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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Turfgrass Science and Management program offers students many opportunities

The New Mexico State University Turfgrass Science and Management program offers students a wide range of experiences including the opportunity to compete in industry contests.

Earlier this year, the Turfgrass Management team competed against 92 teams from across the nation in the Annual Turf Bowl Collegiate Competition, held during the Golf Industry Show and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. This is the second year the team has competed.

The contest included grass, weed and pest identification; sprayer calibration; math problems and other general turf management questions.

"We need to improve the students' skill set and have more upperclassmen participate in order to successfully compete with some of the historic turf programs, but I am extremely proud of the students," said Ryan Goss, assistant professor and Turfgrass Management Team coach.

The team members are Matthew Alcala, a junior from Galveston, Texas; William Bosland, a senior from Las Cruces, N.M.; Roy Johnson, a senior from Albuquerque, N.M.; Dan Martinez, a junior from Santa Fe, N.M.; Mike Schaaf, a graduate student from Mandan, N.D.; Jason Tomko, a senior from Bloomfield, N.M. and Adolph "Butch" Walters, a sophomore from Tularosa, N.M.

While at the conference, team members were able to make contacts in the career field, hand out resumes and meet with future employers.

To prepare for the competition, the team participated in regular practice sessions and many fundraising activities throughout the year, such as holding a golf tournament and doing yard work for donations. The team also was sponsored by companies in the turf industry.

In addition to the team competition, turfgrass science and management majors, which includes golf course and athletic field management, complete two summer internships at golf courses and professional athletic stadiums across the nation and abroad before graduating.