New Turfgrass and Sports Field Management Course Coming to Atwater High Ag

The Atwater High School Agriculture department and program will be expanding their horticulture pathway with what is believed to be the only course of its kind in the state, a Turfgrass and Sports Field Management course beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The concept was initiated by Atwater High School agriculture instructor Dave Gossman and his affiliation with the Sports Turf Managers Association ( The STMA is a professional industry association that focused on the advances in sports field management and safety through education, awareness programs, and industry development.

“Every community has parks, recreation, schools, colleges & universities, and expands out into professional and recreational sports fields and stadiums,” said Atwater High School agriculture instructor Dave Gossman. “This course  focuses on soils, turf, and irrigation which all are directly related to horticulture and the agriculture industry.”

Specific areas the students will be engaged in include the same parameters within the industry’s curriculum and certification process. Pest management, sports field knowledge, safety, playability, appearance, turf, irrigation, and synthetic surfaces. “This is an opportunity to expand agriculture education’s reach into those associated with athletics,” said Gossman. “It gets more kids connected into a growing industry nation-wide.”

Aside from classroom learning and knowledge gained in the course, the primary focus will be on “hands-on” application and attainability of industry-related skills. “It would be great to have students skilled to where they can apply those skills throughout various community recreational fields,” said Gossman. The STMA organization continues to grow nation-wide with more opportunities expanding into colleges and universities to train and certify individuals into an area of high demand in terms of jobs and skills. “Perhaps this will expand interest in other high schools and agriculture programs locally and/or throughout the state,” said Gossman.

For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website .

Atwater FFA

Atwater High School Agriculture Department

Atwater FFA

PO Box 835  /  2201 Fruitland Ave

Atwater, CA  95301

Office:  209-357-6025

​Fax:  209-357-6067

April 2019

New Agriculture Course