As fall slides into winter and the last few leaves of yellow and orange cling to the trees, these colors remind us of an annual event that has taken place on the George H. Cook Campus for many years: The Annual Turf Club Citrus Sale. Each year at this time, the SEBS Turf Club takes orders from faculty, staff and students for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruits, tangelos and tangerines as part of its fundraising drive.
According to Rutgers Turf Club president Kyle Genova, the annual citrus sale fundraiser helps the club to fund its academic trips to the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSSA) competitions. “The fundraiser is the responsibility of the turf club, as it is organized by the executive board of the club, and the distribution and pick up is arranged by the students. We unload the truck of its citrus upon arrival, sort the boxes, and organize them for efficient pick up at the Rutgers hort farm.”
The Rutgers Turf Club is an academic club that meets at least once a week, where they discuss in detail all aspects of the turf industry that may be covered in the STMA and GCSSA competition tests. This ranges from the study of disease and pathogens, grass types, weed identification and irrigation to mower calibration, entomology, and general management. Last year, at the 2013 GCSSA Turf Bowl, Rutgers University placed 6th out of 68th teams. “We take this competition very seriously, as we do the major and all of its aspects,” adds Genova.
The competition at the golf show is very competitive, says Turf Club advisor Stacy Bonos, associate professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology and specialist in perennial grass breeding. “The Turf club uses the funds they raise through the fundraiser to send a team or two to compete at National Turf competitions held at both the Golf Industry Show and the Sports Turf Managers Association meetings.”
As important as the competitions are to the club, they are not the sole focus of its membership, explains Genova. “When the STMA and GCSAA competitions end, the club continues to find ways that will lead to increasing our knowledge of the industry.” In previous years, club members have the experience of going to major league baseball fields and receiving a full tour from groundskeepers and management. Just this past year, the club took a trip to Mets Stadium in New York and we given a full tour and later had the opportunity to watch the game.
Support the Rutgers Turf Club and place your citrus orders online by the November 20 deadline.