Olds College Welcomes 27 First Year Turf Students and 3 New Instructors!
By Jason Pick
A strong start to the new turf program this January, we welcomed 27 energetic first year turf students. These diverse young professionals from across Canada add to current diploma and degree numbers reaching over seventy active students on-campus and in the field.
To assist in the new program enrollment and sequencing, we also welcomed three new instructors to the turf program fold. We are thrilled to add past presidents from the Alberta Golf Superintendents Association (AGSA) John Faber and Jason Clouston, as well as Cal Drouin of Brett Young to our instructional mentors list, bringing current and relevant industry training into the classroom.
Turf students visited Banff Springs Golf Course just before snow fall, where Bob Burrows and his team provided us a closer look into fall blow-out strategies and late season preparations prior to snow cover. Just a day after closing, it was so beneficial to see the closing procedures all in play - Bob’s crew taking “shifts” to tour us, having made time during their busiest time of year was truly a rare opportunity which was appreciated by all.
Students also took on an additional challenge this spring, to certify several selected clubs with Audubon International. We visited Sundre Golf Club, Canyon Meadows, Red Tail landing, Muirfield Golf Club with a goal of providing each host course the documentation necessary to pursue Audubon certification in just 15 weeks. On behalf of all our students, I wish to thank Bob Novecosky, Keith Blayney, Scott Reid, Brad Eshpeter, and Ken MacKenzie for their contributions to our teams, and their significant investments to reach these ACSP stewardship goals!
This January our site visits continued, most recently visiting Martin Equipment in Calgary; special thanks for Mark Rooks of Martin Equipment (John Deere) who hosted us, arranging a rigorous schedule including theory, technical training, and equipment purchasing tools for todays superintendents.
Also anxiously awaiting the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade show this year in Calgary, our students will be found assisting during the event by collecting lunch tickets, scanning badges, and participating in educational programme and trade show events. A great opportunity to network at the national level, so close to home!
A significant contributor of our attendance at the National Turf Conference, is through the efforts of our student driven, Olds College Turf Club. Historically, the turf club raises enough money to afford all its members association memberships. This year, the turf club has raised enough money to afford registration for all its club members to the CICTS conference. Fundraising efforts this year, led by President Braeden Rogers, hosted a club golf tournament, halloween “Howler” live band costume party, Golf Simulator “KP” event, silent auction, a 50/50 and lottery draw contest to name a few. Fundraising efforts also included bottle drives and on-campus assistance to other clubs through the Colleges student's association. On behalf of the Turf Club, would like to acknowledge those superintendents who continue to support our students by offering donations; free rounds, miscellaneous apparel, and even clubs to our annual silent auction and fundraising events. Check out http://octurf.blogspot.ca/ to learn more.
For more information about the new turf program at Olds College, check out our website and new video: http://www.oldscollege.ca/programs/horticulture/turfgrass/
Editor's note: the WCTA is proud to have partnered with Olds College and the Prairie Turgrass Research Centre for many years and commends both the quality of the program and the graduating students. Fantastic efforts fundraising, well done! The industry really is in good hands and we're happy to both support and be supported by its newcomers.