Penn State Hosts High School Students Interested in Turf

May 20, 2019 in Articles

On Friday May 17th, close to 50 students and their teachers from Brentsville High School visited the Penn State Turfgrass Program. Led by Drew Miller, instructor and creator of the school’s turfgrass curriculum, the students were given a tour around the sports and research facilities at Penn State to expose them to options for continued education after High School.

Thomas Goyne, Assistant Supervisor of Grounds, started the day sharing how the athletic fields at Penn State are maintained. Students got the opportunity to test out some of the tools used to monitor fields to ensure players’ safety and ask questions about how the management varied for the different sports. Following the tour of Jeffrey Field, Matt Neri, Sports Turf Manager at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, took the students onto the field and inside his maintenance facility. During the tour, Matt shared the intricacies of managing the baseball field that serves as the home for both a minor league and collegiate baseball team.

The students, who traveled four hours from Northern Virginia, also had the opportunity to visit the Valentine Turfgrass Research Facility and various research labs on campus. Grad students and faculty discussed their research on disease and weed management, sports field safety, and drone technology to assess the health of golf course turf.

“The industry needs good people right now and the fact the Brentsville has this many students interested in turfgrass is amazing,” said John Kaminski, Professor of Turfgrass Science. “As a faculty, we wanted to help out by showing them as many aspects of what we do as possible.”

At the end of the busy day, the students learned about the educational programs at Penn State and had a Q&A period with Steven Craig, Superintendent at Centre Hills Country Club and Matt Wolf, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor at Penn State. Last but not least, students were treated to the world famous Creamery ice cream and left with a nice “swag bag” of Penn State Turfgrass items.