The EarthWorks Podcast - Archive

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jerad Minnick

Our good friend Jerad Minnick is back to discuss the onslaught of a season they have had at the Maryland SoccerPlex. It’s July, and the weekend-long tournaments that started at the end of March haven’t stopped yet. Listen to some of the solutions that Jerad has devised to prepare the fields for such a busy schedule. This talk dives deep into agronomic solutions, but you’ll also love hearing about the Sports Turf Institute Apprenticeship program he has implemented at the SoccerPlex.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Kevin White

This week’s podcast features Kevin White, CSFM the University of Portland field manager. He brings a unique perspective to the sports turf world in that he manages both natural grass surfaces as well as an artificial turf baseball field. We discuss the management of both surfaces, including his annual fraise mowing practice on the world class soccer pitch as a means of weed control and what it takes to maintain safety standards on AstroTurf. His history ranges from golf course construction to a stint in the culinary industry and finally managing top quality sports turf. We even brought back the “lightning round” with some tough questions for our guest.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Travis Hogan

Travis Hogan has been in the turf business since the mid 1990’s both in golf and sports field management. We talk about the differences between golf course management and managing a sports complex at the highest level. Managing a complex for a Super Bowl Championship team is not without its challenges especially in an environment like Kansas City. Travis talks about how he juggles big concerts, Monster Jam events, and football practice and games all on the same fields. He was one of the first to use Northbridge Bermuda grass on his fields and talks about his agronomic philosophy that makes his fields some of the best in the NFL.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Louis Pitcock

This is an excellent talk for anyone starting a new job! Our guest Louis Pitcock of the Avalon Golf Club in Cape May County, NJ talks about how he balances his expectations with that of his coworkers and bosses. Beyond that Louis and Jack have a great time reminiscing about their working relationship over the past dozen plus years.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Lawrence Mayhew

A casual live chat with chemist Lawrence Mayhew giving an item-by-item breakdown of the macro and minor elements and their importance to plant growth. Lawrence Mayhew has been a fertility and humic acids specialist his entire career and we talk about what each element does for the plant and for the soil biological population. This may be a non-conventional take on a subject important to all turf and ornamental growers. When both the good and bad are discussed it is usually soil biology that benefits and that is what Lawrence has done on this podcast.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Tyler Bloom

Tyler Bloom, Owner and President of Tyler Bloom Consulting returns to give us an update of the state of the work force for 2022. Tyler founded his consulting business at the beginning of the COVID pandemic to address concerns with work force issues in the turf industry. In today’s industry the single biggest conversation continues to be “how do we find qualified employees?”. Most golf courses and sports complexes report that they are about 40% down in staff and it is not getting any better. In addition, play is up substantially and golfers’ expectations are not changing much. Tyler’s company specializes in helping turf organizations find, hire and manage new employees to work in the industry. He shares his insights on how to manage new employee expectations and some ideas on what to expect as we move forward.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Bryant Mason

This week we talk soils with Bryant Mason the President of Soil Doctor Consulting. Bryant is one of the up-and-coming soil scientists in the agriculture industry. He works with vegetable and fruit growers and with cannabis growers helping to build soilless mixes. He is well known for his Instagram clips on various soil subjects ranging from water pH to mycorrhiza. We talk about how to build compost, about the value of the water-soluble paste extract, the importance of soil biology, and his observations from the field.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Sean Reehoorn

In this week’s EarthWorks podcast, we talk to Sean Reehoorn, golf course superintendent at Aldarra GC in Sammamish, Washington. The discussion ranges from agronomic challenges in his area, to his philosophy on building a team, to separating his work life from his family life. Sean is one of the younger superintendents that has struck a balance between delivering high quality results without sacrificing time with his young family. We also brought back the lightning round at the end. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Josh Saunders 3

Golf is thriving at Lancaster Country Club and we’re on location talking with Josh Saunders! Learn how the shot-by-shot improvements to the golf course are primarily enhancing member play all while preparing a new championship layout for the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open. Check out Josh’s videos and drone content @LCCgrounds1900

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons & Jack Higgins with Lawrence Mayhew - The Carbon Discussion

The industry has fallen in love with carbon! We’ve been talking about it since 1988, long before it was cool, and finally the industry is embracing the carbon conversation. But what is carbon and why do we want it in our program? What kinds of carbon should we be looking for? Lawrence Mayhew helps us understand the use, and real value, of carbon in our fertility programs. This is the quintessential carbon discussion and one that will help any grass grower navigate the new “carbon” marketplace.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Kyle Hillegass

I can’t overstate the amount of work that has been done in such a short time at Knickerbocker Country Club. Kyle Hillegass credits his hardworking staff, club committees and membership, golf course architect Jaeger Kovich, and shapers and contractors with all the advancements that took place at the club in the last year and a half. He also talks about some specifics of his soil first green keeping approach. If you’ve every battled thatch this is a podcast you won’t want to miss!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Sheree Scarbrough & Dr Wendy Zellner

Join us for a conversation with the "Silicon Sisters", where we uncover the real value of the element silicon in turf management. Sheree Scarbrough and Dr. Wendy Zellner discuss what silicon is all about, how misunderstood it is in the industry, and its many benefits to turf and ornamental plant material. One of silicon’s great benefits is its ability to manage and hold water in the plant. This may prove to be one of the most significant benefits of mobilizing silicon from the soil into our plant material. Enjoy this fun and very informative conversation.

EW Podcast - 100th Podcast with Armen Suny & Dave Wilber

The EarthWorks Podcast hits the 100th episode milestone! To celebrate we bring back two of our most popular guests, Armen Suny and Dave Wilber. As anyone can guess with these guys the conversation goes in a lot of directions from thoughts on the labor shortages, to the personal challenges of being a golf course superintendent, of course a little agronomy, and finally some great stories from both Armen and Dave. We want to take the time to thank all of our previous guests for joining us and everyone who has subscribed and listened to the podcast of the years. Thank you all for making the EarthWorks Podcast so incredibly successful.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with C J Buck

Spring sports are great, but the risk every year is very cold weather. CJ Buck, Head Sportsturf Manager for the Philadelphia Union discusses a memorable early spring match from the 2022 season. The field was frosty but ready, and as it turns out, the preparation and strong agronomic program that CJ and the team had in place helped recover the frost damage they endured.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Hector Velazquez

On this week’s podcast, we invited Hector Velazquez to discuss his time in the golf industry as an ambassador for the equipment technicians. Kevin and Hector discuss his establishment of a homeschool program devoted to providing hands-on learning for kids and parents, technology trends in the turf industry, GPS and 3D printing, and how and where to recruit good technicians. We also talked about what the Superintendent and Asst. Superintendent’s role is in the relationship with the equipment technician. Hector’s view of the industry is from a different angle, but no less passionate. We hope you enjoy the conversation and pick up a few new ideas.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Logan Freeman

Join us for a fun and informative conversation with Logan Freeman, Golf Course Superintendent at Mountain Branch Golf Club north of Baltimore Maryland. He is in the heart of the Mid Atlantic - one of the toughest places to grow turfgrass. Logan is working with a very limited budget for a course that runs over 30,000 rounds of golf in an area known for tough summer conditions. After years of struggling, he discovered what Biological Soil Management and carbon-based fertility can do for him. He talks about how his program has allowed him to reduce inputs and spend more time with his family.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Marcus Harness

On this week’s EarthWorks podcast, we talk with Marcus Harness, Golf Course Superintendent at Sand Point CC in Seattle, WA. We ask Marcus about how he mapped out his career path, for tips on interviewing for a job you really want to land, about his experience arriving at a new job and starting a major course renovation a month later, and for his thoughts on building a winning team. Thanks for joining us and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already.

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 - Chad Kuzawa with Ross Miller

Ross Miller, CGCS is the golf course superintendent at Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. He joins Chad Kuzawa to discuss his career, the importance of a positive work culture, and the value in having and being a mentor. Ross embodies professionalism and you won’t want to miss his insight into making things work during a time of labor difficulties, and the generational differences between club leaders and new hourly staff.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with John Reilly

If you don’t know him, please meet Mr. John Reilly of Longboat Key Club in Sarasota Florida. John shares how he successfully battled the sodium war at his club on light sandy soils. John is a student of matrices and looks at many different data points to help him make agronomic decisions on a daily basis. He talks about a complete transition to paspalum grasses on his course. A great conversation!