TPI Exchange Program
The Leadership, Innovation, and Technology (LIT) Committee is excited to announce a new TPI Program: the TPI Exchange Program
The purpose of the TPI Exchange Program is to provide an opportunity for fast-paced, immersive shadow training for current TPI member farm employees. Host farms will showcase innovative practices to Participants. Participants will learn while observing high-performing employees at each Host Farm.
Why did we create this program? Because we believe a thriving industry is one participating in an open exchange of ideas and innovative practices that ultimately drive us all forward to do what we do better. Because not all learning happens in a classroom. Because we believe in these wise words of Albert Einstein, “Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”
How does the program work? Initially, this program will exist for two years (2024 and 2025). Allie Roed and the Leadership, Innovation, and Technology (LIT) Committee will provide TPI members with optional Host Farms who have agreed to showcase skills you wish your employee participant to shadow such as harvest, tillage, seeding, sprigging, feeding, spraying, field maintenance, equipment maintenance, sales, accounting, marketing, order management, website design, & customer service, and order logistics.
How long can I send my Participant to a Host Farm? Ultimately, the duration of the visit will be determined by the Host & Sending Farms. The TPI Exchange Program is designed to last between two and seven days, however, ultimately the time frame will be determined between the Sending and Host Farms. Timing will be determined based on availability of Host Farms and the desired skills the Sending Farm is hoping to achieve.
How do I sign up to send an employee? Click the link below and complete the application to be paired with a farm.
How much does the program cost? There is an Application Fee of $100.00 for TPI’s administration of the Program. The Sending Farm will be responsible for all travel costs and reservations, including flights, hotels, visas, meals, etc. required. Please note your employee will remain on your payroll and insurance during their participation in the program.
Additional Things for Sending Farms to Consider:
- What are your target skills you want your employee to experience? Keep those skills in mind as you select the timeframe of the program with the Host Farm.
- What will your per diem be for your employee for meals and entertainment?
- Would you like to request a “non-compete” to be signed by the Host Farm and the Sending Farm (TPI can help facilitate this step)?
- Will you need to arrange for travel visas?
- If your Participant is driving to the Host Farm, will you reimburse them for mileage on their vehicle?
- Does your insurance cover your employee if they are off-site but still “on the clock”?
- How would you like your Participant to document their experience?
- How would you like your Participant to share their new ideas with your entire crew?
- How would you like your Participant to stay in communication with you or your office while on Program?
- Of note: A Host Farm will reserve the right to terminate an Exchange Program if the Participant does not adhere to instructions, agreed upon behaviors, or jeopardizes the safety or integrity of the Host Farm. Early departure for the Participant will be completed at the Sending Farm’s expense.
Who are the Host Farms? Can I be one!? Here is a list of the first wave of host farms. Important Note: after two participants visit a location, a new Host Farm will be rolled onto the list to keep the list fresh – so keep checking back for new experiences/locations your crew can visit!
Can I be a host farm!? Are you interested in being a host farm? Contact Allie Roed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who would be an ideal Participant? Select a coworker who will represent your farm with integrity and adhere to the expected behaviors and safety protocols of the Host Farms. Your Participant should have a valid ID and insurance coverage. Please be very clear with your Participant that they will not be operating any equipment while on the program. They are simply there to shadow, to be curious, and to brainstorm ideas with the Host Farm employees.
How will TPI promote and oversee these experiences? The Exchange Program will be a featured program on the new TPI website. Allie and the LIT Committee will also assist in pairing Sending Farms with Host Farms during the initial application process. If the Sending or Host Farm would like non-competes to be signed prior to a visit, TPI will facilitate this process. Upon completion of a visit, TPI will do a short “exit interview” with a Participant to be highlights on the website, conferences, and in Turf News.
Host Farm Options
- SelecTurf, Inc – Jim Keeven & Kelsey Sandbothe, Jefferson City, MO (USA)
- Debuck’s Sod Farm, Inc – Diane & Greg Mischel, Davison, MI (USA)
- Blue Grass Enterprises, Inc – Sarah Nolte, Alburnett, IA (USA)
- Central Sod Farms – Jack Warpinski, Centreville, MD (USA)
- Woerner Turf Sod Farms – Graham Simmons, Foley, Alabama (USA)
- Eagle Lake Turf Farm – Eric Heuver, Strathmore, Alberta (Canada)