IAA Internship Stories: Jarod Knopp
Sports fans across the United States are enamored by professional ball players, the fields on which they play, and the freshly painted logos on game day. This summer, Institute of Applied Agriculture student Jarod Knopp gained an up-close perspective of professional sports fields during his internship with the Baltimore Ravens. Knopp, a Sports Turf Management major, worked at both the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Knopp says that painting the logo on M&T Bank stadium field and grooming the indoor field were his favorite parts of the job. He admits that getting to be around all the Ravens players was a cool added bonus. However, he performed many different tasks at the different Baltimore Ravens facilities including mixing paint, painting the fields, and cleaning the paint machines.
Knopp also mowed, edged and trimmed grass around the facility and spot-sprayed different herbicides as needed. He assisted with the sodding process of two football fields. He says the Ravens used Navigator Bermuda grass. In the field house, Knopp was responsible for inspecting the playing surface before every practice, cleaning up any debris, and quickly grooming the field.
While Knopp gained skills ranging from operating machinery to mixing paint, he also gained an important skill that he said he could never gain from the classroom—how to deal with clientele and other associates on a professional level. But Knopp must have handled himself well. His IAA advisor, Dr. Kevin Mathias, said Knopp’s supervisors spoke highly of his work ethic, saying he was “very dependable and personable.”
This internship gave Knopp the professional mindset, drive, and confidence to pursue his career in sports turf management. He says, “The experience and connections I made at the facility with the Ravens will be key to my success within the turfgrass industry.”