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Sept. 4, 2014

Faculty conversations: Trey Rogers

From constructing athletic fields for the Olympic Games to establishing putting greens in Michigan, Trey Rogers has a passion for turfgrass management.

Since 1988, the professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences has researched and taught turfgrass management at MSU.

“Turfgrass management is just a passion for me, and I’m one of those people that actually gets to do what I love for a living as well as it be my hobby,” Rogers said.

Rogers said his routine changes by the season. During the fall and winter seasons, he’s in the classroom teaching students, but in the spring and summer seasons he’s evaluating research plots and talking to graduate students about the research.

“You never really know what the day or the week or the month is going to bring, I just know it’s going to be turfgrass,” Rogers said.

Earlier in his career, Rogers had the opportunity to participate in high-profile turfgrass projects across the world. He served as the lead scientist for the indoor turf project at the Pontiac Silverdome for the 1994 World Cup and was the turf consultant and project leader of the Summer Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008.

Rogers teaches the introductory turfgrass class, a course on construction and establishment of sand-based systems and a senior capstone course. He said he enjoys teaching the students at the beginning and end of their education.

“We have the best teaching situation that anybody could have, and that is that every student we have, knows that they want to be in turfgrass, so they have a passion for it already,” Rogers said. “They’re more excited about turf than we are, and that’s hard for me to imagine.”

By: Katie Stiefel