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Some of you may have seen people talking about their 2022 “Eras” on TikTok or other social media platforms. (By the way, AFE is on TikTok – follow us at @AmericanFloralEndowment) An era, in this sense, is a lighthearted and often humorous way to look at an important phase, event, or milestone that happened during the year. As we wrap up 2022 and look back on AFE’s research accomplishments, I thought it might be fun to put our own twist on this trend and share some of our standout #2022Eras.

#InvestmentEra:

AFE-funded university researchers, along with the help of highly talented graduate students, work with all segments of the floral industry to understand challenges and identify solutions in order to prepare for our future in the present day. What are future trends? What issues and challenges will we need to address? What research should we invest in now to save growers time and money down the line? We aim to address these questions and more through our funded research projects that encompass everything from plant breeding and genetic engineering to pest and disease management to post-production and production technology and protocols.

When investing in the future of floriculture, not only do we look at “what” but also “who.” AFE connects with outstanding students and young floriculture professionals through scholarships, internships, and our Young Professionals Council. These young people will soon become the face of the industry – growers, researchers, educators, and industry leaders in all sectors.

#ThripsandBotrytisEra:

In the March edition of this newsletter, we let you know about our new Thrips and Botrytis research and resources. Initially presented exclusively to our Thrips and Botrytis Fund supporters, we released a series of recorded webinars and key takeaways to the industry in both English and Spanish. Check these out if you haven’t yet. We will be highlighting more information from this campaign in 2023 – stay tuned!

#InfluencerEra:

I’m sure you’ve seen some of our digital content in other popular industry newsletters or shared on social media this year. AFE’s own Research Director, Dr. Terril Nell, even got in his Influencer Era this year with spotlights on AFE YouTube and TikTok! We’ve continued to cultivate our online presence through our Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, AFE newsletters, and Grow Pro Webinar Series. This ensures that our research initiatives can reach as many people as possible to have the greatest impact. You can look forward to seeing more of our researchers, resources, and results on social media and industry newsletters in 2023. As always, don’t forget to like, share, follow, and subscribe.

#SustainabilityEra:

This year, we enlisted the help of two researchers, Dr. Melinda Knuth and Dr. Brian Jackson, to work with us on a new Sustainability Project. Partnering with like-minded organizations, this new project aims to create usable assets, identify new research needed, and close the gap in making sustainability an accessible initiative for all segments of the industry. Click here to read more about this initiative, how it will benefit you, and the major industry partners joining us.

And finally, here at AFE, we’re always in our #ReputationEra:

Namely, to be the trusted source and catalyst for floriculture advancement through funding of innovative research, scholarships, internships, and educational grants that best serve the dynamic needs and demographics of all industry sectors. AFE continues to be the go-to source for funding research and communicating the results to the floral industry.

We have been involved in many industry moments and eras for over 60 years, and in many areas, AFE research has transformed industry practices and resulted in cost and labor savings. This can only happen when people work together to tackle important problems. We invite you to join us in influencing future industry #Eras by making a tax-deductible contribution to AFE today so we can continue to provide important research and resources to help our industry thrive.

AFE actively engages with the industry’s suggestions about critical needs and solutions to nagging problems. We want to help YOU! Do you have suggestions or need information on specific problems? Contact AFE’s Research Director, Dr. Terril A. Nell (tnell@afeendowment.org) or Research Coordinator, Laura Barth (lbarth@afeendowment.org).

By Laura Barth, AFE’s Research Coordinator

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