Greenkeeper Associations from all over Europe gathered in Portugal for the Annual FEGGA Conference on February 13th & 14th.
The coastal town of Lagos, in the Algarve, proved to be an excellent venue enabling the Conference to be split between the Vila Gale hotel, and the nearby Onyria Palmares Golf Club giving a wide range of facilities and the opportunity to stage an Educational Roadshow for Portuguese Greenkeepers as part of the event.
The Roadshow event was supported by Everris and Syngenta, which attracted around 45 local greenkeepers and featured presentations covering Soil Tests & interpretation of results by Everris, the OnCourse process from the GEO, the benefits of working with an Agronomist, and concluded with a spray calibration practical session delivered by Syngenta. The greenkeepers were enthusiastic and engaged – their concentration very evident as the language switched from English, into Spanish, and then finally into Portuguese!
The two-day FEGGA conference itself was attended by around 80 people representing greenkeeping right across Europe. The Conference focused on the major issues of Water usage & resource management in Iberia; Education, featuring both the FEGGA programme of Association support operating in Europe supported by the R&A, and the launching of the pilot of an important new initiative from FEGGA which will see Assistant Greenkeepers from across Europe taking on temporary exchange job placements to increase skills, confidence and motivation. A draft Joint European Position Statement on the use of Pesticides was also debated, and this will continue to be developed over the next three months before coming back to the Associations with more information. Couple this with a session in which all European Greenkeeper Association activity was discussed and this was a powerful gathering.
At the AGM some amendments to the FEGGA Constitution were accepted to help to continue to modernise, and Giovanni Nava, from Bologna, Italy stood down from the Board after his four year stint being replaced by Joel Nunes of Palmares Golf Club representing the Portuguese Association. The FEGGA Board wish to mark the immense contribution of Giovanni and thanked him sincerely for his time on the Board.
The Conference closed with FEGGA thanking Ransomes-Jacobsen, Toro, John Deere, Syngenta and Campey Turfcare for their support and involvement in delivering some of the education on show.
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