I hate to be shockable at 50–it’s unseemly–but I was doing some research yesterday and was shocked to learn that Colorado State University has an entire degree program devoted to “turf management.”

This program is taught by actual Ph.D.s.  It leads to glorious management careers, the site informs me, even in this brutal job market.

The thriving turf management industry offers management opportunities ranging from sod production to the establishment and maintenance of private and public grounds. Turfgrass managers are supervisors for golf courses, ski resorts, sports fields, and for park departments. Excellent employment opportunities are available in the areas of lawn care and landscape management.

A similar program is in place at Penn State, which has a full Center for Turfgrass Science, as does Rutgers. Turfgrass management students at Rutgers are eligible for scholarships funded by pesticide makers Bayer and Syngenta.

Seriously? 

The world is running out of arable land.  We’ve had food riots in developing countries in recent years.  Global warming appears to be unstoppable.  The American Southwest threatens to turn into a dust bowl.  Pesticides are implicated in a host of diseases.

And you want to spend four or more years learning how to pour water, artificial nitrogen manufactured from fossil fuels, and soil-deadening pesticides onto turfgrass mowed with giant gasoline guzzling machines?  In order to make 75 year-old golfers who don’t care about the future happy? 

Wouldn’t it be more socially productive to get a degree in Croupier Sciences?  Sex Worker Management? Pyramid Schemes?