International Consulting





As our business has grown over the past few years, we have added a number of international clients. We highlight here our work in three regions of the world; Germany, Korea and Africa.


In 2004, we began working with Gunther Zeiner of GMC Golf Serivces near Frankfurt. In April of that year, GMC began sending samples from six of the golf courses the company serves in Germany. Some of these courses are officially placed among Germany's top few courses.GMC — and the German courses the company serves— have been very pleased with the results they have seen using our recommendations. This system works very well. Here are two of Gunther's progress reports:

"Maxlrain belongs to one of the official top 25 courses in Germany,and since we have been working under your advice, the course has turned around completely. Looks just great."

and, concerning the same course,

"It may be of interest to you that I got that fairway now covered by grass, the one they had not seen any grass on for a couple of years. It took me about 6 weeks. I had a mix of your fertilizing suggestion made and put on, and the weather was with us long enough to help us get complete coverage.

"Here is a quote from the club president: 'I was very skeptical and did not believe it would be possible to do what you have done. We take our hats off to you and the people in the States you are working with.' "



Craig presents a seminar in Jeju, Korea to superintendents from all over the Republic of Korea, March 20, 2007.

In June of 2005, we were contacted by the representative of a golf course architectural firm which had just completed construction of a golf course in Jeju, South Korea. Tasked with, in his words, "ensuring the owner's objective of maintaining one of the best courses in Korea," the representative was looking for "a consultant with a strong background in turf management (preferably with Bentgrass experience), and soil nutrition and fertility."

Beautiful par 3 number 5 on the North Course, Black Stone Golf & Resort, Jeju, South Korea. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

After obtaining and analyzing soil samples, we traveled to Korea and consulted on a bentgrass turf management program with the representative, the course superintendent, and the owner. This beautifully constructed course is now responding well to that program, and we have been asked to advise on new golf course construction projects in Korea.

Mt. Halla forms the backdrop for this view of par 4 hole no. 6 on the North Course, Black Stone Golf & Resort, Jeju, South Korea. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

Using Soil Testing to Improve African Agriculture

Year after year, I appreciate that I am privileged to work with some of the finest golf courses in the world, helping to restore and keep them to the highest level of health. As I walk down lush fairways or putt on velvet greens, however, I am reminded that most people in the world would be happy to have soils that produce enough for them to eat. Earlier in 2004, I got the chance to use my training and experience to help some folks in Africa do just that.

I first met LCMS (Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod) World Mission missionary Delano Meyer several years ago at a conference. He learned of my experience helping farmers in northern Minnesota grow wild rice.

This is a field at the Jembe Training Center adjacent to the LCMS Coordinating Center for Theological Studies at Jembe in Sierra Leone. Left to right are Delano Meyer, Sahr Paul Jones (holding a complete ear of corn!), and the Reverend David Londerberg.

Recently, he asked me to help the farmers of Sierra Leone and West African countries.There, farmers carve out spots in the jungle for fields of maize and rice. The major problem these farmers face is obtaining only very low yields from fields that will not support extended agricultural use. Most of the time, these fields produce for only two years. So farmers must shift planting from field to field in short time spans because yields deteriorate so quickly.

Delano Meyer illustrates the poor quality and color of the crop.

In West Africa, fertilizer use is scanty and transportation difficult— farmers bike to the nearest town, in many cases at least five miles away, and back to their fields with a single bag of fertilizer on their backs.

West Africa (yellow squares indicate areas where soil testing was done)

After learning of my early experience helping farmers grow wild rice in northern Minnesota, Delano Meyer contacted me. As an independent consultant, I can look beyond the normal mainstream sources of fertilizers to help clients find less expensive and often more effective fertilizer sources. In this case, however, innovation is a necessity, since mainstream fertilizer sources apparently don't exist in Sierra Leone. Using local sources such as seashells for lime, for example, is one inexpensive way to provide the soil nutrients necessary to start growing better quality food. But even seashells are not available in this part of Sierra Leone.

This close-up shows the sickly leaves of this field's corn plants.

Our shared goals are to:

Obviously, saving money is a huge concern here, because these farmers really don't have any. Thus, my most exciting challenge is to find or develop sources for the necessary soil nutrients to help these farmers succeed. Going outside mainstream avenues may well be where we have to go to get what we need in order to help these farmers survive.

So far, we have tested some soil samples, and determined that the soils need lime as a source for calcium. We are still trying to find inexpensive local sources for this nutrient.

Craig Paskvan

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