January 25, 2010

AFE Accepting Applications For Grants, Research Projects

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is now accepting applications for educational grants for the 2010-11 year. Applications can be downloaded from the AFE website and must be submitted by June 1, 2010. Since 1961, AFE has been funding educational programs that promote the floriculture industry. The majority of the programs are wide-reaching, educational endeavors to identify and solve industry needs and challenges and focus on attracting young people to the industry. An example of an AFE-funded education programs include the National FFA Floriculture Proficiency Award, which is designed to encourage agriculture students to become involved with the floral industry through the practical experience of establishing their own floral business. The program recognizes student accomplishments at the local, regional, state, and national level. Another example of AFE’s support of the industry is the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Greenhouse Grower’s Pest & Production Management Conference. The yearly event is designed to […]

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January 14, 2010

Ecke Scholarship Deadline Nears

February 1 is the deadline for applications for the American Floral Endowment’s Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship. The prestigious, merit-based scholarship is designed to fund the education of graduate students who will become leading floricultural scientists and educators. The scholarship honors Paul Ecke, Jr. of Encinitas, Calif., who made indispensable contributions to the advancement of the global floriculture industry. Among his many interests was concern for the future of floriculture, as influenced by innovative research and educational programs. He recognized that creative scientists and educators are required to lead the floral industry in the 21st century and beyond. Funds for the scholarship have been made possible through contributions to AFE by members of the floral industry and other sources. To download an application, visit Endowment.org. Applicants must submit their applications, a cover letter and all other required information to: American Floral Endowment 1601 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Fax: (703) 838-5212

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January 14, 2010

Floriculture Intern Scholarships Available

Applications are being accepted for the American Floral Endowment’s (AFE) Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship and the Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program for eligible students looking to gain experience in greenhouse production, floral retail and wholesale, and allied trade fields. These two intern scholarship programs aid students in gaining hands-on, real-world experience in floriculture. The Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program, established in 1992 by a gift from Vic and Margaret Ball, specifically funds training at floriculture production greenhouses throughout the United States. The Balls created this program to assure future students would have the ability to take advantage of practical greenhouse experience opportunities without financial worry. The Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program was established in 1975 to honor former AFE chairman and retail florists Colonel and Mrs. Walter E. Mosmiller Jr. Funding from the Mosmiller program helps support students who participate in internships at a retail florist, wholesaler or […]

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December 28, 2009

Quantifying The Quality

For greenhouse growers, the U.S. Green Building Council is a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. LEED is a prestigious third-party certification program and a national benchmark that promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in five key areas of human and environmental health, says Dr. Bodie Pennisi, Horticulture Department, University of Georgia. These five areas include: LEED development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Top 10 Most Beneficial Plants To House Indoors Areca Palm Lady Palm Bamboo Palm Rubber Plant Dracaena Janet Craig English Ivy Dwarf Date Palm Ficus Alii Boston Fern Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) *Information provided by Green Plants For Green Buildings This certification lacks any official agricultural connection to indoor plants and the role they play in improving human health by improving indoor air quality, Pennisi says. Green Plants For Green […]

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November 30, 2009

Terra Nova Donates 2,500 Perennials

Terra Nova Nurseries recently donated 2,500 perennials, a retail value of more than $10,000, to the International Rose Test Garden, a public garden in Portland, Ore. The test garden features thousands of roses from around the world, and the newly planted 9,000 square-foot bed is located near the entrance of the garden. Dan Heims, president and co-founder of Terra Nova, was recently featured on GardenTime TV for the company’s donation. The episode focused on the plants selected by Terra Nova for the perennial bed, as well as the overall concept behind the donation. Terra Nova not only wanted to provide the public garden with perennials to beautify the empty space, but also wanted to conduct a true test of how the plants will perform under natural conditions.  “We wanted to showcase perennials, shrubs and roses mixed,” says Harry Landers, the Botanic specialist for the International Rose Test Garden. “The plants […]

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November 16, 2009

Reader Reaction: National Promotion Must Attract New Customers

Danielle Ernest, public relations and brand development coordinator for Proven Winners, reacts to Laurie Scullin’s November column about national promotion. Danielle supports the idea and stresses the importance of creating a national promotion that attracts new customers–and not just the ones we already have. Directly below are Danielle’s comments to Laurie, and below her comments is Laurie’s response to Danielle. Laurie, I enjoyed your article in the November issue of Greenhouse Grower. It sparks many questions I have regarding this type of promotion. In the article, the “Got Milk?” campaign is mentioned multiple times. I want to reference a recent book I read titled “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR” by Al and Laura Ries. The book directly talks about this campaign. The authors write: Over the years no advertising campaign has attracted as much attention as the milk mustache ‘Got Milk?’ program run by the National […]

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November 3, 2009

MSU Extension Spared In Budget Cuts – For Now

Michigan was on the brink of becoming the first state without an Extension service had its governor decided to completely eliminate funds from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension and the Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station (MAES) late last week. Fortunately, Governor Jennifer Granholm spared MSU Extension by including funds for the program in the state’s new budget signed last Friday. But there’s a catch with the funds: MSU Extension will be restructured to reflect priorities that support and nurture a “green economy,” and the program still faces potential budget cuts of up to 44 percent one year from now when federal surplus funds deplete. “Could you imagine Michigan without a 4-H or a Master Gardener program? That’s what we’re looking at,” says Mark Elzinga, president of Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses. “There are so many things Extension does for us. We have the Extension specialists who quantify research for us to find […]

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November 3, 2009

View: The Power Of Flowers In China

Berl Thomas, an international consultant focused on expanding floriculture in China, shares an article explaining how flowers reduce mental illnesses and provides insight for floriculture potential in China: A recent BBC News article indicated our industry has the power to heal mental illnesses. BBC News relayed a Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health study that says living near green spaces reduces mental illnesses. Other articles have been published in the last couple years reporting related health benefits of living near green spaces, such as the effects of tree-lined streets. Doctors say a simple walk in the park can relieve stress when people come in contact with flowers, trees and grass. In the United States, it has been reported many times that when the U.S. economy is down, the flower industry seems to be somewhat recession proof. Maybe the reason is people want to feel good and flowers help fill this […]

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October 20, 2009

SAF Names New Officers, Board & Council Members

Leo Roozen began his two-year term as SAF president late last month at SAF Phoenix 2009, and he named marketing flowers to consumers, dealing with negative publicity and the Employee Free Choice Act as issues he plans to prioritize as president. Roozen is the president of Washington Bulb Company in Mt. Vernon, Wash. Serving with Roozen on SAF’s executive committee are: –President-Elect Robert Williams II, Smithers-Oasis Company–Treasurer Dwight Larimer, Design Master–Rod Saline, SAF board chairman–Peter J. Moran New SAF Growers Council members include: –Robert Milks, Van Wingerden International, Mills River, N.C.–PJ Ellison, Ellison’s Greenhouses, Brenham, Texas–Donald Snow, Goldsmith Seeds, Gilroy, Calif. For more information on SAF, visit SAFnow.org.

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October 15, 2009

Bonnie’s Cabbage Contest Grows Gardeners

National garden vegetable grower Bonnie Plants turns millions of third graders onto gardening through its educational program and contest growing cabbages. Students participating in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program receive a free Bonnie oversized cabbage plant to cultivate, nurture and grow. These humongous cabbages often grow bigger than a basket ball and can weigh up to 50 pounds! At the end of the season, teachers from each class select a student who has grown the best cabbage, based on size and appearance. A picture of the cabbage and student entry is submitted to Bonnie Plants by mail or online. That student’s name is then included in a statewide drawing to receive a $1,000 scholarship towards education. The winner of each statewide drawing is chosen by the state’s commission of agriculture. Last year approximately 2 million children in 45 states participated in the program and 45 winners were issued […]

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October 14, 2009

Sustainability Times Ten

You can’t venture more than a few hundred yards without encountering a sustainable concept in Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. Windmills and wind turbines are everywhere, bicycles outnumber people and, as a South African journalist joked today, the sheep are the lawn mowers here. Sustainable products have made their way into the greenhouse, as well. The one that struck me most Wednesday was a fibrous material called Rockwool that Tomato World uses as its growing media. A company called Grotop manufactures the Rockwool, which Tomato World uses for all tomatoes on site. Once Rockwool has run its course, it is shredded and stored for six weeks before being converted into brick. The plastic residue is also recycled for synthetics companies, making the media 100 percent recylable.

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