"The Future Turf Managers event showed how we can truly achieve our dreams if we go for it," said Garrett Emerick, recent graduate from the University of Maryland. "The event also showed us we have various different options in this industry, some I have never thought about until I attended."
Next generation of turf managers optimistic about future
Nearly 30 college seniors from top turfgrass programs around the world converged in Charlotte, NC last month for Jacobsen’s annual Future Turf Managers event.
The annual event gives students a unique opportunity to network with turfgrass industry professionals at the highest level. During the three-day event, students visit with sports field managers and superintendents, hear cutting-edge presentations from top industry experts and get an insider’s look at Jacobsen’s turf maintenance equipment.
Several attendees expressed optimism on their future careers and the state of the industry.
“Overall the experience has made me more confident of my potential for success in the turf industry,” said Dustin Harris, a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University’s turfgrass program. “Although the turf industry has had its struggles, I feel good about my opportunities.”
Attendees must be recommended by professors at turfgrass programs. Students were selected from thirty colleges and universities including Penn State University, Mississippi State University, Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Rutgers and the University of Florida. The group also included international students from Myerscough College in England and the North Melbourne Institute of Tafe in Australia.
“The Future Turf Managers event showed how we can truly achieve our dreams if we go for it,” said Garrett Emerick, recent graduate from the University of Maryland. “The event also showed us we have various different options in this industry, some I have never thought about until I attended.”
The group was treated to a presentation from Abby McNeal, Director of Turf Maintenance for Wake Forest University, who gave students a “day in the life” of a sports turf manager.
The students also visited the University of South Carolina, where the group received a tour of the Gamecocks’ baseball and football facilities from Clark Cox, Assistant AD/Sports Turf and Landscaping for USC.
“Our annual Future Turf Managers event is really a win-win for attendees and Jacobsen,” said David Withers, President of Jacobsen. “We get to hear the needs of the next generation of turf managers, who in turn get an insider’s look at what their day-to-day jobs will be like. It was great to hear so much optimism from the future leaders of our industry.”