Turfgrass Students Compete in Turf Bowl at Regional Conference

March 21, 2011

Six students represented first-time participant SUNY Cobleskill at the Turf Bowl held on March 9 at the New England Regional Turfgrass Conference and Show in Providence, R.I.


SUNY Cobleskill’s team included Peter Braun and Stanley Zombek, both pursuing A.A.S. degrees in Golf Turf Management; Eric Brown, who is earning an A.A.S. in Sports Turf Management; and Lindsay Brownson, Bradford Chilion and Brandon Platt from the B.T. Golf Turf Management program.


The Turf Bowl contest tested students’ knowledge in turfgrass growth and development, pest management, mathematics, environment and soils. Contestants were also tested on their ability to identify various turfgrass plants and seeds as well as the weeds, diseases and insects found in turf, and on their ability to match common names of turfgrasses and turf insets with their Latin name and common names of turfgrass diseases with the scientific names of fungi and other organisms that cause those diseases.


SUNY Cobleskill competed against students from the University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts and the University of Rhode Island.


The six SUNY Cobleskill participants were encouraged to enter the contest only three weeks before it was to take place. They studied under the direction of Dr. Alex Ellram, chair of the College’s Plant Science department, and Dr. ZJ Jiang, professor of turfgrass management.


“Our students represented SUNY Cobleskill turfgrass programs with impressive performance and professionalism,” says Jiang, who noted that the participants were also praised by professors of the other universities that competed in the Turf Bowl.


In February, Brown, Brownson, Zombek and Sean Charles, who is pursuing a B.T. in Golf Turf, participated in the national Turf Bowl during the Turfgrass Conference and Show of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. The national experience was also a first for SUNY Cobleskill, as well as Ellram, who led the students to the national stage.