ITF History

The Illinois Turfgrass Foundation was founded on December 22, 1959 under the "General Not For Profit Corporation Act" in the State of Illinois. The first Board Of Director's were:
  • R.Milton Carleton
  • Bertram H. Rost
  • Ralph F. Voight
  • Gager Vaughan
  • Ben O. Warren

The original purpose for which the corporation was organized was:

"To establish and maintain a turfgrass research and educational fund to be used to support turfgrass research and educational programs of the University of Illinois. Also, to promote and advance the interests of its members as growers of turfgrasses, the turfgrass industry, and associated industries in the improvement of turfgrasses consistent with the best interests of the public."

Much of this purpose still holds true today, however the Illinois Turfgrass Foundation has evolved to support turfgrass research and education programs throughout Illinois including Southern Illinois University and the Chicago District Golf Association. As the largest turf principal organization in Illinois, ITF has contributed over 1.5 million dollars to projects and grants within the state. Through enthusiastic support of its member, ITF has and continues to accomplish a number of impressive achievements:

  • Funding partner with Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) in the establishment of the Sunshine Course at the Midwest Golf House.
  • Ongoing funding of multiple research projects at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University and the CDGA's Sunshine Course.
  • Establishment of the Illinois Turfgrass Endowment, a fund to ensure turf research needs are met in the future.
  • Sole sponsorship of the Illinois Professional Turf Conference (IPTC), a trade show and conference dedicated to meeting the educational needs of the ITF membership.
  • The Tod and Norma Hopphan Fellowship, a fellowship that funds the work of a graduate student per year at the University of Illinois in turfgrass science.
  • Publication of industry developments and research findings.
  • Organizing area golf outings that provide fellowship and free exchange of ideas at Illinois top rated golf courses and clubs.
  • Sponsors University Field Day where latest research findings and demonstrations are conducted and seen in person.

The ITF is an umbrella organization representing turf professionals from all careers and business.

  • Lawncare
  • Golf Course
  • Sports Turf
  • Sod Production
  • Schools
  • Park Districts and Municipalities
  • Cemeteries
  • Manufactures and Distributors
  • Technicians

The Illinois Turfgrass Foundation remains a not-for-profit professional trade association 501(c)5 tax designation.

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