Scholarship Program

Apply for a SAFE Scholarship!

Click here to go to our ReviewR software. All applications must be submitted this way.

The deadline for all Scholarship / Grant applications is Oct. 15.


About the SAFE Scholarship Program

SAFE annually awards scholarships to students who are planning a career in the sports field industry. Since its inception, the SAFE Foundation has presented more than $225,000 in scholarships and travel to the SFMA Conference and Exhibition to more than 120 students.

Each year, SAFE awards several named scholarships: the Dr. James Watson Graduate Scholarship, the Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarships, the Dr. James Watson two-year Scholarships, and the Dr. Fred Grau Scholarship. The Watson Scholarships are named in honor of long-time green industry researcher and consultant Dr. James Watson, are funded by the Toro Giving Program, and are presented to the top graduate and undergraduate scholarship recipients. The top recipient from a two-year program receives the Dr. Fred Grau scholarship, which is named in honor of the first fieldgrass extension specialist in the United States. There is not a separate application for these named scholarships; they are awarded to the top graduate and undergraduate applicants.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for the scholarships. Simply complete the online application, request your references from your faculty adviser and employer and submit it to the SAFE Scholarship Committee. The applicants are judged on academic preparation, cumulative grade point average, experience in sports field management, and references provided by student advisers and previous or current employers. They are also evaluated on their contributions to their school, department, and organizations to which they belong, as well as their career objectives.

Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship

Darian Daily exhibited all that is good about our work and his enthusiastic support of the SFMA and The SAFE Foundation was inspirational. Darian was dedicated to his family and spoke often of his love of spending time with his family. The Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship is designed to help parents/guardians provide an education for their children.

Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship will be awarded each year in the amount of $2,500 each to (2) qualified individuals.


  • Recipients must be currently enrolled or enrolling into a recognized college or university.
  • This scholarship will support students who have chosen an academic field of study outside of the Turfgrass industry.
  • Parent/Guardian of recipient must be a current SFMA National member for at least the past three years.
  • Parent/Guardian meeting previous requirement must fill out application and complete an essay, information on how they have given back to the industry and their child’s qualifications, along with student’s high school or current college transcript.
  • Student must complete a short essay about how their parent/guardian has positively influenced them.


  1. SFMA Member must submit application by October 15.
  2. Application must be submitted by SFMA member on behalf of their child/dependent.
  3. The student must be an enrolled full-time college student, or high school student entering a two or four-year college or university.
  4. The student must demonstrate a broad base of interests including extra-curricular and community involvement, volunteer activities and outside employment.
  5. The SFMA member must complete an essay on the topic of “What legacy do you want to leave to your child and how has your career helped define that?”.
  6. The student must include a short essay (200-250 words) on how their parent/guardian has influenced them.

Click here for the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship Application.

Previous winners of the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship:

  • 2020 – Camryn Cox, Winthrop University and Austin Dungey, SUNY at Albany
  • 2019 – Cameron Nielsen, Northern Kentucky University and Bryan Floyd, Murray State University
  • 2018 – Tucker Douglas, Penn State University and Jacob Kershaw, Louisiana State University/Baton Rouge
  • 2017 – Haley Churchill, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

SAFE Scholarships

Click here to go to our ReviewR software.  All applications must be submitted this way.

The deadline for all Scholarship / Grant applications is Oct. 15.

Application Procedure:

All materials must be submitted electronically. This includes letters of support, Faculty Advisor Forms, Employer Reference Forms, and any other documents that you wish to submit with your application.

Click here to go to our ReviewR software.  All applications must be submitted this way.

NOTE: The deadline for all Scholarship and Grant applications is Oct. 15. If Oct. 15th falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted through the following Monday.


Each year, the SAFE Scholarship Program is supported through the Toro Giving Program, SAFE Golf Tournament, proceeds from the SAFE Live and Silent Auctions, and the donations of individuals and corporations.

Click here to see a list of past SAFE Scholarship recipients.