(By Jake Reeves, KSU Turfgrass Research)
While it’s near impossible to keep up with what crazy athletic sock/shoe combination is popular or what the difference between leggings and jeggings are (don’t ask me), there is a real value in keeping a pulse on what will keep us current or ahead of coming trends, especially in our field.
This can be an exhausting endeavor, but may prove to be the very thing you needed to improve your various management strategies, nutrient inputs, or just the way you communicate. Here are a couple suggestions to keep ahead of (or at least keep up with) the curve:
- Get on Twitter. K-State Turfgrass, other universities, and companies you rely on are constantly posting information. Twitter makes for a great filter for larger articles as you can skim through the individual tweets to find pertinent information.
- Go to local field days or other hands on training sessions. You will certainly learn some great information from the actual session, but the conversations you strike up with other turfgrass managers or like-minded folks may shine new light on an old topic.
- Engage with your community. People outside of your profession can give hints to what trends may very well be coming within your industry. Do your constituents want Free Trade Organic Gluten Free “thing-a-ma-bobs” or would they prefer practical Good Ole Joe “thing-a-ma-bobs”? Societal climates are always changing, so it’s great to keep tabs on what’s in your area.
- Read. Industry magazines, newspapers, online articles (this blog!), almost anything… I can’t count the number of times I’ve come across a turfgrass article simply by reading online headlines. Many times it’s simply a confirmation of something the industry has been discussing for years; adding validity to the topic. Sometimes the article is inaccurate, but it helps us understand where the information comes from that the public often brings to us.
Those are just a few excellent tools to not lose sight of what may or may not be coming our way.
And of course, don’t be afraid to use your own mind and create the innovation that all of us are looking for.