© courtesy of john deere

John Deere, in collaboration with the UAW, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, is producing protective face shields at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois. John Deere will initially produce 25,000 face shields to meet the immediate needs of health care workers in several of its U.S. manufacturing communities. Materials and supplies are on order to produce an additional 200,000 face shields. The company is using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project and leveraging expertise, skills and innovation of its employee base.

Toro is giving $500,000 to assist families and communities worldwide that have been affected by the pandemic. Grant funding from the Toro Foundation will span all regions where Toro operates and will focus on providing food, health and humanitarian assistance to helping people adversely impacted. The contributions include commitments to several global nonprofits that are assisting in the relief efforts, including the American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Feeding America, the World Food Program, the United Way Worldwide and United Way organizations in communities where Toro employees live and work.

The PGA of America pledged $5 million and will match the first $2.5 million of third-party donations to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, established to provide short-term financial assistance to golf industry workers. The fund is supported by the GCSAA, PGA Tour, LPGA, USGA, NGCOA and the Association of Golf Merchandisers. Grants for basic needs will be distributed in two phases, first-come, first-served, with the first and quicker phase capped at $500 for immediate help and the second phase capped at $3,500.

The USGA has established an emergency relief fund for its 59 Allied Golf Association members with an investment of up to $5 million. The funding will come in the form of grants to help ensure business continuity and staffing levels during this time of hardship. Individual AGAs may apply for as much as $100,000 and additional financial assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The application process will continue through the summer as needed.

© courtesy of john deere

Tartan Talks No. 46

Bel Jan

Sounds can be soothing in uncertain times, especially when they are filled with perspective shaped from decades in golf.

Jan Bel Jan and Forrest Richardson joined the Tartan Talks podcast to describe the adjustments that golf course architects must make in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking from their respective home offices – Bel Jan lives in Jupiter, Florida, Richardson resides in Phoenix – the pair remained upbeat about their ability to serve clients despite disruptions caused by the pandemic. “All of our clients understand this won’t last forever,” Bel Jan says.


Richardson extolled the mental and physical benefits of golf throughout the podcast. “Golf has been a constant for 500 years to be a sanctuary where people can go and have fun and recreate,” he says. “And those values are things that we need to carry forward.”

Bel Jan and Richardson also shared tactical advice. Bel Jan, a registered landscape architect and certified arborist, described how to handle landscape areas and trees during periods of minimal maintenance. Richardson, who has represented the golf industry at numerous political gatherings, explained how to make the case for golf to lawmakers.

Instead of one extended podcast, we posted the episode in two parts. Enter bit.ly/BelJanPart1 and bit.ly/RichardsonPart2 into your web browser to hear the conversations.