Inquisitiveness and high standards earn horticulturalist Jim Diermeier an Excellence in IPM award

Jim Diermeier has spent a lifetime perfecting his art, crafting year-round beauty and wonder with the most natural of palettes — plants. And now his work will be on display at the 2020 US Open Golf Tournament.

Core to his art? Science. Whether tried and true or testing the new, Diermeier is dedicated to keeping the gardens under his care healthy and pest-free by following the core tenets of integrated pest management, or IPM. Because integrated pest management is intelligent pest management.

Now, for his outstanding work in promoting IPM, both in practice and through educating others, Diermeier has received an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University.

Diermeier has held a number of high-profile positons, including associate director at the New York Botanical Garden and now horticulturalist at the Winged Foot Golf Club. Winged Foot, consistently listed as among the world’s top 100, has hosted the U.S. Open golf tournament five times and is preparing for the sixth in 2020.

At Winged Foot, Diermeier’s job is caring for the gardens that wrap around the historic clubhouse and its lawns like a quilted tapestry. “I’m constantly told how great the clubhouse grounds look and I can honestly say it’s all Jim,” says Director Stephen Rabideau.

At the New York Botanical Gardens, Jessica Schuler, director of the 50-acre old-growth Thain Forest, notes Diermeier’s careful attention to least-toxic IPM practices. And in so doing, Schuler says, “Jim initiated a paradigm shift.”

“If you know Jim, you will know no one more passionate about his industry and educating others,” says Elizabeth Seme, executive director of the NYS Turfgrass association, who nominated Diermeier for the Excellence in IPM award.

“Jim is a walking encyclopedia of IPM best practices, blessed with an inquisitive mind and the willingness to try new approaches,” says Jennifer Grant, director of the NYS IPM Program. “Now he’s ready to show IPM to the world at the 2020 US Open.”

Diermeier received his award on November 15 at the annual Turf & Grounds Exposition in Rochester, New York.