Agustin Boeri, Ph.D., hit the ground running before his official start date with Texas A&M AgriLife.

a smiling bearded man with glasses, new turfgrass specialist Agustin Boeri
Agustin Boeri, Ph.D., is working from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas to help homeowners and landscapers tackle turfgrass issues. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

His position as a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service turfgrass specialist and assistant professor in the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences began Jan. 1, but he delivered his first presentation on turfgrass management best practices for irrigation and fertilizer at the Texas Turfgrass Association Winter Conference and Show in December.

Since then, Boeri hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet, so to speak, as he works to educate homeowners and industry professionals about turfgrass.

His program is part of a multifaceted approach to turfgrass initiatives across Texas A&M AgriLife. These initiatives combine research, teaching and extension efforts to holistically bolster turfgrass resiliency and sustainability in all its forms.

Realizing the benefits of turfgrass

Working from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas, Boeri has concentrated on building a program to promote environmentally sustainable turfgrass management practices that support the beauty, functionality and uniqueness of Texas’ geographical regions.

With an estimated annual value of $40 billion, the national turfgrass industry supports nearly a million jobs related to its production, installation and management.

Boeri said turfgrass plays a crucial role in urban environments, offering various environmental and social benefits such as recreational services, erosion control and mitigating urban heat islands.

However, beyond its economic and environmental significance, the industry and end users face many challenges, he said.

Climate change, recurrent droughts, increasing costs for potable water and rising urban water demands have led to limited water availability in many urban landscapes, Boeri said. Overuse and improper use of fertilizer and pesticides also pose environmental implications such as water pollution.

“Through education, applied research and collaboration, I want to empower professionals and enthusiasts alike to achieve their turfgrass management goals while safeguarding the environment,” he said.

Discovering his dreams on the ‘fields’ of turf

Boeri’s professional experience started in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the National Agricultural Technology Institute. After finishing his undergraduate studies in agronomy, he joined a private agriculture company as a sales representative.

While there he gained experience advising clients on crop protection products and the correct implementation of best management practices in turfgrass systems including golf courses, polo and soccer fields, and lawns.

Boeri said this experience gave him insight into the connection between product research and development and consumer use, which led him to continue with his graduate-level studies.

A man in a green short and jeans squats on a plot of turfgrass while speaking to a group of individuals.
As a part of his mission to combine research, teaching and extension, Agustin Boeri, Ph.D., a new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service turfgrass specialist in the Dallas area, discusses turfgrass care with homeowners. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

Building an Extension-based program

Boeri earned his master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Florida. His master’s thesis research focused on the development of Bahia grass genotypes with improved turf traits.

The focus of his dissertation research was on evaluating mixed-species lawns that offer reduced water and fertilizer inputs while maintaining similar aesthetic and functional performance compared to traditionally used lawn species.

During his doctorate, Boeri developed Extension-based education materials for the turfgrass industry and worked with county agents and Master Gardeners in Florida.

“As an AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, I plan to work closely with the turfgrass and landscape association to support the industry. My plan also includes building collaborations with cities and water management districts to implement water conservation programs,” he said.

While he will spend the summer on research, Boeri can be found speaking at major programs this fall including:

  • WaterMyYard Field Day at the Texas A&M AgriLife center in Dallas on Aug. 3.
  • 2024 Nursery Landscape Expo in San Antonio on Aug. 14.
  • Texas A&M Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day, Texas A&M AgriLife center in Dallas, Oct. 2.
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