History of our Association
The Turf growers Association of NSW was formed in 1983 under the influence of Hugh Alan who was the District Agronomist with the Department of Agriculture at the time in Windsor.
Terry Allen and Peter McMaugh were both involved – and an initial meeting was held at Hawkesbury Agricultural College and then another event at the North Richmond Sports Club in Kurrajong soon thereafter. The Guest Speaker was Don Burke.
The principal discussion was about were turf growers getting as proper value for their turf. Don put two pot plants on the table one 4″ pot, one 6″ pot. The 4″ pot sold for $2.90, the 6″ pot for $3.80. He then put up a roll of turf. How much more plant matter are you selling in a roll of turf compared with these 2 pots he asked? And what is the price of the turf? Kikuyu $1.90, Couch $2.85, Buffalo $4.50. Does this make sense?
During the period 1983 – 1986 the Hawkesbury went through one of its most destructive flood cycles. There were 6 floods in 2 years, and this saw a huge influx of new growers from the vegetable industry coming across to turf production. Most of these were Maltese families and they have become a dominant part of the Association to date, particularly in the Hawkesbury Valley.
There was a hiatus in the industry for 2 years and the Association ceased to function until Dennis James from Yarramalong turf, who was the treasurer at the time, came to the realisation that all the Associations assets would go into consolidated revenue unless Dennis restarted the Association with its current name.
Norm Bartholomew from Yarramalong became President. After 18 months, the Central Coast team invited the Hawkesbury back into the Association. Dennis James was President for a short time and the Hawkesbury group led by Terry Allen took over the running of the committee.
Association Presidents have included:
Peter McMaugh (Inaugural President)
Norm Bartholomew (Inaugural)
Troy Franks (Current)
Summary provided by Peter McMaugh AM B.Sc.Agr.FAIAST
15 September 2021