College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

Terps are Turf Tough!

UMD students win national turf management competition.
Diana Velasquez
Terps pose with their 1st place trophy. Left to right sitting: Ryan Higgins and Justin Patenaude. Left to right standing: Scott Hosier and Matt Park.

A group of students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) took home the gold medal from the Sports Turf Managers Association’s (STMA) Student Challenge, held January 14–18 in Daytona Beach, Florida.


 ^^Turf Terps enjoying downtime at the Daytona Beach Pier & Boardwalk.

Representing the mighty Terrapins were three students from the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) - Scott Hosier, Matt Park, and Justin Patenaude - and one student from the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA), Ryan Higgins.

The national competition tested 34 teams from schools across the country in various areas relating to sports field maintenance; from identification of turfgrass weeds, insects, and diseases, to field safety issues such as surface hardness, traction, and overall playability.

This marks the third year that the IAA has competed in the STMA Student Challenge.

“In three years, we have ranged from third to first place. The students in this year’s competition had the gold medal as their goal and their excitement definitely showed during the awards ceremony,” said IAA instructor Dr. Kevin Mathias, who led the team along with coach Alex Steinman.

As the first-place winner in the Student Challenge's four-year division, the IAA will be awarded a $4,000 prize to enhance lab materials and activities for the Sports Turf Management area of study.

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