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Research partnership formed


Texas A&M AgriLife, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University and The Scotts Company LLC have announced a long-term agreement to develop new technologies for the urban market statewide and nationally, according to officials.

Scotts will provide a total of $750,000 over five years to create a new turfgrass research facility through the Texas A&M Foundation. A separate research agreement has been signed that will bring the total Scotts' investment to more than $1.5 million. The funds will provide support for construction of a new facility for turfgrass education and research on F Road on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.

Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service--both Texas A&M University System components--and faculty in the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences will utilize the facilities for major research activities and teaching efforts.

Additional grant funding provided through the research and Extension agreement will go toward developing key research programs in the areas of turfgrass, water efficiency and environmentally friendly pest control products, while improving aesthetic values of landscapes.

"This agreement will lead to many new potential innovations helping address critical issues affecting landscapes in the urban markets throughout Texas and nationwide," said Mark Hussey, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M.

"Overall, we are extremely pleased to be entering into this collaboration and look forward to many new opportunities."

"This partnership will not only enhance our turfgrass research efforts, but strengthen our teaching of undergraduate and graduate students here at Texas A&M," said David Baltensperger, Ph.D., department head for soil and crop sciences. "These students upon graduating Texas A&M will be entering the industry already having first-hand experience in learning how to solve complex issues with new and innovative technologies."

The collaboration will create a joint management committee comprised of representatives from both Texas A&M AgriLife and Scotts. The committee will meet regularly to provide oversight to the ongoing research activities.

"Texas A&M AgriLife is a recognized leader in research, and we're very pleased to announce this partnership," said Scotts' Southwest Region President Jim Tates.

Scotts' Senior Vice President of Global Research and Development Jeff Garascia, Ph.D., added, "This partnership is exciting because it will not only bring together some of today's best minds in research, but also provide opportunities for significant learning for many who will be leading key areas of research in the future."

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