College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Opens Doors for Latino Professionals

Randie Hovatter
Launching Successful Careers for Latino Professionals
IAA alum Marvin Martinez (pictured at far right) provided valuable assistance and expertise throughout the event.
On January 11, 2017, several dozens of Latino professionals from the landscaping, horticulture, and golf course industries gathered at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) to attend an innovative workshop titled Launching Successful Careers for Latino Professionals.

Although the Latino community is a pillar of Maryland's agriculture industry, there is a shortage of bilingual English/Spanish professionals who are qualified for middle management jobs in the green industries, such as Assistant Golf Course Superintendents and Landscape Account Managers. The goal of the workshop was to demonstrate how professionals in these key industries can benefit from completing formal education in the field.

The day began with a turfgrass lecture from Golf and Turfgrass Lecturer Dr. Kevin Mathias. The lecture was followed by a practice lab test with Ornamental Horticulture Lecturer Ken Ingram and bilingual Golf Course Management alum, Marvin Martinez. After a hearty lunch, the workshop concluded with a tour of educational facilities, including the Agricultural Mechanics laboratory and the University of Maryland's turfgrass research farm.

^Two classmates observing a turf sample as part of Dr. Mathias' lecture.

"This workshop will launch successful careers for Latino professionals, and it will help us recruit a diverse student body at the University of Maryland, College Park," stated Agricultural Business Management Lecturer Larisa Cioaca. Workshop participants are now eligible to apply for grant money to cover all fees for completing the Pesticide Use and Safety course at the IAA during the Spring 2017 semester.

Through its ongoing collaboration with the DC-area branch of the Professional Grounds Maintenance Society (PGMS) and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents (MAAGCS), the IAA looks forward to hosting more programs that benefit the green industries and their Latino workforces.

This workshop was made possible by a "Moving Maryland Forward" grant from the University of Maryland’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The DC-area branch of the Professional Grounds Maintenance Society (PGMS) and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents (MAAGCS) were sponsoring organizations on the grant application.
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