Outstanding Contribution Award for Yelverton

Fred Yelverton.

Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Fred Yelverton, PhD, professor and Extension specialist at North Carolina State University, has been selected to receive the 2023 Outstanding Contribution Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

He will be recognised during the Sunrise Celebration (formerly the Opening Session) at the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show on February 8 in Orlando.

A global authority on turfgrass science, Yelverton’s speaking engagements and consulting activities have taken him to six continents and included invited presentations in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore.

In late 2020, Yelverton made a webinar presentation on Turfgrass Weed Management as part of the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Sustainability Series.

The GCSAA’s Outstanding Contribution Award, which debuted in 2022, is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the membership through outstanding contributions to the golf course industry. The contribution must be significant in both substance and duration. The outstanding contribution may be or have been regional in nature.

“Fred Yelverton’s dedication to the turfgrass industry through research and education is undoubtedly worthy of the Outstanding Contribution Award,” said Rhett Evans, the GCSAA’s CEO.

“Yelverton has worked closely with GCSAA for more than 20 years, from teaching seminars to serving on the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show Committee, and he has positively impacted the industry and the lives of GCSAA members,” added Evans.

Yelverton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology in 1981 and obtained a Master of Science in weed science in 1984, both from NC State. After beginning his career in county extension, Yelverton returned to NC State in 1986 to obtain his PhD in weed science.

He completed his PhD in 1990 and worked as an Extension specialist at NC State until 1995. He then began his work as a turfgrass weed scientist at NC State in the Crop Science Department, a position he still holds.

In 1995, along with Bert McCarty, PhD from Clemson University, Yelverton began co-teaching two seminars for GCSAA – ‘Advanced Weed Management’ and ‘Weed Control’.

Yelverton and McCarty have taught both seminars every year since with the exception of 2020. In 2021, Yelverton and fellow NC State colleagues Jim Kerns, PhD, and Rick Brandenburg, PhD, began teaching a new seminar for GCSAA, ‘Effects of Climate Change on Turfgrass Pests’.

“Of all the activities in my professional career, working with golf course superintendents has been the most rewarding,” Yelverton said.

“We are all in the problem-solving business and it is very gratifying to help golf course superintendents, assistants and associated industry personnel do their jobs. We are all in the business of enhancing the playability of golf courses, and to be able to assist in that endeavour is very rewarding.”

In his role as a turfgrass weed scientist, Yelverton focuses on solving real world problems for golf course superintendents while also maintaining an active research programme on weed biology and ecology of turfgrass weeds.

As a professor at NC State, Yelverton co-teaches a senior/graduate level course titled ‘Advance Turfgrass Pest Management’ and co-teaches a senior seminar class for the associate degree students studying turfgrass management. He has also served as an academic advisor to many Master’s and PhD students during his career.

“I am honoured to be recognised by GCSAA with the Outstanding Contribution Award,” Yelverton said. “There are so many deserving individuals and to be recognised with this award is very humbling.”

Yelverton doesn’t hesitate to recognise his colleagues at NC State and Clemson University, the members of the golf course industry in North Carolina and the Carolinas GCSA. “It is a pleasure to work alongside these extremely professional and highly trained individuals,” Yelverton said. 

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