What Industry Associations Are Doing To Make Horticulture Sexy

If you are a member of the horticulture industry and you read the Philly.com article, “Is horticulture a withering field?”, you know the time is ripe for a discussion on attracting young people to the industry.

To this end, six industry associations are leading a National Promotion of Horticulture, including the American Society for Horticultural Science, Longwood Gardens, the American Public Gardens Association, the American Horticultural Society, the National Junior Horticultural Association Foundation and AmericanHort.

The national study and action plan aims to amplify the perception and awareness of the profession, to fill the critical need the horticulture industry has now for qualified young people to enter horticultural careers. The founding associations are asking for broad support and awareness of this initiative.

“We all know the importance of horticulture for people and the environment: healthy plants for food, beauty, sports and relaxation, horticultural practices that ease the world’s environmental challenges; and  the joy and wonder of growing, nurturing and learning the science of plants,” stated the group of associations in a letter calling for endorsement of the promotion. “We believe horticulture needs attention: an education plan, an advocacy campaign and a marketing plan.”

The plan will include a few years worth of work and is expected to launch by Spring 2017, according to the document, “Promoting Horticulture in the United States – A National Study And Action Plan.” You can read the full whitepaper. For more information or to pledge your support to this effort, contact Mary Meyer, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, phone 952-443-1447 email mmeyer023@umn.edu.

Promoting Horticulture In The United States

The Issue

Today our world is highly dependent on horticultural expertise to provide the technology and people necessary to meet the rapidly increasing global demand for fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and ornamentals in the face of the changing global environment and limited natural and financial resources. Horticultural science is critical in improving the nutritional content of food, enhancing the safety of our produce supply and increasing the supply of healthy, local and sustainably produced foods. Expertise in environmental horticulture is necessary to address the global issues of climate change; water quality, availability, stormwater runoff and retention; and energy production through biofuels. Additionally, the role that horticulture plays in promoting positive mental well-being, on a large scale from public botanic gardens, parks and sports fields, to small scale individual home gardens is critical to our life today.

Unfortunately, horticulture is under siege. We are concerned that, for those aware of horticulture, the perception is increasingly negative, while much of the general public, especially young people, appear to have little or no awareness of the importance and value of horticulturei, ii. This has resulted in a loss of influence among governmental agencies at various levels and a reduction in students considering horticulture as a career. These changes have occurred despite the increasing value of commercial horticulture crops and services. Interesting, challenging and impactful careers are available in horticulture at all levels, and there is an increasing need for well-trained and educated students.

One solution to these problems is to increase public awareness of the positive attributes  of horticulture, especially in regard to educators, public service workers, students with an aptitude for plant science or for artistic expression through plant materials and the general public. This task will require a concerted and coordinated effort on the part of all those with a direct effort in horticulture, including industry, associations, public botanic gardens, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and governmental agencies.

We propose a first step of assessing the breadth and depth of public awareness of horticulture and horticulture education through a national study that would determine:

  • Perceptions of horticulture
  • Perceptions of horticulture education, specifically high school and youth horticulture programs, e.g. NJHA, JMG, 4H and FFA; and university horticulture programs.

Each of the following groups would be included in the studies:

  • Youth (K-12) in the general public
  • Adults in the general public
  • Industry and industry associations
  • Public gardens
  • Governmental agencies
  • Educators

This national analysis would develop recommendations and implementation steps such as:

  • Marketing plan for universities and colleges to reach potential students, specifically providing an index of imagery, words and phrases needed to attract students into 2- and 4-year university horticulture programs. (phase 1)
  • Marketing plan to promote horticulture to the general public (youth and adults). (phase 2a)
  • Education plan to recommend the processes by which horticulture is integrated into STEM/STEAM learning initiatives, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Common Core and the venues through which educators will access curriculum and training. (phase 2b)

Anticipated Outcomes from a national study and its implementation:

  • Improve public perceptions of horticulture
  • Develpo tactics to ensure that horticulture is part of the national education curriculum
  • Increase youth participation in NJHA, JMG, 4-H and FFA
  • Increase number of high school students in horticulture and plant sciences programs
  • Increase number of horticulture students in 2-year and 4-year college and university programs
  • Increase number of well-trained horticulture employees

Timeline

  • October 2013 – Complete summary and overview of project.
  • November 2013 – Contact potential endorsing partners asking for support of the project.
  • December 2013 – Finalize a request for proposals (RFP) to be sent to appropriate marketing/research companies. Proposal should have specific phases to allow funding and implementation over time.
  • January 2014 – Send out RFP.
  • March 2014 – Receive proposals for review: work with ASHS and Longwood to select vendor.
  • April 2014 – Contact potential sponsoring partners for funding; revise timeline for completion of phase 1 and phase 2, if needed.
  • Summer/Fall 2014  – Conduct phase 1 study of college/university sector.
  • Winter/Spring 2015 – Receive report with college/university actions.
  • Summer/Fall 2015 – Conduct phase 2 study of public sector and government.
  • Winter/Spring 2016 – Receive report with public sector and government actions.
  • Summer/Fall 2016 – Develop marketing plan, public service advocacy campaign and education plan.
  • Winter/Spring 2017 – Launch marketing campaign and education plan.

i ASHS September 2013 survey of members found the most important issue with students’ selection of horticulture for a career was lack of knowledge and awareness of horticulture and horticultural careers. Meyer, M.H. 2013. Horticulture Career Survey: What You Said. ASHS Newsletter Vol. 29 (9): 3-4.

ii A study of 203 prospective college students found respondents have a limited knowledge of the wide range of options available to them for study beyond “agriculture.” Morehouse, B. and D. Nelson. 2007. Study of Prospective Students Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo: Horticulture and Crop Science Department. Stamats, Inc.

 

 

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More
american-hort-logo

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More

February 11, 2015

Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Refuse to accept the status quo in your organization. Explore possibilities until you find what works best for your company.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower.com on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015

GreenhouseGrower.com Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, GreenhouseGrower.com. The new design is the product of direct user feedback and GreenhouseGrower.com analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

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
Andy Higgins

February 3, 2015

MasterTag Names Andy Higgins As Its New President

Former CEO and president of Ecke Ranch, Andy Higgins, joins MasterTag as its new president. He brings more than two decades of industry experience to the position.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

February 2, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 State Of The In…

The Greenhouse Grower 2015 State Of The Industry Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, including comparisons on 2014 sales to past years, details on how 2015 production volume and prices will compare to 2014, crops that growers will increase and decrease production on, where growers stand on using neonicotinoids on crops, how many growers will pursue growing medical marijuana and more.

Read More
Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Lead Role

January 28, 2015

Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Le…

Ronald Valentin has been appointed technical lead for Syngenta Bioline, effective January 2015. He will be responsible for technical support of Bioline biological control agents and will be instrumental in helping growers develop integrated pest management (IPM) solutions.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Innovation Drives Growth At Plantpeddler

Mike and Rachel Gooder, owners of Plantpeddler, a 400,000-square-foot, multi-divisional greenhouse tucked away in Cresco, Iowa, have a unique foresight that allows them to turn potential into profitable reality.

Read More
Carol Miller

January 28, 2015

Retailer To Grower: The Right Plants Are Hard To Find

Retailers say too many growers offer the same plants, leading to a lopsided plant supply. They offer a simple solution: Talk To Your Customers.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Give Equal Time To The Number Crunchers

Before investing in a new business opportunity, check in with the financial gurus of your organization to make certain you have the cash flow to back up your efforts.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Benchmarks: Let’s Change Our Story

It's a new year. Time for our industry to change how consumers perceive plants by creating a new reality where plants are valued for more than their physical beauty.

Read More
Costa Farms Website

January 21, 2015

Costa Farms’ Launches New Interactive Website

Costa Farms is making efforts to educate consumers while pushing horticultural digital marketing forward with the re-design of its website. The new website features a fresh design and improved navigation, as well as a plant finder that gives gardeners easy access to plant information.

Read More

January 21, 2015

AFE Wins Platinum MarCom Award For “Murder, Sex a…

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) took home its fourth award for the animated awareness video "Murder, Sex and Greed." The organization also recently announced that there are two new members on its board of trustees.

Read More