June 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FACILITY & OPERATIONS 30 SportsTurf | June 2017 DR. JAMES B AND HARRIET BEARD—PARTNERS IN AN AMAZING JOURNEY ■ BY SUZ TRUSTY N early everyone in the turfgrass industry has heard of Dr. James B Beard. A renowned consultant and lecturer and prolific author of books, scientific research papers and technical articles, he's typically referred to as the world's leading authority on turfgrasses and turfgrass science. Dr. Beard is the president and chief scientist of the International Sports Turf Institute, which he founded in 1992, and a professor emeritus of Turfgrass Science at Texas A&M University. He earned an MS in Crop Ecology in 1959 and PhD in Turfgrass Physiology in 1961, both from Purdue University. He held a research-teaching position at Michigan State University from 1961 to 1975. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California–Riverside in 1969. He held a research-teaching position at Texas A&M from 1975 to 1992. Many who know Dr. Jim also know his wife and behind- the-scenes business partner, Harriet. She has assisted in multiple non-paid roles in many University and turfgrass organization outreach efforts, accompanied him on his international travels—and typed every word he's ever written. FORMING THE PARTNERSHIP Jim and Harriet Beard can't determine exactly when they met. They grew up on adjacent farms near Bradford, OH but didn't go to school together because the district split between the farms. Their families attended the same church and Jim remembers they participated in confirmation classes and joined the church at the same time, when they were 11 or 12 years old. Harriet says, "I just tell people he had his eye on me at 11." Their first date was the day Jim graduated from high school. "He took me fishing and practiced his valedictorian speech on me," states Harriet. "I should have known right then what was in store for us." That fall, Jim headed to The Ohio State University. Harriet reports she was not a straight A student so had no opportunity to attend college. She worked in a local bank. Jim was taking an entomology course so their dates when he was home on weekends were spent "collecting butterflies and bugs of all kinds and pinning them to a box." That solidified their status as a This photo of Dr. James B and Harriet Beard on this brochure about the MSU endowed graduate fellowship named for them is one of their favorites. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DR. JAMES B AND HARRIET BEARD COLLECTION.Emerald Valley Turf Nurseries President

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