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The Florida Turfgrass Research Foundation provides scholarships to students who are actively enrolled in an institution of higher learning that offers a bona fide degree program (Graduate, B.S., or A.S.) in Turfgrass Management, Horticulture or other turfgrass-related field of study. Scholarships shall be awarded annually to students who meet the criteria set forth below.

Candidate Qualification Criteria

  1. Student shall be into or entering into their final academic year.
  2. Academic record.
  3. Leadership capabilities and extra-curricular activities.  Potential for leadership in Florida Turfgrass Industry.
  4. Attitude.
  5. Financial need.
  6. At least two Letters of Recommendation (REQUIRED).

Candidate Selection Procedure

  1. The Scholarship Committee will send scholarship application forms to advisory members at each qualified institution.
  2. The institutions shall return completed applications to the FTGA by the date specified.
  3. Scholarship selections shall be made by the FTGA Scholarship Committee.
  4. FTGA reserves the right not to award scholarship(s) if none of the applicants meet the Candidate Qualification Criteria.

Presentation and Awards

The scholarship will be presented during the Annual Conference and Show.  Recipients should be present.

Scholarships Available

University of Florida Students

Col. Frank Ward Memorial Scholarship (Minimum $1,500)

In 1962, the first “Colonel Frank Ward Turfgrass Scholarship” was presented at the 10th Annual Turfgrass Management Conference.  The award was presented by Colonel Ward, himself, to a University of Florida student, Harry G. Meyers, who was beginning his Master of Science study in Ornamental Horticulture.  Colonel Ward, a retired army colonel, was president of the Association for two terms of office, from 1956-1958.  From 1959-1960 he also served the Association as Executive Secretary.  During this time he edited the first newsletter.  In 1960, the “Wreath of Grass” award was instituted by him, and he later became a recipient of the award in 1963.  Through Colonel Ward’s effort the Association became a viable part of the turfgrass industry in Florida.  Download scholarship application in Word of PDF

Florida Gateway College Students

Hans & Otto Schmeisser Memorial Scholarship (tuition reimbursement)

The award was established for a Lake City Community College student in 1981 in memory of Hans Schmeisser, who passed away in October 1980.  The first recipient of this award was Robert M. Blowers, a senior golf course operations student.  Schmeisser, born and educated in Germany, came to the U.S. in the 1920′s to develop the landscaping at Everglades City.  While there, he designed and built his first course, one of the first golfing facilities in Florida.  He was instrumental in establishing the first Association of Golf Course Superintendents in Florida and was one of the nation’s leading golf course superintendents and designers.  He was involved in the design and building or reconstruction of more than 30 golf courses, most of them in Florida.  Schmeisser was active in GCSAA affairs, served as president of the South Florida GCSA, and taught turfgrass management at Palm Beach Junior College.  He was awarded posthumously the GCSAA Distinguished Service Award.  or Download tuition reimbursement in Word or PDF.

James L. Blackledge Memorial Scholarship (tuition reimbursement)

The scholarship was established in 1983 in memory of James L. Blackledge, who passed away in June of that year.  Born in Kansas in 1905, Blackledge came to Florida in 1929 for his profession.  His career in the turf field, mostly in Florida, included landscaping, golf course superintendent, industry sales, private business, agronomist, consultant, advisor, and industry leader.  He helped organize the Florida Turf Association (later changed to Florida Turfgrass Association).  He was the first recipient of the Association’s highest award of recognition, the “Wreath of Grass.”  Blackledge served two terms as president of the FTGA in 1965-1967; and in 1982 was awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the FTGA.  He was a pillar of the FTGA and the Florida turf industry.  Download tuition in Word or PDF reimbursement.

Students Enrolled In Any Florida College

William J. Entwistle Memorial Scholarship (Minimum $1,000)

This scholarship is awarded to a student studying Turfgrass Management, Horticulture or other turfgrass-related curriculum at any Florida college or community college who wants to work in the turfgrass industry.  Download scholarship application in Word of PDF.


Ralph W. White Scholarships (Up to $1,000 each)

For any student – graduate or undergraduate – who is studying turfgrass management, or related agronomic field at any institution of higher learning in the State of Florida.  Download scholarship application in Word of PDF.


FTGA Legacy Scholarship (Maximum $500)

For any FTGA Member’s whose child is an incoming freshman, sophomore, junior, senior in high school planning to attend a state college, university or other program in the State of Florida.  Scholarships are available to students who are actively enrolled in an institution of higher learning that offers a bona fide degree program (Graduate, B.S., or A.S.), technical degree or certificate program.  Applicant must be enrolled by Fall and obtain proof of enrollment from registrar’s office. 


FTGA member must have maintained a three (3) year membership of the date of scholarship application.  Download scholarship application in Word or PDF.