Current News

Fall 2017 TOCA Talk

This edition of TOCA Talk is proudly sponsored by Advanced Turf Solutions, an independent and employee-owned green industry distributor. Thank you, members of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association, for supporting this industry through your information, education, and outreach.

TOCA President issues Fall Freebie Challenge

TOCA members will gather at GIE+Expo and the Irrigation Show this Fall, president Lacy Ravencraft throws down Fall Freebie Challenge!  Recruit three new members to join and she'll personally pay for your 2018 TOCA membership.

The Queen City Set to Provide the Royal Treatment to TOCA Members in 2018

The Queen City promises to give TOCA members the royal treatment. First, mark May 1-3, 2018, on your calendar. TOCA members will be at the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

Sing it... "WKRP in Cin-cinn-AAAAaaa-ti!" TOCA is bringing as much style to Cincy as this crew did in the late 70s and early 80s.

TOCA Breakfast sponsored by Bayer at GIE+Expo

TOCA and Bayer are flipping the script on the Oct. 20 breakfast at GIE+Expo in Louisville.  This year the Bayer press conference will precede the official start of the TOCA breakfast.  Non-media members can rest easy and show up at 8 a.m. for the breakfast.

Media members won't want to miss the press conference at 7:30 a.m.  Bayer will present the science behind Altus insecticide.  Altus contains new foundational chemistry to control whiteflies and aphids in landscape ornamentals. Altus is compatible with many beneficials including honeybees and bumblebees. Bayer experts Dr. Jake Doskocil and Peter Farno will be on hand.

7:30 a.m. - Bayer Press Conference (Media only)
8 a.m. - TOCA Breakfast (All TOCA members)
Kentucky Expo Center - Room C112

See you in Louisville.

Content Marketing Panel to Present at the 2017 TOCA Fireside Chat

In a world this busy, no one has time for boring content. This year’s TOCA Fireside Chat, sponsored by Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply, will feature a talented panel of green industry communicators with advice on creating content marketing that wows! The event will take place Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center during the Irrigation Show and Education Conference.  Read more about the panelists and plans for this great event.


2017 TOCA Media Intern: "Ireland will forever shape my professional opportunities"

TOCA media intern, Marty Richardson, has spent his summer in Ireland and says "The time I’ve spent in Ireland this past summer as the 2017 TOCA media intern was one of the best opportunities of my life." Read more about why he believes his achievements are the direct result of the effort invested in him by the partnership between TurfNet, TOCA and Bayer.

Marty Richardson is on his way out to mow tees during his time as a volunteer at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club.


Professional Development & Gardner Award Q&A brought to you by...

(Left to Right) Jill Odom, Dawn Rigby, Sara Bojar, Jennifer Klemmetson, and Debbie Clayton. (Not pictured, Scott Covelli)

In each issue of TOCA Talk, the TOCA Professional Development committee provides content such as:

  • Recaps of sessions at the annual meeting
  • Q&As with Gardner Award winners
  • Member Profiles
  • Relevant information from other professional and industry meetings.

Please let us know if you have ideas for stories or want to contribute related information to further professional development of TOCA members.

Contact: Sara Bojar ( or Debbie Clayton (

The Professional Development Committee continues its ongoing series featuring TOCA Gardner award winners.

Honest Stories about Surviving Setbacks

Nicole Wisniewski, editorial director, Grand View Media, shares why she thinks "I Survived" won a Gardner Award for special projects in publishing. "This project was near and dear to me as a writer and reporter because I learned so much from the people I interviewed and I knew their lessons learned would help readers."  Read more...


“So You’re Considering the Dark Side”

Seth Jones is a popular culture/science fiction fan and also the editor of Golfdom magazine.  Using a sketched out concept, designer Pete Seltzer found the perfect artist and commissioned artwork to bring the issue to life.  Read the story behind this one-of-a-kind cover.

Syngenta Welcomes Back Golf - TurfNet's 2016 Olympic Golf Blog

Golf returned to the Olympics after more than 100 years. TurfNet partnered with Syngenta to cover the return of the sport.  TurfNet provided coverage of the history of golf in the Olympics, the current state of the golf market in Brazil (from both the player and superintendent perspective), the design, building and maintenance of the course, and of course the competition for Men’s and Women’s medals.  Their coverage brought home some TOCA hardware as well.  Find out how Jon Kiger and the TurfNet team were able to cover the historical return of golf at the Olympics.

Membership News

TOCA members attend Cultivate '17 and work to put the "O" back in TOCA

Members Russ Warner, Pat Morrow, Laurie Riggs and Leslie Halleck helped promote TOCA at the Cultivate show.  The membership committee looks to bring more communicators in the ornamental market to TOCA.  Read more about their efforts... 

The 2018 Membership Drive is Coming Soon

Watch your inbox for TOCA membership renewal information in October.  For the second year in a row, we are offering the Young Professionals Program.  Read on for more information on the program... 

Member News

New TOCA members offer data for members

BRANDT Announces Distribution Partnership with SiteOne Landscape Supply

TOCA Foundation News

TOCA Seeking Media and Marketing Communications Intern Hosts

In 2018, TOCA will offer two internship opportunities to members and students.  The TOCA Media Internship is entering year six -- and host applications are currently being sought.  Sponsored by Bayer through the TOCA Foundation, the internship program involves the selection of a college student for an eight- to 10-week summer employment with a green industry publication that’s a member of TOCA.

The inaugural TOCA Marketing Communications intern host is also being sought. TOCA member companies that are involved in public relations activities will host the intern. The marketing internship program is being funded through the TOCA Foundation by Den/Sandy Gardner and Dave Hansen. The Gardners are owners of Gardner & Gardner Communications, a marketing/association management firm based in New Prague, MN. Partner/CEO Hansen of Swanson Russell leads the marketing communications firm based in Lincoln, NE.

Companies interested in hosting an intern in the summer of 2018 should apply by December 31, 2017.  For more information on hosting or applying for a student internship, head to the TOCA internship page or contact Kristy Mach.


Seeking Nominations for Hall of Fame, Plant Health Writer of the Year and Environmental Communicator of the Year

Do you know the ideal candidate for the TOCA Hall of Fame?  How about Plant Health Writer of the Year or the Environmental Communicator of the Year?  Nominations for those distinguished awards are due March 1, 2018.  For more information, check out the web pages for each honor bestowed annually at the TOCA annual meeting.


Scholarship Applications Due March 1

TOCA has been awarding a scholarship to worthy students for the past 27 years.  Forty students have been the beneficiaries of the TOCA Scholarship.  The deadline for students to apply is March 1, 2018 but it's never too soon to identify, encourage and reward deserving students outstanding in the field. Or on the lawn.

TOCA Running Club

Fall Running Tips and Motivation: "Your sweat is your fat crying.  Keep it up."

Dan Gardner, special TOCA running correspondent, provides your fall running checklist and other helpful tips and motivation.


Upcoming Events

Check out the upcoming Calendar of Events