The turfgrass industry lost one of its leading icons on May 14, 2018. Dr. James B Beard was a tireless worker dedicated to the advancement of turfgrass science whether focused on research, academics, or extension. His quest for finding the next answers resulted in meticulously researched books and publications that documented the turfgrass industry. His contributions in the United States and globally are significantly too many to list in one place.
In the golf arena, Dr. Beard played an important role in the USGA Green Section history. In the early 1980s, he strongly advocated the critical importance of financially supporting research work through the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program to the USGA Executive Committee. He initiated many of the turfgrass drought and physiology studies that helped make progress toward golf course water conservation. His collaborative work with the Green Section staff resulted in two editions of the highly-respected Turfgrass Management for Golf Courses book. Dr. Beard was the 1989 recipient of the USGA Green Section Award, but the volume of his contributions to turfgrass science continued until his death.
You would be hard-pressed to find any person working in the turfgrass industry who does not have some connection to, or who has not benefitted from, the decades of work by Dr. Beard. His contributions to our understanding of turfgrass science have touched the professional lives of turfgrass managers, researchers and educators throughout the world.