College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

Internship Spotlight- Gabe Gammill

David Sullivan

Who you gonna call for Astroturf? Schools like Sidwell Friends in DC and Halton-Arms in Bethesda, Maryland call Capitol Sports Fields in Hyattsville; where Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) student Gabe Gammill interned this summer. A Sports Turf Management major who plans to graduate in May, Gammill says the skills he acquired this summer have prepared him for a full-time position with Capitol Sports Fields once he graduates.

“Capitol Sports Fields installs Astroturf fields as well as warm and cool season non-synthetic fields,” says Gammill, who believes the company’s success "lies in the laborers’ great work ethic.” This summer, Gammill experienced the administrative side of the business and learned about the turnaround rate of work and the long hours required to run a company. Gammill worked between 50 and 70 hours a week, but says that’s what it takes to be successful.

Gammill’s experiences included top dressing fields with sand, cutting and laying sod, and aerating and sprigging Bermuda grasses. He explained that prior to the widespread introduction of warm season Bermuda grasses, cool season grasses had to be converted to Bermuda. During the Bermuda grass growing season, Gammill got the chance to fertilize and spray herbicides. The synthetic fields he worked on this summer had a different work progression that included a Sandmatic machine which fills the synthetic grasses with rubber and sand. “The Sandmatic makes the synthetic field come to life,” he says. During the final step, Gammill used a SportChamp machine to vacuum, groom, and tine the fields to perfection.

Now back at school with his IAA classmates, Gammill says he is looking forward to graduation, but "not before I memorize Dr. Mathias’s 65 disease samples.” 

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