ASHDOWN – Some students in the Ashdown School District were already helping Coach Chuck Cross maintain and maintain the athletic fields when he realized they could learn even more.
So, he turned the experience into a class of its own.
Students in her lawn management class learn the basics of agronomy, lawn care and maintenance of small equipment.
“We want to provide the children with a great experience at Ashdown and allow them to have a wide variety of opportunities in the world of work,” said Cross.
The current availability of agronomic jobs, along with the current growth in the turf management industry, make this class an intriguing option for some students, said Ronda Pounds, district public relations manager.
Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants in agriculture for food, fuel, fiber, recreation, and land restoration.
“It’s going really well,” Pounds said. “The students had the opportunity to tour a golf course in Little Rock and receive information from professionals. The students love it, and we have professional looking pitches.
These students have the potential to seek employment in a myriad of fields such as: Golf Course Management, Irrigation Specialist, Landscape Designer / Contractor, Residential Lawn Service, Commercial Park / Land Manager, Site Manager. sports fields, seed / nutrient supplier, turf manufacturer / equipment seller, business owner / manager, sales representative or turf grower. Jobs are even available as a plant / seed breeder, weed specialist or extension worker.
“Coach Cross and the students work so hard to provide our athletes with premier football, softball and baseball fields,” said Superintendent Casey Nichols. “They are learning skills that will make them employable during and beyond high school. We want to offer every student the opportunity to excel in the classroom or outside the normal classroom setting.
The biggest student class project is the upkeep of the Dick Hays Football Stadium on the Ashdown High School campus. Students are also responsible for the softball and baseball fields during this season.