Connected By Shinoda

Connected By Shinoda

No matter your age or experience, if you’re in school, every extra resource counts and is appreciated. For two of this year’s Shinoda Scholarship Foundation winners, the scholarship and their appreciation for what it means to their careers connects two dissimilar lives.

Kelly Norris, Living The Horticultural Life

At 19, Kelly Norris of Bedford, Iowa, is the youngest recipient of the 2006 Shinoda Scholarship. But at such a young age, his resume already reads like a horticulture industry veteran. Garden writer. Newspaper columnist. Lecturer. On top of these activities, the Iowa State University sophomore juggles a more-than-full 21-credit-hour schedule that includes classes, labs and a hosta genetics research program. Did I mention he manages a seven-acre specialty iris nursery, too?

Like many who encounter gardening and plants as a child, horticulture has become Kelly’s life, with everything else merely a hobby. “My earliest garden memories trace back to when I was four, about as soon as I was able to hold a trowel in my hand,” Kelly says. “I have very early memories of helping my grandmother in the garden. She was a nurturer of my inquiry into nature and gardening.” Being raised on a farm also accounts for his knack for horticulture, with gardening, according to Kelly, being a natural extension of a farm family’s outdoor life.

Kelly turned from avid gardener to garden professional at age 13. His first lecture, to a garden club about ways to attract birds, led to online and print articles for regional garden publications. He now publishes on a range of ornamental topics for mainly regional publications and lectures at least once per month throughout the Midwest. He’s also a member of more than a dozen professional societies and is even on the scientific advisory committee of the American Iris Society.

With a background like this, it’s no wonder that Kelly is emphasizing horticultural communications and public education in the ISU horticulture department. “As an industry we have an obligation as vendors of horticulture products to educate our customers,” Kelly says. “We should provide every opportunity we can to put consumers in touch with information to help them make better-informed decisions about their landscapes and to help them make better buying decisions,” he continues. Noting the demand of this “information hungry world” will eventually turn into an expectation on the consumers’ part, Kelly speculates that the obligation will eventually fall on the retailer to provide as much information as possible regarding all the goods and services they sell.

Kelly’s budding communication and education career will be just the tip of the iceberg. His foremost goal is to earn a Ph.D. in ornamental plant breeding and work to expand his current nursery and breeding programs into genera that have yet to enter the marketplace, aspiring to the likes of Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries.

But he doesn’t call any of this a job. “I’ve always held the idea that you have to find something that you love to do and choose that as your career so that at the end of your life you can proudly say you’ve never worked a day.”

Russ Newman, Coming Around To Horticulture

Russ Newman of Nipomo, Calif., the oldest of the 2006 Shinoda Scholarship winners at 27, wasn’t bitten by the horticulture bug until his mid 20s. Prior to entering the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) in January 2005, Russ worked full time in a local bread plant, helping to support his wife, Amber, while she finished her education. When she graduated and it was his turn to earn a degree, Russ considered his enjoyment of plants, as well as the strength of the horticulture industry and the number of greenhouse and cut flower operations where the couple lives along the central coast of California. Having a university with an outstanding horticulture program cemented his decision.

Now a senior, Russ has concentrated his studies in greenhouse production of ornamentals, potted plants and cut flowers. His senior project is fitting for an environmental horticulture science major and deals with a subject that every horticulture operation is sure to confront–waste water. Using an effluent collection system designed and constructed by another Cal Poly student four years ago, Russ will collect waste water from one facility growing a variety of cut flowers, store it in a collection tank and use it to produce a cut flower crop. How will this crop differ from a crop grown with irrigation water? Hopefully the answer will help growers answer a question of their own–how to process their greenhouse and nursery runoff.

Russ notes married life has made a big difference as a student, compared to his traditionally aged classmates. “I really owe a lot to Amber, because she’s enabled me to concentrate on school alone,” Russ says. Prior to his bread plant job, Russ worked 40 or more hours a week plus attended night classes to earn his Associate’s degree. “Having that experience really makes me appreciate what I have now,” Russ adds. “Paying for school out of our own pockets really makes me appreciate the opportunity to pursue an education, and it makes me appreciate scholarships even more because it’s one less worry for us.” This year, Russ has received a total of $7,700, including the $3,000 from the Shinoda Foundation. “What the Shinoda Scholarship has done is enabled me to pay for my tuition from the current quarter through my last quarter. Other funds have allowed me to pay off some of my previous student loans. All of these scholarships have really been a big help.”

2006-2007 Shinoda Winners

The recipients of the 2006-2007 Shinoda Scholarships are:
•  $5,000 to senior Jamie K. Mastright, 24, Ventura, CA, an environmental horticulture science major at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
•  $3,500 to sophomore Kelly D. Norris, 19, Bedford, IA, a horticulture major at Iowa State University.
•  $3,500 to senior Jessica D. Ritter, 22, West Point, NE, a horticulture major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
•  $3,000 to senior Russ P. Newman, 27, Nipomo, CA, an environmental horticulture science major at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
•  $2,000 to senior Krystle L. Peelen, 21, Sanborn, IA, a horticulture major at South Dakota State University.
•  $1,000 to senior Heather R. Ephraim, 23, Quartz Hill, CA, an environmental horticulture science major at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Heather Ephraim was also designated as the recipient of the California Floral Council Scholarship. This is the first year this scholarship has been awarded by the Shinoda Foundation.

A Shout Out For Scholarships

Scholarship funds have made a critical difference in the lives of thousands, if not millions of students, including Russ and Kelly. Funds are available if students and their horticulture departments search for the different resources. In Kelly’s case, he fills out about 70 scholarship applications each year, with the goal of receiving enough scholarship money each year to cover annual tuition. “Scholarships had aided me tremendously,” he says. “I am so very thankful and grateful for the scholarships I have received.”

“As much work as it is to apply for scholarships at a typically busy time of year, it’s really worth it,” Russ says. “They’ve really made a difference in my ability to fund schooling, and also how I feel about choosing a horticulture career. It’s already paying off.” And regarding businesses and individuals who support horticulture scholarships, Russ says, “You never know what kind of seeds you’re going to plant in funding someone going to school. They could be your future employee or they could be the head of a great company some day. Past Shinoda Scholarship winners have gone on to do some great things.”

About Shinoda

The Shinoda Foundation was established in 1964 in memory of the late Joseph Shinoda, pioneer of the floral industry. The foundation has awarded scholarships valued at more $662,000 to 585 undergraduate floriculture students since 1965. Applications for the Shinoda Foundation’s scholarships are distributed each January and can be downloaded from its Web site–www.shinodascholarship.org. For those interested in contributing to the scholarship, please visit the Web site, e-mail bmccaleb@shinodascholarship.org or call 805-544-0717.

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...
Hendriks-Half-Open-Roof_GGS

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
Bloomtown_Screen Shot 2015-03-10

March 24, 2015

Bloomtown Exposes Consumers To The World Of Horticultur…

A new web series called Bloomtown is all about the mud, sweat and tears of horticulture. Filmed in St. Louis, Mo., it chronicles the world of horticulture using local flower growers, greenhouses, wholesalers, florists, consumers, retail shops and arborists, with the goal of opening consumers’ eyes to the world of horticulture around them.

Read More
SAF CAD

March 18, 2015

Growers Ask For Immigration And Healthcare Reform Durin…

Nearly 90 growers, retailers, suppliers and wholesales attended the Society of American Florists' (SAF) 2015 Congressional Action Days March 9-10. The delegation, representing 18 states, arrived on Capitol Hill at a time when two major industry issues - immigration and healthcare reform - are especially prominent in national headlines.

Read More
Nexus Corporation's Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Wom…

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More
Smart Herb Garden

March 2, 2015

Smartpot Uses Sensors And Cartridges To Ensure Success …

Click & Grow helps make it simple for consumers to grow their own herbs and spices at home, even if they have little experience with plants.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Student Flash Mob At TPIE Has Roots In Floriculture

The local FFA students who entertained TPIE attendees in 2014 and 2015 received industry donations of plants and a greenhouse structure to help expand their horticultural program.

Read More

February 12, 2015

GROW Perspective: What Is It You Do Again?

The industry is very good at talking about what we do and how we do it, but has almost completely lost touch with talking about why this work is important. As an industry, we need to promote our professions as vital to healthier living.

Read More
bee photo

February 11, 2015

26 Ways Growers Improve The Green Industry

In Greenhouse Grower’s annual State Of The Industry Survey, we asked how your operation is living the GROW Initiative’s five pillars: How are you driving consumer success, cultivating new customers, demanding quality, investing in the industry and sharpening business management? Through your candid responses, we learned about some of the ideas you’ve implemented and steps you’re taking for 2015. Here are just a few.

Read More
Noble Foundation

February 3, 2015

Lloyd Noble Scholars Program Application Period Now Ope…

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is offering college students an opportunity to work side-by-side with the Noble Foundation’s renowned agricultural consultants and researchers through the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, a summer internship that provides students the opportunity to enhance their in-class education with real-world application and experiences.

Read More

January 7, 2015

GROW Summit 2014 Homes In On The Issues That Keep You U…

During Greenhouse Grower’s third annual GROW Summit in December a number of ideas, questions and calls-to-action transpired. Here are a few of the highlights.

Read More
GROW Logo

January 6, 2015

Growers Resolve To Educate Public About Their Operation…

See what growers plan to work on for their 2015 business resolutions.

Read More

December 22, 2014

National Garden Bureau Launches Therapeutic Garden Prog…

National Garden Bureau has chosen the Growing Solutions Farm in Chicago as the first beneficiary of its annual fundraising effort "Growing For Futures."

Read More

December 19, 2014

Hydroponic Food Production Course Serves Up Life Lesson…

Students in the new HORT 331X Hydroponic Food Crop Production course at Iowa State University are producing more food than they can eat, so they began donating the vegetables they produce to a local food pantry and free meal program.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 8, 2014

“The Cheapest Generation” Will Be Tomorrow&…

Members of the Millennial generation aren’t buying cars and houses the way their parents did, and according to a recent article from The Atlantic titled “The Cheapest Generation,” it might be more than an effect of a bad economy. So what does this mean for horticulture? Industry members weigh in.

Read More
Katie Nickolaus

November 25, 2014

Proven Winners Names 2014 Scholarship Winners

Looking to promote industry leaders of the future, Proven Winners has established a $15,000 scholarship program that awards students in three distinct areas - breeding, marketing and growing.

Read More

November 24, 2014

GROW Perspective: We Need To Think Bigger

Garry Grueber of Cultivaris and Global Breadfruit says the horticulture industry must evolve to help solve the problems of world hunger and food insecurity.

Read More

November 13, 2014

NY SunWorks’ Greenhouse Project Aims To Build 100 Labs …

NY SunWork's Greenhouse Project aims to build 100 labs by 2020. With 15 greenhouse project labs built and 11 more in development, it’s on its way to reaching that goal.

Read More

November 4, 2014

Millennials Rank Gardening Among Top 5 Leisure Activiti…

United Kingdom consumers, aged 25 to 35, have rated gardening as a top five favorite leisure activity.

Read More
Ken Altman

October 27, 2014

GROW Perspective: Why I Give Back To The Industry

Ken Altman of Altman Plants knows a thing or two about the green industry, including the importance of contributing to the industry he loves.

Read More