When Queensland entered its most recent snap- lockdown to prevent further spread of COVID-19, many event organisers resigned themselves to cancelling upcoming events or holding them virtually. But not Turf Queensland president Hugo Struss. On September 1, Turf Queensland was able to hold Paddock to Pitch, a field day held in conjunction with Sports Turf Association (STA) Queensland and Golf Course Superintendents of Queensland.
18 months into the pandemic and the realities of ‘Zoom fatigue’,and an inability to attend in-person events is beginning to take its toll on workers across all industries including the turf sector.That’s why, despite lockdown uncertainty in Queensland in September,Hugo Struss from Turf Queensland was determined to put on the much-anticipated Paddock to Pitch field day.
“Events are incredibly important for our industry,” said Mr Struss. “Besides our love of turf, growers, sports turf managers and golf course superintendents have another thing in common – our interest in the pursuit of innovation.“Field days are special, it’s a time for us to see the latest products and innovations and it’s great for mental health to be able to bring everyone together and remind us that we do have so much support at our fingertips.”Committing to putting on the event in the midst of COVID-19 was a bold move by Turf Queensland and its partners, STA Queensland and Golf Course Superintendents Queensland, but it’s one that paid dividends when the state managed to avoid a wave of the Delta strain in September.With so few events in recent times, and an action-packed program, the event was oversubscribed with over 200 delegates heading to All Turf Solutions, just outside Brisbane.Growers and sports turf managers came from all over the state and whilst a large proportion of the attendees were from South East Queensland,there were also attendees from places as far afield as Gladstone and Mackay.
With such a strong representation from regional Queensland, plans are already in the works to hold a field day outside of Brisbane, enabling participation from delegates from all over the state.
Mr Struss said growers outside of the major metropolitan centers are equally as important to the industry.
“Although a large proportion of our growers are located in the south east, some of our most active growers are much further north and it’s important we are able to connect with them and introduce them to the
latest innovations the industry has to offer,” he said.
According to Mr Struss, the day would not have been so successful without the trust, hard work and support of all the sponsors and exhibitors who helped pull together an incredible event.
A huge thank you to TurfBreed, our naming partner who backed us to put on the show, as well as to All Turf Solutions who hosted us on the day.
In fact, all the exhibitors and sponsors contributed something unique to the event which made it so special. Support from companies like ICL and Living Turf were instrumental in providing expert guest speakers on the day. Equally, I would like to extend a special shoutout to the guys from Vanderfield Australia who were able to get their latest tractors and equipment over at a moment’s notice, which turned out to be one of the
highlights of the day.
Turf Queensland is looking forward to continuing its close collaboration with STA Queensland, and Golf Course Superintendents Queensland on regular events. Queensland growers are encouraged to keep an eye out for more information.
Turf Australia thanks the following growers for their support of this amazing initiative led by Paul Saad and
• Over 200 delegates attended from as far north as Mackay and over 30 exhibitors were on show
• The day was a major success with plans for annual events in the future
• Plans are in the works for a regional field day in May 2022, making it easier for regional growers to attend