Continuing education is an important tool for any profession. CEUs are an important part of many certification programs, including STMA’s Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) program.

For each of you responsible for maintaining the best sports fields possible, there are numerous ways to keep up on what’s new. There have been a number of books published specifically for sports fields and numerous others that apply to your craft. There are workshops, site visits, conferences, short courses and trade shows, which are local, national and international. Besides presenting what is new, they can provide insight on old remedies for problems you are likely to encounter.

I just had a conversation with Joann Gruttadaurio, executive director of Sports Turf Managers of New York (STMONY). She talked to me at the end of one of 13 events listed on this year’s calendar. There are nine other events listed that are offered in conjunction with other entities. Their next big event is the two-day conference and trade show, which will be held November 12 and 13 at the OnCenter in Syracuse, N.Y. George Toma will be one of the keynote speakers. There will be sessions for the beginning sports field person, for the most experienced person and everyone in between. The trade show runs from 12 to 7:30 p.m. the first day, and 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. the second day. Full details can be found at www.stmony.org.

As a side note, this chapter chartered in 2006 and has already grown to over 1,000 members. This shows what can be done with local programming.

I would also encourage you to attend STMA’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition, January 13-17, 2009 in San Jose, Calif.

One of the biggest advantages of attending these events is the opportunity to meet and mingle with your peers. The more people you get to know in the industry, the more opportunities you’ll have to learn from them. I’d be interested in hearing what you have learned from continuing education, as well as what opportunities for education are going on in your area.

The author is a contributing editor for SportsField Management.