inagnews COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES • INSTITUTE OF APPLIED AGRICULTURE • WINTER/SPRING 2015
Terps Win Sports Turf Challenge for Third Straight Year
By Scott Hebert
I came to the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) to begin a new career in the golf industry. After conversations with Ken Ingram and Kevin (Doc) Mathias, I was convinced that the IAA’s Golf Course Management major was exactly what I wanted. During an early conversation with Doc, I learned of Sports Turf Managers Association and Turf Bowl student challenges, and that his teams had won both events in 2014. Doc suggested that I get involved to gain more exposure to my new field of study. The events sounded exciting, and being new to the IAA, I thought at the very least it would be a good way to meet other people in the program. During our first team meeting, Doc explained competition formats, both of which cover all aspects of the industry in an intensive three-hour examination. He also made it clear that he thought our group had the talent to win both titles again this year. Participating in Doc’s meetings, reviews, and tests was like taking an additional class, one that combined all the new material I was learning and required it to be applied immediately.
From left to right: Brian Hogan, Scott Hebert, Dr. Mathias and Ryan Higgins. and reinforced my understanding of class work. To prepare us for the competition, Doc simulates every aspect of examinations: Grass, Weed, Insect and Disease Identification, Business and Administrative scenarios, Irrigation and Fertilizer math problems, essays and short answers--he covers it all. Being a first semester IAA student, I needed to learn and digest a lot in a short period of time.
Leaving my job to return to school full time was a somewhat unnerving decision, but preparing for the competitions helped settle the nerves, solidify career ambitions,
In addition to taking practice tests, my team mates and I attended lectures and conferences outside of school to learn about new studies regarding Turfgrass Management. See SPORTSTURF, pg. 5
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