To provide golf course superintendents an opportunity to gain new learnings and be successful at their course, Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, is calling for applications for the third-annual Plant Health Academy. GCSAA Class A and superintendent members who are also members of My Bayer Rewards can apply through Dec. 19 to participate in the program, which is one of four educational opportunities available as part of the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow initiative Bayer launched in partnership with the GCSAA’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).

Bayer and GCSAA will select 12 superintendents for the 2015 Academy, a two-part immersive program that allows attendees to participate in plant health research and education sessions. The first session at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas, takes place April 20-22, 2015, and the second session, hosted at the Bayer Training and Development Center in Clayton, North Carolina, runs from Sept. 16-18, 2015.  Attendee travel, accommodations and meals will be paid for.

“Bayer’s Plant Health Academy provides a unique opportunity for superintendents to stay-up-to-date on real-world plant health applications,” said David Wells, golf business manager for Bayer. “The academy offers attendees a chance to learn from industry experts about the latest trends in plant health and how they can positively impact their course.”

The program will cover data and case studies on a large array of plant health topics, including how to measure plant health and its benefits, available treatments and preventive products. Leading plant health researchers will translate plant health studies to agronomic issues such as nutrient, water and pest management.

“It was very beneficial to hear about new products in development and share our feedback about challenges we face as superintendents,” said Andrew Jorgensen, member of the 2014 Plant Health Academy class, and certified golf course superintendent at On Top of the World Communities in Ocala, Florida. “What I enjoyed most was learning from leading plant health professionals, as well as seeing the behind-the-scenes product development and research behind it.”

The application is made up of two short-answer essays on the Plant Health Academy web page at http://www.backedbybayer.com/plant-health-academy. A selection committee of representatives from Bayer and GCSAA will choose the finalists. GCSAA (Class A or SM) members also enrolled in the My Bayer Rewards program and who are currently employed as a golf course superintendent within the United States are eligible to apply for the program.

“The academy exposed me to individuals that I would not have otherwise been introduced to,” said Rob Williams, member of the 2014 Plant Health Academy class, and Class A superintendent at Stockton Golf & Country Club in Stockton, California. “The event was outstanding and demonstrated Bayer and GCSAA’s continued commitment to our industry. I’d highly recommend it to my peers.”