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Bayer CropScience Welcomes Applications for the Second Annual Plant Health Academy

Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, today announced that GCSAA Class A and superintendent members can apply through Dec. 18 for the second annual Plant Health Academy, one of four educational opportunities available to superintendents as part of the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program.

Twelve GCSAA member superintendents will be selected based on merit to participate in the 2014 Plant Health Academy, and will attend two immersive plant health research and education sessions hosted by Bayer and GCSAA. The first Academy session involves classroom training at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan. (March 3-5, 2014), and the second provides in-the-field training at the Bayer Training and Development Center in Clayton, N.C. (Sept. 24-26, 2014). Attendee travel, accommodations and meals will be paid for by the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program Bayer developed in collaboration with the GCSAA’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).

“The Plant Health Academy allows Bayer to engage with superintendents from across the United States to prioritize plant health and focus on innovations for the future,” said Jose Milan, head of Bayer’s turf and ornamentals business. “Attendees have a tremendous opportunity to expand their knowledge of key plant health issues and trends, collaborate with industry experts, and help refine the concept of plant health in a way that addresses the current and future needs of superintendents.”

Leading plant health researchers will present data, case studies and instruction on a wide range of topics related to plant health, including how to measure plant health and its benefits, available treatments and preventive products, and issues such as nutrient, water and pest management.

“I found the opportunity to define plant health extremely difficult, yet very rewarding,” said Ralph J. Kepple, member of the inaugural 2013 Plant Health Academy class, and certified golf course superintendent at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. “It is an honor to be involved with a room full of great minds, trying to decipher exactly what plant health means in a way that everyone in the industry can hopefully grasp onto.”

Golf course superintendents can apply through Dec. 18 by visiting the Plant Health Academy web page at http://www.backedbybayer.com/plant-health-academy. To be considered, superintendents must complete the application and respond to two short-answer essay questions, which will be evaluated by a selection committee of GCSAA and Bayer representatives. The program is open to GCSAA (class A or SM) members who are also enrolled in the My Bayer Rewards program and are currently employed as a golf course superintendent within the United States.

“The Academy is one of the most robust opportunities in our field for continuing education – and for me, it has definitely been the most interesting,” said Andy Klein, member of the inaugural 2013 Plant Health Academy class, and Class A superintendent at Falcon Lakes Golf Course in Basehor, Kan. “I look forward to continuing the conversation on plant health, and appreciate the genuine desire from both Bayer and GCSAA to listen to superintendents and provide resources that help us do our job better.”

To fund Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow, Bayer invests a percentage of StressGard(TM) Formulation Technology (FT) product sales each year for three years – a minimum commitment of 300,000 over three years. Funds generated through the program will also be dedicated to the EIFG to support research, education, advocacy and scholarship initiatives executed by GCSAA.

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