Eighteen students have been awarded competitive 2014 scholarships from AFE totaling almost $40,000.
“AFE scholarships provide financial assistance to students as they equip themselves with the education and experience that will help them become industry leaders” AFE Education Committee Chairman Dwight Larimer of DESIGN MASTER color tool Inc. said. “Thanks to the generosity of donors, AFE is able to distribute more than 20 scholarships a year to competitive and deserving students.”
AFE awards scholarships annually, and applications are due by May 1 of each year. The online application was recently redesigned to streamline the process beginning in 2015.
American Florists’ Exchange Scholarship – $2,400
Recipient: Miwa Ishisaka, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Ishisaka, a sophomore studying plant science, aspires to become a plant breeder who creates new varieties of roses with tolerance to black spot. “My goal is to become a plant breeder to breed flowers that would help improve the tolerance of common flower diseases, as well as to create new varieties of flowers,” Ishisaka said.
The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was established in 1921 and is now part of the largest wholesale flower district in the U.S. Eligible recipients are juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, majoring in agriculture with an emphasis on a future in floriculture. This scholarship is to provide tuition assistance to students attending a college/university in California or student residents of California attending a college/university in other areas of the U.S.
Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship – $2,200
Recipient: Kristin Potter, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Potter is a senior horticulture student with an emphasis on entrepreneurship who is interested in the floral industry, landscaping and greenhouse production. “My grandpa started our farming operation, and my father and uncle took it over,” she said. “Like them, I hope to one day own by own business.”
Julio “Toots” Armellini is founder of Armellini Express Lines, the largest flower carrier service in the U.S. Armellini enlisted in the Navy as a “Seabee” and was stationed all around the globe as a mechanic, where he learned the skills he used to modernize refrigerated trucking. When he began expanding his lines in the early 1950s, refrigeration was new and underdeveloped, so he established a more effective way of cooling his supplies using a system of constant airflow. ThermoKing eventually made his contributions to refrigeration systems standard. Today, Armellini has almost 70 years of experience in the industry, and Armellini Industries, Inc. encompasses many businesses: Armellini Express Lines, Inc., J.A. Flower Service, Inc., Fresco Service, Inc. and NorthStar Transportation, Inc. The Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship is intended for sophomore, junior or senior students with a career interest in the marketing or distribution of floral products.
Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship – $900
Recipient: William English, University of Georgia
English is a junior studying horticulture with a focus on floriculture and would like to eventually become a horticulture professor at a major institution. “There are few joys that I have more than waking up early and walking through the greenhouse and seeing the potential in each plug,” English said.
Ball Horticultural Company is a leading international breeder, producer and wholesale distributor of floriculture products. Ball brings the beginnings of color, foliage, fruit and form to professional growers around the world for the retail and landscape markets. The Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship is intended for junior or senior students pursuing a career in commercial floriculture.
Harold Bettinger Scholarship ($2,000) and the Jacob and Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship – $1,100
Recipient: Amy Miller, The Ohio State University
Miller is a senior studying sustainable plant systems and agribusiness with a goal of becoming a plant researcher in horticulture. “I am passionate about working with greenhouse crops and am excited about being able to assist growers,” she said.
Harold Bettinger was a partner in Bettinger Farms of Swanton, Ohio. In the mid-‘50s, 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.
The Jacob and Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship was established January 1997. Jacob Van Namen is a true entrepreneur who built a multimillion-dollar business in wholesale floriculture. This award is intended to develop knowledgeable, creative individuals to improve the floriculture industry. The Van Namen Scholarship requires students have a career interest in agribusiness marketing and distribution of floral products and be of sophomore, junior or senior standing.
BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship ($1,200) and James K. Rathmell, Jr. Memorial Scholarship for Horticultural Work/Study Abroad – $3,300
Recipient: Joshua Henry, The Ohio State University
Henry is a senior studying sustainable plant systems with a specialization in horticulture. His career goals include working in horticultural research and one day owning a greenhouse business. “I began volunteering in gardens over 10 years ago, and I have absolutely loved plants ever since,” he said.
The BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship is intended for sophomore, junior or senior students pursuing a career in floriculture. Students will be selected on the basis of sound academic performance and a GPA of 3.0 or better. While not mandatory, it is strongly desired that the student be interested in furthering the use of integrated pest management (“IPM”) or sustainable practices, and preference will be given in this area.
Jim Rathmell was a horticulture extension specialist at Penn State University who promoted communication and cooperation with horticulturists in other countries. A widely published author, he worked with commercial growers to implement many outstanding educational programs. The Rathmell scholarship is awarded to junior or senior level undergraduates or graduate students who have a specific plan for horticulture work/study outside of the U.S.
James Bridenbaugh Memorial Scholarship ($500) and the Earl Dedman Memorial Scholarship – $2,000
Recipient: Joshua Pecukonis, Montana State University
Pecukonis is a senior studying environmental horticulture science with a focus on greenhouse nursery operations. “My life goal is to open a greenhouse nursery where I can sell annuals, vegetables, herbs, cut and dried flowers and, most importantly, perennials, and perhaps also trees and shrubs,” he said.
Jim Bridenbaugh was a specialist in fresh flowers and plants, designing and commentating at design shows and seminars. His floral industry knowledge, comedic storytelling and audience rapport made him a favorite. Jim served as OFA president from 1989 to 1991. The Bridenbaugh scholarship is for sophomore, junior or senior students who are pursuing a career in floral design and marketing of fresh flowers and plants.
Earl Dedman owned and operated Mountainview Greenhouses in Woodinville, Wash., and was a former president of BPFI. In addition to his participation with BPFI and BPI, Earl was involved with the Montana State Flower Growers, the Puget Sound Flower Growers and the Washington Floricultural Association. Educated in rural Montana in a one-room schoolhouse, Earl had a strong commitment to education, believing it was a great way better yourself. Earl considered education and hard work to be the keys to success in life. The Earl Dedman Scholarship is awarded to junior or senior students maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA who are interested in becoming greenhouse growers.
John Carew Memorial Scholarship – $2,000
Recipient: Emily Lloyd, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Lloyd is a tropical plant and soil sciences doctoral student with a focus on ornamental potted production. She hopes to first work in floriculture production and eventually as a faculty researcher/educator after earning her doctorate and working in the private sector. “I feel that this path will prepare me to be the best educator and researcher possible, as I will have a balance of real-world experience to impart to students while also having a strong academic background,” Lloyd said.
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 BPI in 1969. The Carew scholarship is open to graduate students in horticulture with an interest in greenhouse crops.
Carlson-Johnson Scholarship for Nontraditional Students – $1,100
Recipient: Jessica Monte, Montana State University
Monte is a sophomore studying environmental horticulture with the goal of working for a successful greenhouse. “I want to dedicate my studies and line of work to sustainable greenhouse production,” she said. “I look forward to learning and experiencing more about the trade in coming years.”
Barbara Carlson, along with her husband Will, was instrumental in the establishment of Bedding Plant International (BPI) trade association, which served hundreds of growers. Fran Johnson enjoyed a long, productive career with the John Henry Co., a horticultural printing firm in Lansing, Mich. Fran also made many significant and practical contributions of time and talent through BPI to advance the greenhouse industry. The Carlson-Johnson Scholarship for Nontraditional Students is awarded to students re-entering school after a minimum five-year absence who have an interest in bedding and/or floral crops.
Long Island Flower Growers Association (LIFGA) Scholarship – $1,400
Recipient: David Harris, Cornell University
Harris is a senior in plant science with a minor in East Asian studies. His career goal is to work for an international company that plans on expanding production or sales into Asia. “Academically, I believe I have a lot to offer a company looking toward the future and this kind of expansion,” he said.
The LIFGA scholarship was established in 2010. LIFGA members represent growers and retailers promoting research, education and sales of ornamentals in the local market. The LIFGA scholarship is intended for students in the Long Island/New York area studying ornamental horticulture at a community college or a four-year institution.
Markham-Colegrave International Scholarship – $4,500
Recipient: Victoria Turbyfill, University of Florida
Turbyfill will be completing the International Master’s of Horticultural Science at the University of Bologna and would then like to earn a doctoral degree focused on plant genetics. This summer, she will intern at Deroose Plants in Belgium for three months. “I have always set large goals for myself, but I have never so badly wanted anything as to become a key person in the floriculture and horticulture industry,” she said.
Ed Markham was an international horticulturist. He began a career in horticulture sales after graduating from the Horticulture Department at Cornell University in 1942. Ed’s interest in providing scholarship funds to study marketing through international travel stemmed from his first trip abroad in the early 1960s. The Markham-Colegrave International Scholarship operates in cooperation with The David Colegrave Foundation in London, England. Each year there will be an exchange of students between the U.S. and Europe, alternating between the two countries. Scholarship awards of $4,500 will be made. U.S. students should apply for this scholarship in even numbered years (2010, 2012, 2014, etc.)
Richard T. Meister Scholarship – $4,000
Recipient: 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,” Judd said.
Dick Meister 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.
National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA) Scholarship – $600
Recipient: Anna Ribbeck, Louisiana State University
Ribbeck, a junior in horticultural science, aspires to earn a master’s and work as a public horticulturalist in a public display garden. “I want a job that has a variety of aspects, from working with the public, to maintaining plants, to diagnosing plant programs, to growing plants, to researching new plants,” Ribbeck said.
NGMA is a professional trade organization for the manufacturers and suppliers of greenhouses and greenhouse components built to codes designed for a grower’s needs. The NGMA Scholarship targets students majoring in horticulture and bioengineering or the equivalent and are at least a junior at an accredited four-year college maintaining a 3.0 GPA.
Mike and Flo Novovesky Scholarship – $1,400
Recipient: Ryan Dickson, University of Florida
Dickson is working toward a Ph.D. in environmental horticulture and would eventually like to work with extension or outreach companies and develop the resources and knowledge necessary to progress the industry forward. “I wish to uphold a position where I can positively contribute to the future success of floriculture businesses and to the industry as a whole,” he said.
Mike and Flo Novovesky have enjoyed more than 30 years of active participation in the floriculture industry. The Novovesky’s know first hand the hardships a young couple must overcome when balancing a career and a family. Their scholarship fund aims to help young married students who are working to put themselves through college and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Depending on the availability of married applicants, the scholarship may also go to an undergraduate working his or her way through school with financial need and family obligations. The keys are strong interest in horticulture and financial need.
Lawrence “Bud” Ohlman Memorial Scholarship – $500
Recipient: James Rockwell, Virginia Tech
Rockwell, a senior studying environmental horticulture and agribusiness management, aims to be an industry leader in greenhouse bedding plant and floral production. “My overall life passion for this industry and the people within it will generate my drive for future success,” he said.
Bud Ohlman was a hands-on grower in his family business, expanding the truck gardening operation to include greenhouses, bedding plant and flowering annuals production. He coached expansion projects even into his 70s. Bud’s work ethic was second to none, inspired by his God, his family and the industry. His scholarship goes to students with the career goal to become a bedding plant grower for an established business.
Seed Companies Scholarship – $2,500
Recipient: Raymond Jacobs, North Carolina State University
Jacobs, a Ph.D. candidate in plant breeding and genetic engineering, aims to pursue a career as a plant breeder in private industry. “I enjoy connecting people with plants and could never imagine a career where I don’t interact with both on a daily basis,” he said.
Seed companies – Ball, Pan-American, Goldsmith and Syngenta – are leaders in the seed production and breeding industry, providing new, improved varieties. These seed companies co-operatively sponsor this scholarship. This scholarship requires students to have a career goal within the seed industry and be junior or senior level undergraduate or graduate students.
John L. Tomasovic Sr. Scholarship – $900
Recipient: Brittany Spezzano, University of Vermont
Spezzano is a senior in sustainable landscape horticulture and aspires to own a greenhouse and nursery business that produces cut flowers, bedding plants and vegetable crops. “My vision is to produce high quality crops and use environmentally friendly and sustainable methods to do so,” she said.
John Tomasovic, past president of BPFI, has grown his family business, John L. Tomasovic, Sr., Florist, Inc., in St. Louis, which includes a greenhouse from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. They produce geraniums, pot mums, hardy mums, bedding plants, ground covers, poinsettias, Easter lilies, bulb crops and foliage, carrying on the business his father began in 1931. The Tomasovic scholarship offers special consideration for sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate students with financial need and GPA between 3.0 and 3.5.
Edward Tuinier Memorial Scholarship – $4,600 split between two students
Recipients: Brian Gayheart and Keren Terry, Michigan State University
Gayheart is a sophomore studying nursery and landscape management and hopes to one day manage the production of high quality ornamental plants. “With the education I am getting from MSU and the hands-on experience from working at research houses, I feel I am laying a good foundation to build my life and fuel my passion for plants,” he said.
Terry is junior in horticulture science who aims to become a horticulturalist in a botanic garden. “My goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in horticulture science and a specialization in international agriculture,” she said, adding that she would like to use horticulture to help a needy area of the U.S. or a developing country.
Ed Tuinier, owner of Post Gardens, loved the greenhouse business, building his firm to one of the top 50 U.S. companies and inspiring his children, all of whom work in one of the two Post Gardens locations. A graduate of Michigan State University, Ed was a major benefactor of the MSU horticulture program and demonstration gardens. The Tuinier scholarship is awarded to sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate students enrolled in the floriculture program at Michigan State University.