return on investment by allowing the turf manager to see from above areas of the property that may not be obvious from the ground. Join us for this fascinating conversation.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons & Jack Higgins with Lawrence Mayhew - Eco Adaptive Chemistry

The EarthWorks team introduces the term Eco Adaptive Chemistry. This term is gaining strength in the worldwide agronomic community. The concept observes natural soil systems and helps define the symbiosis between minerals, microbes and plant roots. Eco Adaptive Chemistry helps explain how a soil really works.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Steven Ball

Steven Ball is a young superintendent with mountains of experience. Ballyhack Golf Club is a stunning links course in southwest Virginia and a jewel of the nationally renowned Dormie Network. This conversation uncovers tools Steven uses to reduce compaction and manage the very heavy clay soil on the property. Steven doesn’t hold back and this is a very insightful conversation. Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jerad Minnick

What are you looking to learn from a 25 year veteran turf manager at one of the busiest facilities in the country? If it is how can you optimize your aerification for the ideal playability of the field and satisfaction of the client athletes it’s covered here!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Matt Muhlenbruch

Matt Muhlenbruch has has one of the best resume’s in the golf business. He escaped the stresses of the Mid Atlantic summers to move to the west coast where he worked at the Olympic Club during the 2012 US Open, moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach and recently did a major rebuild at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles. A great conversation between two guys from Jersey!

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Joel Simmons

We turn the tables on our regular host this week and interview Joel Simmons. Joel founded EarthWorks in 1988 with business partner and mentor, Jerry Brunetti. Joel and Kevin discuss the early days of the company including the challenges of building an organic based company well before it was vogue. A highlight of the podcast is a nod to the brilliance of the formulations that Jerry put together years ago. We also talked about the future of EarthWorks and Joel’s vision for the future. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to our podcast if you haven’t already done so.