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Texas Tech University associate professor receives USDA grant to increase awareness for turfgrass science

May 16, 2022

Joey Young, an associate professor of turfgrass science at Texas Tech University, recently received a $425,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to conduct professional development for agriculture and science, technology and math (STEM) educators centered around turfgrass science.

(Photo: Joey Young)

(Photo: Joey Young)

“We will connect with agriculture, science and math teachers to demonstrate how turfgrass science can be included in approved classroom curriculum to introduce these unique concepts to students,” says Young.

One goal of Young’s project is to give teachers, specifically at the high school level, the tools and knowledge needed to add elements of turfgrass science to their curriculum.

Young is also focused on increasing the interest in turf from an educational perspective. He also aims to increase the involvement of women and minorities in turfgrass science.

Young plans to hold in-person events beginning in 2023. A portion of the grant is set aside to help teachers from lower-income districts attend these events. These events will take place in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas.

“Everyone in the industry is experiencing the lack of students in our programs, especially at the collegiate level. We have numerous amounts of jobs in the industry and not enough individuals in the pipeline to take the jobs available,” Young says. “This program gives us the opportunity to introduce turfgrass science at a younger age and help them recognize the opportunities in the industry.”

The program will also offer online training opportunities for those who can’t attend the in-person events.


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