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Quick question...

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by stryper, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 137

    ...on breaking into the field. I'm thinking seriously about getting into some sort of turf management as a part time retirement job. I realize I won't be head groundskeeper at Fenway; I'm just looking to help out and make a few (very few?) supplemental income bucks. I have no experience, and I've got a couple of years to plan ahead, so what sort of education do I really need? Looking online, I found this turfgrass certificate. Would something like this be beneficial, or would I need to pursue something a little more ambitious like an associate's/bachelor's degree? (I already have an unrelated BS, so reworking an associates would not be that much of a stretch.)

  2. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 137

    No thoughts???
  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,554

    Any and all education you can get is good. Take the classes, by all means. Being able to tell prospective clients that you attended this or that university and attained X level of education in the field certainly ain't gonna hurt. As far as what sort of work to do, you could probably make a decent business out of just aeration. Compaction is the #1 enemy of sports turf, and aeration is key. Not sure what sort of equipment you have, but a good tractor with quality turf tire (we used big balloon tires) and an aerator or aeravator on a 3 point hitch should generate some business. It will require some cash outlay if you don't already have the equipment, but it sounds like a good retirement job to me. Good luck.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I'm a little confused about your original question. Are you talking about the green industry in general or on the side of public/private grounds/schools/parks, etc.?

    If it's general green industry I'd find someone that has established customers that would be willing to take you in under their wing. There's always companies out there that are looking for hardworking guys regardless of age.

    If your talking about grounds work on colleges/schools/parks, etc. then I really don't have an answer for you because each one will be different because of possible unions, etc. You may have to start out in some other capacity and then work your way up. But, some will also be looking to hire personnel right into grounds or athletic fields and a little specific education won't hurt.
  5. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 137

    Grounds, athletic fields, sports turf management is what I'm asking. There seems to be tons of information out there on getting into commercial lawn/landscape care, but very little on breaking into grounds-or greenskeeping types of positions. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but most of the links I find are product and equipment related. :confused:

  6. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I am not sure exactly how serious you want to get or how much money you wish to spend but there are many turf managers short courses available that give a fairly decent education. Look into Rutgers, Ohio State or University of Guelph and see if any of these offer choices into what looking for.
  7. Groundspro

    Groundspro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Your local extension should also be a help. Go after a pesticide applicators lic. This will help start the process and get your feet wet. You must have one if you plan to perform any turf management.
    This is a specialized area of the Green Industry. Check NTEP or any turf related site ( Penn State is good as well as Rutgers).
    I've been in this for over thirty one years and it is not a hobby or side job though to care for a small municple field with a tight budget you might be able to get into it. Like starting a business, do your homework first before you jump in. We want dedicated pros in this field, not weekend warriors or little league dads. Don't mean to be harsh and I hope you don't take what I've said personally. Good Luck!
  8. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 137

    I absolutely agree, that's why I'm here...just doing my homework. I think the fact that my initial question spoke directly to education would suggest that I do respect the industry and that I want to take the appropriate steps to someday enter the fraternity. So, what are the best steps to take?

    (My reference to a "part time retirement postion" was only meant to illustrate that I know the value of role players in any endeavour. :weightlifter: Being the big cheese isn't that important to me.)
  9. kathyu

    kathyu LawnSite Senior Member
    from 05851
    Messages: 460

    For more useful information as far as greenskeeping, you could visit www.superintendentsite.com and check around. It's just like this format (Sean even admins it!). It's fairly new, but it's starting to generate some interest!

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