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The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible. MTGF Mailing address is: P. O. Box 617, Wayzata, MN 55391.

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You have seen the name, but what exactly is the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF). The MTGF, a non-profit organization, is a partnership of seven turf and grounds-related associations and the University of Minnesota with a mission to promote the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education, and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.

The 7 MTGF allied associations are:
   + Minnesota Association of Cemeteries 
  + Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals
  + Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents' Association
  + Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association
  + Minnesota Society of Arboriculture
  + Minnesota Sod Producers 
  + Minnesota Turf Seed Council


As a member of one of the associations listed above, you are already a member of the MTGF. MTGF has no membership fees associated with being a member or vendor member. However, you have received the full benefits through the mission of the MTGF. The MTGF Board is made up of two individuals from each of the seven allied associations plus two vendor representatives.

The MTGF has always accepted but never solicited donations from its members. The pandemic of 2020-2021 forced the Northern Green to be held virtually. Normal revenue from the expo did not happen. This year, we would gladly accept any size donation towards our mission.

MTGF is able to generate funding dollars through a few avenues, but the majority of the dollars the MTGF awards towards turf and grounds research comes from the partnership between the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and the MTGF in the form of the Northern Green held each January at the Minneapolis Convention Center (well, most years. Sometimes we have to sit at a computer to participate). Participation from the seven allied association members and vendor members has been the backbone to the awarding of turf and grounds research grants over the past twenty years. To date, your participation in The Northern Green has generated $1,750,560 towards turf and grounds research. Think about that dollar amount and all you had to do was participate in continuing education at the Northern Green during January of each year.


During March of each year, after the Northern Green has ended, the MTGF meets to go over research proposals that have been submitted and this is when we are able to award dollars to many of these proposals and researchers. Here is a breakdown of where the money has gone.

This is just the beginning of what this funding has done. The funding provided by the MTGF and through your participation in the Northern Green has been able to leverage millions of more dollars for turf and grounds research. Projects have included:


  • 2019-2022. Novel cropping systems for economic and environmental improvement in hard fescue seed production. Minnesota Department of Agriculture AGRI Crop Research Grant. $249,998.

  • 2019-2022. Understanding factors associated with successful creeping bentgrass re-establishment following winterkill. United States Golf Association. $59,255.

  • 2018-2021. Increasing yields in perennial ryegrass seed production systems through agronomics and breeding. Minnesota Department of Agriculture AGRI Crop Research Grant. $111,674.

  • 2018-2022. Regional optimization of roadside turfgrass seed mixtures phase 2: Regional field trials and economic analysis. Minnesota Department of Transportation/Local Road Research Board. $467,139.

  • 2018-2021. Filling a critical need: Diversifying sod production with sustainable turfgrasses. USDA AMS Specialty Crop Research Initiative Multi-State Research Program. $495,635.

  • 2017-2021. Increasing low-input turfgrass adoption through breeding, innovation, and public education. USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative. $5,485,450.

  • 2020-2023. Reducing the agronomic and economic impact of ice damage on golf courses and other grasslands. 2020-2023. Norwegian Golf Federation / Research Council of Norway. $18,360.

  • 2020-2023. Increasing multi-year seed production of fine fescue through plant breeding and agronomics 2020-2023. Minnesota Department of Agriculture. $43,559.

  • 2016-2021. Reducing water use on Twin Cities lawns through assessment, research, and demonstration. $591,205.

  • 2020-2021. Investigating the social benefits of natural turfgrass in urban areas. Washington Turfgrass Seed Commission. $22,253.

  • 2020-2023. Genomic approaches for improving low-input turfgrass sod. Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Grant. $92,993.


Unfortunately, the change to The Northern Green Virtual did not resonate with MTGF’s seven allied association members and vendor members. We understand. What has made the Northern Green successful is the camaraderie that is felt during the three days of the conference. Being able to see old friends and making new connections while continuing to learn about your sector of the green industry. Much effort was made to make a successful Northern Green Virtual and even with that, the same revenue was just not generated. Because of that, it was decided at the March MTGF Board Meeting to put a hold on research grant funding for 2021 in hopes that we can return to normal in time for the 2022 funding season.


With that, the MTGF has put made it possible for you do donate any sum of money that will then go toward the turf and grounds research that has made so much of what we do in the green industry in Minnesota possible.

If you are interested in donating, please complete the form above.

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