If you ever killed weeds in your lawn, watched your kids play on public athletic fields, sunk a 15-foot putt on a perfect green or rooted for your favorite team playing on its home turf, then you have come in contact with Bert McCarty’s work. 

McCarty is internationally recognized for his expertise in turfgrass maintenance and sod production. He is the 2012 recipient of Clemson University’s highest agricultural honor: the Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research. 

George Askew, associate vice president for public service and agriculture, presented the award to McCarty, the 26th recipient, at Thursday’s year-end faculty meeting. 

McCarty came to Clemson from the University of Florida in 1996 to research, teach and provide outreach on commercial turfgrass management and sod production. He has more than 100 refereed publications to his credit, along with eight books that he wrote or edited. His Best Golf Course Management Practices,” now in its third edition, is a bible for groundskeepers and a textbook for turf management students. And, McCarty’s best-seller “Weeds of Southern Turfgrass” is the most successful Extension publication sold in the United States with more than 50,000 copies sold to date.

The Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research is named in honor of the late W. Cecil Godley, former director of the S.C. Agricultural Experiment Station, and Absalom W. Snell, former associate director. It is the largest annual agricultural research award given at the university and is allocated from earnings of a fund that was established in 1986 upon Godley’s retirement and increased in 1988 when Snell retired. The purpose of the fund is to stimulate excellence in agricultural research by making a personal award to faculty members involved in research through the Clemson Experiment Station.