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News & Press: Press Release

Florida Turfgrass Research Foundation Awards $5,500 in Student Scolarships

Thursday, October 11, 2018  
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Cory Ketchum, University of Florida, Receives Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018 — Cory Ketchum was awarded the Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000 at the Florida Turfgrass Association 66th Annual Conference & Show Sept. 18, at World Golf Village Renaissance in St. Augustine, Florida.

Ketchum decided on a career in turfgrass research while attending Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, and will use the money from the scholarship to continue his studies. He is interested in teaching new generations of turfgrass students at a university while conducting research. Eventually, he looks forward to the possibility of managing his own research facility.

Ketchum’s strong work ethic and sense of adventure allow him to take chances. He says, “I’m willing to jump into difficult situations, such as the time I went to work as a summer turfgrass breeder intern for Barenberg, USA, in Albany, Oregon, 3,000 miles away from home. I didn’t know a soul in Oregon, but my family had taught me to live beyond my comfort zone. Because of the knowledge I gained there, I have been working with breeding cool season grasses such as rye grasses used to overseed southern golf courses.

“With the scholarships awarded by the Florida Turfgrass Association, the success that I strive for in my career is attainable, and it will help me to make a difference by making life better for everyone who enjoys the many benefits provided by healthy turfgrass,” Ketchum says.”


Jamie Buhlman, University of Florida, Receives Bill Entwistle Sr. Scholarship for $1,000.

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018 — Jamie Buhlman was awarded the Bill Entwistle Sr. Scholarship for $1,000 at the Florida Turfgrass Association 66th Annual Conference & Show Sept. 18, at World Golf Village Renaissance in St. Augustine, Florida. She is currently enrolled in the University of Florida, where she earned her undergraduate degree and is now working on her master’s degree.

While studying for her bachelor’s degree, Buhlman worked in several labs and departments within the University of Florida, including Plant Pathology, Microbiology, Entomology and Agronomy.
Buhlman say, “The time I spent working in Dr. Kevin Kenworthy’s lab made one of the biggest impacts on me. I was especially impressed by the way my co-workers embraced UF’s position as a land-grant university and its purpose to contribute to the industries and communities throughout Florida. The spirit of collaboration and team effort to make significant and positive impacts on the turfgrass industry inspired me to make my own contribution.

“My position in the turf breeding program has provided amazing opportunities to begin to connect with people involved in all stages of turfgrass production, from researchers and extension agents to sod producers, golf course superintendents and homeowners. For my master’s project, I am working directly with sod producers to collect samples of ‘Floratam’ and ‘Bitterblue’ St. Augustinegrass, analyze them using molecular markers and test them for the presence of sugarcane mosaic virus,” says Buhlman.


Mark Kann, University of Florida, Receives Col. Frank Ward Memorial Scholarship for $1,500.

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018 — For the second year in a row, Mark Kann was awarded the Col. Frank Ward Memorial Scholarship for $1,500. He is currently enrolled in the University of Florida working toward his master’s degree.

Kann says, “
Receiving FTGA Scholarships helps me to complete one of my long-term goals. Obtaining my master's degree has been a difficult journey but one that is well worth the time and effort.

Kann is currently conducting research vital to the golf and turfgrass industries under the supervision of Dr. J. Bryan Unruh. He says, “I am working to bring the aspect of social science into the turfgrass industry—to understand the attitudes and behaviors of turfgrass managers regarding best management practices, their implementation and educational programs that support them. The outcomes from my research will help faculty and extension personnel from the University of Florida continue to develop educational programs to further improve BMP implementation and lessen the negative environmental impacts of turfgrass management. 

“I plan to teach golf and sports turf management in the spring semester, but those credit hours are not covered by the Employee Education Program. I really enjoy teaching, and I feel that I am able to connect with the students due to the experience I have in the turfgrass industry. I can bring real-world experience that helps them to understand the concepts of turfgrass management in a more comprehensive manner, says Kann.”


Katherine Cox, University of Florida, Receives the Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000.

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018 — Katherine Cox was awarded the Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000. Currently enrolled in the University of Florida and working toward her master’s degree, she says, “This scholarship will help me in achieving my career goals in the turfgrass industry by first helping me to finish my education.

“By not having to worry about finances, I will be able to focus more thoroughly on my studies and my research so that I can gain as many skills as possible before graduation. In turn, this will prepare me to enter the turfgrass industry and begin to make substantial contributions upon the completion of my degree.

“Being awarded a scholarship from this organization will also give me another important award to add to my resume, which will make me more desirable to my future employers. Receiving this award will also help me make more important connections across the turfgrass industry by giving me an opportunity to attend the conference not only as a presenter, but as a scholarship award winner.

“Through this, I will be able to connect with many people at the conference and have my name heard and read by conference attendees, some of whom could be my future employers. This scholarship will provide me with financial relief, help me to add a well-known award to my resume, and give me the opportunity to make important connections in the industry by networking with those in attendance.”


Pablo Agustin Boeri, University of Florida, Receives the Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000.

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018 — Pablo Agustin Boeri was awarded the Ralph White Scholarship for $1,000. He is working toward his master’s degree at the University of Florida, which he will complete during the summer of 2019. Currently, he is working as a graduate research assistant in Turf Science under the supervision of Dr. J. Bryan Unruh. Boeri excels in meeting his goals while maintaining a perfect GPA.

Boeri says, “My thesis project is focused on the evaluation of bahiagrass, where I am testing new cultivars with superior turf qualities for herbicide tolerance, physiological responses under drought conditions and root characteristics. The objective of this project is to release an improved cultivar that will increase water conservation and reduce maintenance in the urban landscape and on golf course roughs and similar areas.

“I recently submitted a request to present my research at the Crop Science Society of America’s international annual meeting being held Nov. 4–7, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. This will be an invaluable opportunity to keep increasing the level of my communications skills. The financial support from FTGA is crucial for my participation in this event.

“Meeting new people at the conference who are working in the same area and making connections with them will enrich my vision of my current research, the turfgrass industry in the United States and turfgrass science.”

After earning his master’s degree, Boeri is planning to pursue a Ph.D.

The FTGA was founded in 1952 and is dedicated to education, research and the promotion of environmentally responsible and scientifically based management practices for the turfgrass industry. Florida ranks No. 1 in the nation for turfgrass related economic activity with total revenues estimated at $7.82-billion and a total employment of more than 173,000 jobs. The FTGA continues to advocate for and promote the turfgrass industry with extensive research, continuing education and opportunities for turfgrass professionals to network with their colleagues.

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