An Appalling Waste of Horticultural And Scientific Talent? You Betcha

An Appalling Waste of Horticultural And Scientific Talent? You Betcha

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Turf without management

I hate to be shockable at 50–it’s unseemly–but I was doing some research yesterday and was shocked to learn that Colorado State University has an entire degree program devoted to “turf management.”

This program is taught by actual Ph.D.s.  It leads to glorious management careers, the site informs me, even in this brutal job market.

The thriving turf management industry offers management opportunities ranging from sod production to the establishment and maintenance of private and public grounds. Turfgrass managers are supervisors for golf courses, ski resorts, sports fields, and for park departments. Excellent employment opportunities are available in the areas of lawn care and landscape management.

A similar program is in place at Penn State, which has a full Center for Turfgrass Science, as does Rutgers. Turfgrass management students at Rutgers are eligible for scholarships funded by pesticide makers Bayer and Syngenta.


The world is running out of arable land.  We’ve had food riots in developing countries in recent years.  Global warming appears to be unstoppable.  The American Southwest threatens to turn into a dust bowl.  Pesticides are implicated in a host of diseases.

And you want to spend four or more years learning how to pour water, artificial nitrogen manufactured from fossil fuels, and soil-deadening pesticides onto turfgrass mowed with giant gasoline guzzling machines?  In order to make 75 year-old golfers who don’t care about the future happy? 

Wouldn’t it be more socially productive to get a degree in Croupier Sciences?  Sex Worker Management? Pyramid Schemes?

Posted by

Evelyn Hadden
on January 6, 2011 at 4:41 am, in the category Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform, Ministry of Controversy.

One Comment
    • Scott Hokunson
    • 11th July 2017

    Michelle, most major colleges with Ag sciences have Turfgrass Management programs. I recently sat through a talk during a nursery certification class on turfgrass by a professor at UCONN. I was not looking forward to hearing about irrigation and chemicals etc, but was pleasantly surprised to learn they are preaching low water usage, drought tolerant species and are actively studying organic practices. So, while they are still teaching the chemical process, the times are changing in our favor. Lawns will never go away, we just need better education, and once the University system is on board we will win over the mow and blow guys also. Someday demand will out way the big chemical companies efforts to sell their product and we will see a dramatic shift in the industry, much like that in the tobacco industry.

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