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
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."
the same course,
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.
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.' "
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."
par 3 number 5 on the North Course, Black
Stone Golf & Resort, Jeju, South Korea.
Click on the photo to see a larger version.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
close-up shows the sickly leaves of this field's corn plants.
Our shared goals are to:
- provide good quality, cost-effective
fertility recommendations based on soil tests from the region;
- be able to use available resources
for soil nutrients in the area to help these farmers; and,
- enable these farmers to utilize
the same fields for a longer period of time. That way, the energy they
expend to continually develop new plots and fields can be used to maintain
what they already have and increase productivity.
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
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.