More than a hundred people attended the 1st ETS Field Days in Valencia, Spain, on 21-22 of April. This is a great result for ETS, the European Turfgrass Society, which was recently founded (in 2007) and is now organising its first, successful events.
One of the activities of ETS is, in fact, the organisation of at least one event per year. After the international conference in Pisa, Italy, in 2008, ETS organised, with the essential help of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, these first ETS field days in Spain.
Compared to the 2008 conference, the Field Days hosted a smaller number of turf professionals and passionates, and keep a more technical profile, without losing a scientific approach.
ETS members could listen to 4 high level speeches on the themes of water saving and water management of turf in hot, dry, mediterranean climates. The speeches constitued 4 reviews, presented by 2 researchers (S. Baker - STRI -Sports Turf Research Institute and Bernd Leinauer - New Mexico State University) and 2 highly skilled breeders (Mr. Christophe Galbrun and Mr. Koos de Bruijn). The choice of having 2 researchers with two breeders was made in order to emphasise the role of on-the-field knowledge in the development of the turfgrass sector.
Moreover, the field days represented an important occasion for visiting, discussing, exchanging ideas together all day long. Guided by prof. Diego Gomez de Barreda, the participants could assess, in fact, different important turf uses in Valencia: turf for recreational purposes in the main public park (the Jardin del Turia), experimental trials at the Polytechnic University, turf in the sport surfaces in the Valencia Football Team training centre and in one of the Valencian golf courses, and also demonstrative trials on turf varieties and blends of a local seed company.
The ETS General Assembly also took place in Valencia: the ETS members could participate in the discussion concerning the future activities and plans of ETS, together with the president M. Volterrani, the secretary A. Altissimo and the other board members: S. Alderton, S. Baker, S. Hejduk, K. Muller-Beck, A. Richter, C. Svensson, G. Van't Klooster.
The next meeting is being organised by a committee led mainly by the Societé Française du Gazon: it will be an International Conference on Turfgrass in Angers-France, from 11 to13 April 2010.
For more information on ETS, to contact us, or to participate in our activities, visit www.turfgrasssociety.eu