New turfgrass specialist begins at Texas A&M

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Efficient varieties and informed management practices can help Texans make the most of turfgrasses’ natural human health and environmental benefits, said the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s new turfgrass specialist.

Dr. Lindsey Hoffman assumed her post at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas July 9. She said her public outreach initiatives will deliver holistic approaches for coaxing maximum benefit from turfgrass use.

“Turfgrasses provide a number of services to the ecosystem,” Hoffman said. “They control erosion, contribute to cooler spaces and provide viable surfaces for sports and recreation. We also know green spaces in general contribute to human emotional wellbeing.”

However, she added, proper selection and best management practices must work hand-in-hand to ensure Texans make the most of turfgrass resources.

“We have a number of efficient, resilient, warm-season turfgrasses on the market now,” Hoffman said in reference to the latest varieties by Texas A&M AgriLife Research breeders in Dallas. “These varieties, with efficient irrigation and smart input use, can provide innumerable aesthetic and functional benefits in a landscape alongside a palette of regionally adapted plant material.”

Her plan is to promote a system that marries these disciplines, giving Texans vibrant landscapes that contribute to healthy living and human development, she said.

Hoffman looks to connect with large organizations that carry substantial influence for spreading public information on turfgrass best practices.

“I will be reaching out to homeowners associations, homebuilders, school districts, cities, sporting associations — basically engaging any organization with a large constituency of Texans vested in using turfgrass,” she said.

Hoffman attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she earned a master’s degree in turfgrass agronomy and doctorate in turfgrass physiology. Before joining AgriLife Extension, she worked as a research associate at her alma mater. Hoffman has also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Minnesota and Rutgers University.

She joins Dr. Becky Grubbs as AgriLife Extension’s second turfgrass specialist for Texas.

Reach Hoffman with turfgrass inquiries by phone at 972-952-9212, by e-mail at lindsey.hoffman@ag.tamu.edu or on Twitter by following her handle @lhoffman2578.

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