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AFE held this year’s February Board of Trustees Meeting in College Station, Texas. The group visited Texas A&M, where AFE has awarded over $800,000 in research and educational grants. Currently, AFE is supporting research at the university on consumer preference and funding a new study at the Human Behavioral Lab.

The Human Behavior Lab is the largest biometrics lab in the world. The Trustees experienced part of the new study from the Floral Marketing Research Fund, co-sponsored by the American Floral Endowment and the Produce Marketing Association, “Using Biometric Technology to Better Understand Floral Consumers.” Drs. Marco Palma and Charlie Hall showed the group how the lab can successfully track eye movements to collect data on where the consumers’ eyes go throughout their shopping process and what can be done with this information. The study will be available in the fall of 2019.

Board members had the chance to witness an on-campus event: the Collegiate Plant Initiative Plant Drop. The Plant Drop is an annual event that travels to various campuses and distributes thousands of free plants to college students. The goal is to connect students and horticulture, hopefully creating a life-long relationship. It was incredible to be in attendance for something like this, especially when many of AFE’s Trustees help to make these plant drops happen. This was the first time cut flowers were a part of a plant drop. Read more about this plant drop and the Collegiate Plant Initiative, in this recap from the Batallion.

After enjoying lunch in the AgriLife Center, the afternoon was filled with presentations by faculty and researchers. During our part of the presentation, Chairman Jim Daly noted that AFE has awarded over $34,000 in educational grants since 2008.

The night ended with a reception in the Texas A&M Gardens and dinner held in the AgriLife Center before the Trustees headed back to prepare for the Committee and Board Meetings the next day. Another successful trip to support University research, floral design programs, and students. See pictures from this Board Meeting on AFE’s social media!

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