Longwood Gardens And American Society For Horticultural Science Launch New Initiative To Promote The Value Of Horticulture

Seed Your Future LogoWe’ve all noticed a decline in the number of qualified candidates for careers in horticulture, and the dwindling interest in our industry as a career. But thanks to a new initiative, hopefully that’s all about to change.

Longwood Gardens and the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) have announced the launch of the “Seed Your Future” initiative, a multi-year effort to combat declining awareness of horticulture among U.S. audiences and promote horticulture as a vital and viable career path for the nation’s youth. More than 150 partner organizations, including leaders in horticultural industries, horticultural associations, public gardens, public agencies, K–12, and higher education have already signed on to the initiative, which aims to preserve the future of this increasingly at-risk field.

“At the intersection of science and art, horticulture is one of those fields whose value to society is not fully appreciated,” says Paul B. Redman, Executive Director of Longwood Gardens and co-chair (with Anna Ball, President and CEO of Ball Horticultural Co.) of the Seed Your Future initiative. “Enrollment in horticulture programs has declined dramatically at a time when the need for graduates of these programs is more important than ever. As an industry, it’s imperative that we take action now to change the tide and shore up the next generation of leaders in this field.”

Redman notes that horticulture is at risk of becoming insignificant — even non-existent — in the minds of future generations. In a recent survey, only 48% of adults age 18 to 34 said they are familiar with horticulture, as compared with 65% of older adults. And, while the majority of respondents view horticulture as essential to food, water, and the environment, only 26% strongly agree that horticulture is a diverse area of study that will lead to a fulfilling and respected career.

Still in its infancy, the Seed Your Future initiative involves a multi-phased, multi-year approach to tackling these challenges and is actively seeking additional industry involvement to advance its efforts to educate the general public — in particular, educating students across middle school, high school, and college, and their parents — about the diverse and critical roles horticulture professionals play in our daily lives. Targeted to launch publicly in 2017, the broader campaign will be rolled out across a five-year period.

To date, more than $750,000 of the initiative’s goal of $10 million has been raised through the generosity of individual donors, organizations, universities, corporations, and foundations. These donations have allowed for the completion of initial audience research and the development of the Seed Your Future website promotional video and other collateral materials. Active development efforts are underway to continue to carry the initiative forward.

“There have never been so many opportunities to join the field of horticulture as there are today, yet awareness of these opportunities is at an all-time low,” says Anna Ball. “Seed Your Future will be the force we need to bring our industry back into balance, introduce young people to fulfilling careers, and make sure horticulture — and the millions of people who depend on it — thrives well into the future.”

According to a 2015 employment outlook report from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, a total of 35,400 U.S. students graduate each year with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture-related fields — 22,500 short of the 59,700 industry job openings available annually.

For more information on the Seed Your Future initiative and to get involved, visit the initiative’s new website at SeedYourFuture.org.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
MANTS

December 16, 2017

Join the Emergent Group During a Reception at MANTS

“Emergent: A Group for Growing Professionals” will once again be hosting its Emergent Networking Event at MANTS in Baltimore, MD. The event will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Read More
Tillandsia Air Plants (Plantiflor)

December 15, 2017

Bonsall Nursery Devastated By California Wildfire

Rainforest Flora lost its main greenhouses and outdoor growing property in the Lilac Fire in San Diego.

Read More

December 15, 2017

Your AFE Donations Will Be Matched Between Now and the End of the Year

Between now and December 1, any donations made to the American Floral Endowment will be matched up to $20,000.

Read More
Latest Stories
Tillandsia Air Plants (Plantiflor)

December 15, 2017

Bonsall Nursery Devastated By California Wildfire

Rainforest Flora lost its main greenhouses and outdoor growing property in the Lilac Fire in San Diego.

Read More

December 9, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower…

Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.

Read More

December 5, 2017

Skagit Horticulture Builds New, Inclusive Business With…

By merging two large-scale producers, Skagit Gardens and Northwest Horticulture, the new company has realized its strengths through focused divisions that emphasize efficiency and success.

Read More

December 4, 2017

Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Debuts as Roberta’s Finali…

On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman. “There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo. The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. […]

Read More

October 10, 2017

Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitabilit…

The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.

Read More
Willoway Nurseries Team

October 1, 2017

How Willoway Nurseries Gets Its Staff Engaged in The Co…

Willoway Nurseries in Avon, OH, is creating a culture with people who think, act, and feel like owners. Learn how its team is taking the business to the next level.

Read More

September 21, 2017

Horticulture Is All About Connections

The beauty of our industry is that we are more than willing to reach out and help those around us. What connections can you make today to help your business, and what can you offer to help another grower?

Read More
Worker taking cuttings at Vivero Internacional.

September 11, 2017

Vivero Internacional Elevates Clean Cuttings to New Hei…

One of the last independent cutting operations, this fast-growing company raises the standard for delivering clean, high-quality unrooted cuttings.

Read More
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

September 5, 2017

C. Raker & Sons Acquired By Roberta’s Unique Garden…

Ownership will change hands in December, and Raker will supply young plants for the 2018 season. Beyond that, leadership of the two operations say they are excited to move forward with a partnership that will continue to supply the industry, and gardeners, with top-quality plants.

Read More

August 1, 2017

MPS Honors D.S. Cole Growers for 10 Years of Sustainabi…

At Cultivate’17, a ceremony to mark a 10-year milestone since D.S. Cole Growers became involved with More Profitable Sustainability (MPS), as the first U.S. grower to achieve MPS certification, took owner Doug Cole by surprise. Separate celebrations also recognized Metrolina Greenhouses and Dümmen Orange for achieving MPS certification.

Read More
Nexus greenhouse construction for Knox Cannabis Facility

July 27, 2017

Ornamental Growers Will Revolutionize Cannabis Industry…

Professional growers have much to offer the emerging cannabis market, according to the co-owner of Knox Medical, one of the licensed cannabis producers in Florida.

Read More
Ball ColorLink logo

July 11, 2017

Get Guidance on Running Your Business from Ball ColorLi…

Representatives from Ball ColorLink will be on-hand at Cultivate’17 to answer questions and present business-building tools and industry insights to growers.

Read More
Lean Consortium in Washington

July 10, 2017

Washington Growers Join New Horticulture Lean Consortiu…

The group of growers has committed to learning and applying the principles of Lean, a method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort.

Read More

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More

March 21, 2017

How Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Can Prepare for a Prod…

The United Fresh Produce Association is holding a Recall Ready Workshop in April that is designed to help growers properly manage a recall, from liability to communications.

Read More

March 14, 2017

Expanded Customer Footprint, E-Commerce, Succession Key…

Costa Farms' acquisition of indoor foliage producer Delray Plants rocked the industry, but the story behind Delray Plants' sale is the same as for many growers struggling with succession planning. For Costa Farms, the strategic purchase expands its customer footprint and also fast tracks its foray into e-commerce.

Read More

March 10, 2017

Costa Farms Expands With Purchase of Indoor Houseplant …

Costa Farms annnounced March 10 that it has acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the indoor houseplant industry. The two operations are committed to the same values, principles, and goals to grow the industry, and will fit well together to accomplish this, say Randy Gilde, CEO of Delray Plants, and Joche Smith, CEO of Costa Farms.

Read More
Ken and Deena Altman

March 7, 2017

Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propag…

Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017. Ken and Deena Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection, along with their son Matthew, who has recently bought into the family business. The 55 acres of land and all of the facilities on it, which were previously owned by Jerry Church, a partner in EuroAmerican Propagators, are part of the purchase agreement currently in escrow, Altman says. However, it would not be absorbed by Altman Plants, which in 2016 was number 3 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list with more than 11 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse production, 62 acres of shade production, and 400 acres of outdoor field production. Altman Plants’ property […]

Read More