The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently awarded scholarships totaling more than $37,000 to 17 undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
AFE scholarships are intended for sophomore through graduate-level college students pursuing degrees in floriculture and horticultural fields.
“The quality of the applicants this year was outstanding, and we only wish we could help even more young people as they begin their rewarding careers. These deserving students show great promise and will be strong assets to the industry,” says AFE Chairman-Elect and Education Committee Chairman Dwight Larimer.
More than 75 applications were received for this scholarship cycle, down just a few from last year. AFE awards scholarships annually, and applications are due by May 1 of each year.
Here’s a brief look at three of this year’s winners. A complete list of winners is available at AFE’s website.
Richard T. Meister Scholarship ($4,000) Awarded To Garrett Owen, Purdue University
Owen aspires to continue his doctoral research in floriculture and eventually become a floriculture Extension specialist and professor.
“I hope to help greenhouse growers improve cultural practices and production of greenhouse crops,” he says.
Dick Meister is the namesake of Meister Media Worldwide (link), having built a family business in publishing for specialized growers in commercial horticulture. He is a strong supporter of the land-grant college system and through the years worked closely with many horticultural and floricultural leaders. This scholarship is dedicated to the outstanding accomplishments of those in university Extension and especially to Will Carlson in floriculture.
The Meister Scholarship is open to graduate students in floriculture intending to pursue their career in the land-grant university system with interest in research, Extension, or teaching.
John Carew Memorial Scholarship ($2,000) Awarded To Lesley Judd, North Carolina State University
Judd is pursuing a Ph.D. in horticultural science with a minor in soil science, and aspires to work at a land-grant university teaching horticulture and researching.
“I would like to have both a teaching and research appointment and would also enjoy working with Extension. I look forward to continuing to investigate issues with sustainable horticulture to help the industry,” Judd says.
John Carew, former head of the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, dedicated his career to encouraging and guiding young horticulturists. He was instrumental in establishing Bedding Plants International in 1969. The Carew Scholarship is open to graduate students in horticulture with an interest in greenhouse crops.
Harold Bettinger Scholarship ($2,000) Awarded To Keri Livingston, Colorado State University
Livingston is pursuing a career in floriculture due to her love of botanical plants and flowers, and is eager to share her knowledge of horticulture with students and children of all ages.
“My professional goal is to work for a well-known floriculture nursery. I am interested in developing new and unique cultivars and technologies,” Livingston says.
Harold Bettinger was a partner in Bettinger Farms of Swanton, Ohio. In the mid 1950s, he was one of the first progressive growers to convert his bedding plant production from wooden to plastic flats. Bettinger Farms now grows greenhouse and field vegetables. The Bettinger Scholarship is intended for horticulture students, sophomore through graduate levels, who have a major or minor in business and/or marketing with the intent to apply their education to a horticulture-related career business.