Cary, North Carolina, United States: John Deere is affirming its commitment to the golf industry through the support of four programmes in collaboration with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The initiatives, which target young professionals including students and assistant superintendents, aim to drive interest in golf course maintenance careers and provide new growth opportunities for the existing workforce.
“We are proud to support these impactful programmes. It is critical for manufacturers like John Deere to invest resources in developing the future leaders of our industry,” said Manny Gan, Director, Global Golf Sales & Marketing, John Deere, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“As a long-standing partner of the GCSAA, we know the importance of what they do for the golf community, and we are committed to helping further their reach to current and future turfgrass professionals,” added Gan.
As of 2021, John Deere will support a GCSAA assistant superintendent-focused programme focused on professional growth and continued education. Comprised of two key elements, participating assistant superintendents will have multiple opportunities to further their careers.
The second element, the Assistant Superintendent Certificate Series (ASCS), is a four-part certificate-based programme focusing on key industry areas, including agronomy, business, environmental stewardship, and leadership and communication.
Those who complete all four areas will automatically be accepted to Green Start Academy, the annual educational programme hosted by John Deere and Bayer.
Part of the GCSAA First Green programme, a new equipment manager-focused initiative, supported by John Deere, will introduce high school students to a career as a golf course mechanic. The programme will feature a maintenance-related curriculum, exposing students to the skills needed to pursue a career in the industry.
The First Green, which was founded in 1997, is a STEM education and environmental programme that uses golf courses as learning labs to engage students across the United States and Canada.
In addition to the new offerings, John Deere is renewing its support of two existing commitments, the GCSAA Student Membership Programme and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) outreach initiative.
Through the Student Membership programme, John Deere provides complimentary GCSAA memberships to full-time turfgrass students. As a part of the FFA outreach commitment, John Deere supports the efforts of the GCSAA to connect with the FFA. That includes the presence of the organisation at the FFA National Conference, enabling the FFA to attend GIS annually, and funding eight Supervised Agricultural Experience grants.
GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said: “We thank John Deere for supporting our efforts to help assistant superintendents grow their knowledge base and careers. John Deere knows the vital contribution that superintendents make to golf and how helping them at every stage of their careers advances the industry and enhances the enjoyment of the game for everyone.”