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.”

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...

May 22, 2015

Nexus Greenhouses Is Optimistic For Expansion Into New Markets

Cheryl Longtin and Mike Porter, who own Nexus Corporation, say they were excited to attend the grand opening of Gotham Greens’ new structure atop the new Whole Foods grocery store in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when it opened in December 2013. The project is just one example of some of the new and expanding markets that Nexus Corporation has expanded into over the past few years. Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus, says the company has enjoyed getting to know and working with the founders of Gotham Greens, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley, and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, the chief agriculture officer, on their innovative approach to business. “They are very excited and work hard internally – just great people,” he says. “From our perspective, it’s great to see that excitement and vision. The employees there are happy and there’s no turnover; they’re only adding new people […]

Read More
Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Innovation Day

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

Read More
Bee On Flower

May 20, 2015

White House Task Force Releases Pollinator Health Strategy

An interagency Pollinator Health Task Force commissioned by President Obama released its “Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” on May 19. The strategy, released in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued last June, is accompanied by a Pollinator Research Action Plan, which outlines needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. The recommended actions will be supported by a coordination of existing federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to losses in pollinator populations. Pages 47 through 52 specifically address pesticides and pollinators. The report calls out plant production, native plants, mosquito control and all urban uses in its Pollinator Action Plan. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the goals of improving pollinator health and habitat contained in the White House Pollinator Task Force’s release of its National […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Amy Daniel with daughters

May 20, 2015

Fall Creek Farm & Nursery’s Amy Daniel Suppor…

Amy Daniel, marketing and brand manager at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, has a passion for marketing and branding that led her into the green industry early in her career, when she and a friend started their own agency, and she began helping her parents — then owners of a retail nursery — with marketing services. Daniel’s career in the field started in the 1980s, after she finished college with degrees in journalism and advertising. It wasn’t long before she began to feel frustrated with the status quo in the industry. She and a friend from college, agreeing there was a better way to do things, decided to start a business. “I guess now looking back, we were probably young and naive, but it all worked out really well,” Daniel says. “We started our own advertising agency/marketing and PR firm. I ran that for two decades. It was very successful.” […]

Read More
susie raker featured

May 12, 2015

Manage Costs To Increase Profitability

Business profitability and health is about more than just sales. Growers can get in trouble when they don’t look at the complete picture when it comes to cost accounting. Susie Raker Zimmerman shares how the team at C. Raker & Sons keeps costs and profits in check.

Read More
Suzi McCoy with GM Logo

May 6, 2015

Garden Media Group’s Suzi McCoy Urges Women In Horticul…

When Susan McCoy, owner of Garden Media Group, started promoting roses and shrubs for The Conard-Pyle Co. (Star Roses and Plants), she knew the horticulture industry was the right place for her. What she didn’t know was how much the journey would reshape her business for the better. Now, she encourages women in horticulture to invite others to be a part of the industry.

Read More
indoor-vertical-farm

May 5, 2015

World’s Largest Indoor Vertical Farm To Be Developed In…

A former industrial site in the Ironbound community of Newark, N.J., will be redeveloped into the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. The $30 million project was recently announced by RBH Group, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Prudential Financial Inc. and AeroFarms, in partnership with the City of Newark and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). The vertical farm will serve as the global headquarters for AeroFarms. “We are excited to redefine not only the Garden State but also agriculture overall,” says David Rosenberg, CEO for AeroFarms. “Partnering with RBH, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, the City of Newark and NJEDA allows us to bring our global headquarters and the world’s largest indoor vertical farm close to where the consumer is, offering a fresher, more nutritious and delicious product while also creating jobs in the community.” According to Ron Beit, founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, AeroFarms will anchor its broader Makers […]

Read More
fieldtovase

April 29, 2015

Field To Vase Dinner Tour Promotes American Grown Flowe…

For the first time last month, guests at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif. were treated to a four-course, gourmet, farm-to-fork style meal in the middle of the fields. The event was part of the 10-city Certified American Grown “Field to Vase” Dinner Tour. The tour is a series of private, intimate gatherings that place seasonal, local and sustainable American Grown flowers at the center of the table where locally grown food, beer and wine is served by a farm-to-table chef. The Flower Fields event was one of four dinners that will be held in the state this year. It featured chef Marissa Gerlach, executive chef at the Vista Valley Country Club, Vista, Calif. Mike Mellano, a third generation flower farmer with a Ph.D. in plant pathology, led guests on tours of the fields. Guests were given a floral arrangement as a symbol of the evening’s theme: Celebrating Local American […]

Read More
CrownBees_Blue-Orchard-Bee-Female_Artz

April 21, 2015

There’s Still Time Left In Crown Bees’ Camp…

There is a little more than a week left in Crown Bees’ Indiegogo fund-raising venture designed to give garden center retailers a chance to help increase awareness of native bees, and to increase the number of bees to pollinate local food. The company is raising $100,000 to redesign “Bee with Me,” a social network that connects, maps and empowers bee boosters across the U.S. Garden centers that take part in the campaign can: Be listed as a local resource for products and supplies in the online network Get access to and activate a new group of customers Be viewed as a leader in the community Be seen as a source of local expertise. Within your own store and brand, there are several ways you can also help to raise awareness about native bees, such as educating customers about the gentle nature of solitary bees. Visit CrownBees.com for some easy facts to pass […]

Read More
Todd Woodfield

April 8, 2015

Sustainable Horticulture Pays Off

Practicing holistic horticulture has saved money and improved plant quality for Abby Farms. Its manager shares where the operation has seen differences from conventional production.

Read More

April 1, 2015

Philadelphia Flower Show Draws More Than 250,000 Attend…

With more than 250,000 consumers attending the prestigious Philadelphia Flower Show in March each year, it's a great opportunity to get flowers and gardening products into the public eye. This year's show displays took on family favorites at the movies, with a focus on Disney and Pixar films. Check out some of the highlights in our slideshow.

Read More

April 1, 2015

Peace Tree Farms Grows Its Customer Base

Over the past five years, Peace Tree Farms in Kintnersville, Pa., has concentrated on growing its business by providing plant material for the displays at the illustrious Philadelphia Flower Show. We caught up with Peace Tree Farms’ Lloyd Traven to ask about how the Flower Show figures into his business plan.

Read More
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