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We Will Miss You

July 15, 2009

Derek Harmon, 27, passed away July 10, 2009 at his home in Ames. He worked on the maintenance staff at Veenker Memorial Golf Course. Derek was leading the Audubon Certification program and was involved in all phases of the reconstruction project this past season. Derek was a Senior at Iowa State University and a great friend to many. We will miss you Derek and always remember how you touched so many lives.

Thoughts on your life, and the enjoyment I received from the short relationship.

-Seeing you respond to the many challenges you faced in life…too many
-Remembering the smile on your face on Thursday, July 9th when to our surprise almost 85 percent of the small trees we planted this spring were surviving
-The satisfaction of having the golf course ready for another Iowa Masters Tournament
-The personal relationship you had with our land and natural resources
-The growing in of our native areas to reduce pesticide usage and to improve the water runoff into our environment
-Proper placement of the bluebird houses, the joy you had when almost 40 new bluebirds hatched at Veenker and now are part of the Veenker habitat
-Informational talks we had about the wildlife habitat both at Veenker and your favorite hunting spots, and how we could help protect this precious land and resource
-Developing the plans for new Veenker and its environment
-Your hunting and fishing adventures
-Boating on Veenker to help wash off greens after the flooding
-The garden you and your Dad planted this spring, and how great the potatoes tasted
-The mushroom hunts and the secret spots
-Listening to tales about the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, & Bears
-Seeing your joy when you purchased your golf season pass (Pass number 1) and promptly went out and shot 39…WOW
-Always drinking the Cyclone Kool-Aid seeing that next great victory
-Your displeasure with fellow staff members when they may have taken a shortcut or not completed a task to the best of their abilities
-The renovation project we all went through, and the joy of successes, and hard fall’s with some of our failures
-I would go on but tears keep me from wanting to remember all the great times

Thanks for all the memories.

John Newton
Golf Course Superintendent
Veenker Memorial Golf Course


Dr. Shui-zhang Fei

Associate Professor
Area of Expertise: 
physiology, genetics, growth and development

Department of Horticulture

Horticulture is the science and art of producing and utilizing food crops (fruits and vegetables), turfgrass, nursery crops (trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials), and greenhouse grown ornamental crops. Some people make horticulture their profession but practically everyone is positively affected on a daily basis by horticulture.


July 29, 2014

The annual turfgrass field day at the ISU horticulture research center went very well last. week.  We had perfect weather for it.  The weather is also perfect this week.  Here are a few pictures.  I have also posted the results from last years National Turfgrass Evaluation Trials (NTEP) that I mentioned I would post during my presentation.  Thanks to Larry Ginger for some of the pictures.



Here are the reports on last years NTEP data.  They originally appeared in the 2013 experiment station report, along with other reports from the turfgrass field area.  You can find the original report at: 

Other NTEP reports from ISU and around the country can be found at 

Here are the reports on Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue from 2013. 



June 6, 2014

Josh Lenz is a new graduate student who is working on a masters of horticulture at Iowa State University.  He is doing the non-thesis option and will complete a creative component.  He works full time with the athletic department.

Josh will be looking at chemical and physical changes in the soil of sand-based sports fields subjected to repeated painting.

His treatments include:

1. Untreated control
2. Aerosol paint
3.  Acrylic paint 1:1 with water
4. Acrylic paint 2:1 with water (two part water:1 part paint)
5. Acrylic paint 4:1 with water

He will be painting the plots weekly through the season.  His measurements will include cation exchange capacity, nutrient holding capacity, water infiltration rates, bulk density and a variety of other physical soil parameters.  The study will go on for two years.


Josh Lenz