Toro And Turf Professionals Equipment Company Help Kansas State University

It's a normal right of spring for gardens to bloom, but at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., the gardens are exploding. What now stands as two acres of gardens is expected to grow tenfold to total 19 acres of diverse gardens and terrain. At the heart of the project is the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources (HFRR) including 50 faculty and staff and 490 students all working to learn and refine their horticultural and natural resource management skills. The Toro Company and its local distributor, Turf Professionals Equipment Company (TPEC), recently supported the KSU Gardens expansion and other facilities with a contribution of equipment and services -- with a retail value in excess of $75,000.

In addition to supporting the applied curriculum for hundreds of HFRR students, the contribution from Toro and TPEC extends to the K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Center, Olathe, Kan. This center is expecting to open the first regional testing and licensing center for the Associated Landscape Contractors of America in August.

"The Toro Giving Program is proud to support educational institutions with outstanding horticultural programs" says Stacy Bogart, director of The Toro Giving Program. "KSU is a national leader in training the next generation of horticultural professionals. The Toro Company and TPEC are pleased to provide both financial and personnel support to assist them in the further growth and development of these worthwhile programs."

The partnership between KSU and Toro is already expanding to address the industry's needs. Dale Getz, Certified Sports Field Manager of the national Sports Turf Managers Association and national sports field sales manager for Toro, has been named an adjunct faculty member in K-State's Department of HFRR. Getz is a veteran turf manager and his credentials include two master's degrees from Michigan State University and The University of Notre Dame. Getz will expose KSU students to the sports field management career track not previously covered in the university's curriculum.

"We're pleased to have established a partnership with The Toro Company and Turf Professionals locally," said Thomas Warner, Ph.D. and Head of the Department of HFRR. "Our students will benefit immensely during the applied aspects of their curriculum by gaining first hand experience with leading landscape equipment. In addition, this equipment brings the growth and maintenance of the KSU Gardens closer to reality."

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