Jeff Jensen Southwest Headshot
Jeff Jensen
Southwest regional representative

Prior to joining the GCSAA staff, Jeff spent more than a decade in the golf industry in management and marketing. He resides in Henderson, Nev.
Tel. 800-472-7878, ext. 3603.

Field staff report

Cactus & Pine GCSA participates in Arizona FFA Leadership Conference

by Jeff Jensen | Jun 26, 2024

First Green field trip at La Paloma Country Club among the highlights

The Cactus & Pine GCSA recently participated in the Arizona FFA Leadership Conference at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz. The conference allowed FFA members to apply their leadership and technical skills in real-life settings through various events. These opportunities allow FFA members to see the practical applications of what they have learned in their agriculture classes throughout the year.

The Cactus and Pine set up a display at the FFA Career Fair that was held on June 6 and provided information on career opportunities in the golf maintenance industry. Leann Cooper, GCSAA director of First Green and workforce development, Jesse Garcia, Ph.D., BASF LPD sustainability strategist, Frank Santiago, BASF sales representative for Arizona and New Mexico and I worked the booth and had the chance to speak with hundreds of students from around the state on potential jobs, turfgrass education and mentorship opportunities. 

On June 7, a GCSAA First Green field trip was held for students at La Paloma Country Club adjacent to the Westin La Paloma Resort. Daniel Mayfield served as the host superintendent and stations included "Cool Tools on the Green," soils lab, bird watching/identification, irrigation/water management and a technology station featuring drones. The students from various chapters throughout the state were introduced to the science behind managing a golf course, associated landscapes and the natural environment. Following the field trip, a Q&A session was held with the volunteers so students could learn about their background and how they got involved with golf course maintenance and management. 

A big thank you to Santiago for coordinating the field trip and working with Daniel and the La Paloma Country Club staff to pull it off. Other volunteers included Cooper, Poston Butte Superintendent Jimmy Crews, Troon Environmental Science Manager Bri Kenny, Thompson Golf Group Director of Agronomy Matt Rusch, University of Arizona Director of the John and Doris Norton School of Human Ecology Dr. Laura Scaramella, La Paloma Country Club Horticulturalist Carolyn Skurish, Troon Regional Director of Agronomy David Stout, Helena Agri Enterprise Sales Rep Shane White, Stotz Equipment Sales Rep Ian Wilkey, Troon Regional Director of Science and Agronomy Jonathan Williams and me.

Find more information on Cactus and Pine GCSA chapter. For more information on First Green, visit First Green's website or contact your local field staff representative. 

First Green field trip

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Southwest2017This region includes Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.