Amanda Folck is the new turfgrass extension specialist for the University of Nebraska in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. Her appointment, which began Jan. 1, is 90 percent extension and 10 percent teaching.
Her appointment at Nebraska will be a new challenge in Folck's career.
"I am intrigued by the geographical differences between the various environments in Nebraska," Folck said in a news release. "Based on my experience with warm- and cool-season turfgrass and, in extension, it felt like a good fit to come here."
A native of Wisconsin, Folck grew up on her family's farm in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, where she was immersed in 4-H.
Even with her background in livestock, Folck grew up with an interest in flora.
"I have always been interested in plants because of my experience on the farm," she said. "My family planted and grew various fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelons, peas and pumpkins."
Folck earned a bachelor's degree in sustainable plant systems in turfgrass science with a minor in plant pathology from Ohio State in 2017 and a master's in horticulture from Purdue in 2022.
Her experience also includes five years as an assistant sports turf manager at Texas A&M and at Purdue.
At Texas A&M, Folck worked on Ellis Field, the school's soccer field, and assisted with other Aggie athletic fields.
"I chose turfgrass because there are different types of grasses and cultivars that can work in different environments," she said. "Another benefit is the versatility of using turfgrass for athletic events on television, from soccer games to golf tournaments in the PGA."
Now, Folck says, she's excited to be part of the turfgrass team at Nebraska and give back, based on her experiences in the turfgrass industry, and help provide outreach to assist turfgrass stakeholders in the state. In addition to her extension role, she will also be teaching the Plant and Landscape Systems 427 Turfgrass System Management capstone course to turfgrass science and management undergraduates.