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Educational Grants

Building A Stronger Floriculture Industry!

retailshopAFE strongly believes in funding educational programs to promote and strengthen the floriculture industry. The majority of the programs funded are wide-reaching and focus on attracting young people to the industry or are educational endeavors to identify and solve industry needs and/or challenges – this includes our Educational Grants and the Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund – applications due June 1 of each year.

In addition to the general Educational Grants that can be applied for each year, AFE also awards Floral Design Grants to institutions with floral design programs, and travel/reimbursement grants – applications due October 1 of each year.


Applications Due By June 1 Each Year:

AFE’s Educational Grants                         

Requests are reviewed on an annual basis, with funding dependent on the number of funds available. The deadline for submission is June 1 each year.

Download the Educational Grants Application

Examples of Previous AFE Educational Grants:

National Floriculture Forum
The National Floriculture Forum (NFF) is an educational meeting of university professors, students, government scientists and industry leaders with the objective of bringing together members of these communities for a three-day meeting to: 1) address issues of importance to the floriculture industry, 2) form collaborative relationships, and 3) learn from each other. Virtually any topic of significance can be the focus of any one year. In the past, such topics have included improvement of federal research funding, identification of research needs, and (most recently) recruitment of students into floriculture careers. This meeting is the only one of its kind and it brings more and more members of the floriculture community together each year.

e-GRO Alert
A weekly bulletin created by researchers across the U.S. to notify greenhouse growers of current problems and issues that the collaborators with expertise in nutrition, water, plant growth regulators, light, temperature, pests and pathogens have observed while visiting greenhouses.

Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops
To assist greenhouse growers in addressing nutritional disorders, e-GRO launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website, www.fertdirtandsquirt.com, led by W. Garrett Owen of Michigan State University Extension and Brian Whipker of North Carolina State University. The AFE-sponsored website assists growers in establishing an in-house monitoring program and serves as an information and education center.

Special Educational Grant Reports:


Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund:

Herman and LaDonna MeindersThe Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund (previously Herman and LaDonna Meinders Fund) was established in September 2021 by Herman and LaDonna Meinders, longtime industry members and AFE supporters, with a new contribution of $224,000 added to the previous unrestricted contributions reaching a total of over $500,000.

This educational grant will specifically support reduced or free registration fees to floral industry events for retail florists by providing grants or scholarships to nonprofit floral industry organizations for this purpose. The fund is fully sustainable and is expected to grow year over year, allowing for increased contributions of important industry educational programs. In its first year, it will provide over $10,000 in grant funding.

The annual distribution from this named fund will be administered by the AFE Education Committee as part of the AFE Educational Grants application process in July of each year. The AFE Education Committee will review grant applications received and discuss annual retail floral educational events or opportunities to determine the distribution levels to fulfill the intent of this retail florist educational grant.

The deadline for submission is June 1 each year.

Download the Meinders Retail Florist Educational Grant Application


OTHER AFE Grant Applications:

Floral Design Institutional Grant:

James and Helen Phillip Scholarship Grant – a grant given annually to institutions with floral design programs. This grant provides tuition assistance to students training in retail floral design and operations.
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The following institutions currently receive funding from the James and Helen Phillip Scholarship Grant:

  • Kishwaukee College
  • Mississippi State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Bergen Community College

The deadline for submission is March 1 each year.

Download the James and Helen Phillip Scholarship Grant Application


Applications Due By October 1 Each Year:

Arizona Retail Florist Education Travel Grant

This travel grant was developed for retail florists in Arizona to pursue floral industry educational or design events. It was established to serve traditional retail florists located in the state of Arizona. The fund initially was created through the efforts of Ken Young AAF while a member of the AFE Board of Trustees. Initial funds to establish the Grant originated from the defunct FTD District 8K with additional initial funding requirements coming from an Arizona floral industry member. The value of the fund has the ability to continue to increase with contributions from industry members made to AFE that are designated for the fund.

Each year, one recipient will be selected by AFE’s Education Committee to receive a travel grant of up to $1,000 to help cover the cost of attending an out-of-state industry educational event.

Applicants must be owners, managers, and employees of traditional retail florists with a brick and mortar storefront in Arizona and MUST be requesting this grant for an event that takes place outside of Arizona.

The grant will be made as a reimbursement after the event is attended. The recipient can receive the grant once every five years.

Examples of eligible opportunities include floral design schools, SAF Convention, FTD Boot Camp, Floriology Institute, Teleflora Academy Events, SAF Profit Blast, State or Regional Floral Conventions, Cultivate, PFCI classes, AIFD Symposiums, and others.

The exception to the out-of-state travel requirement would be if a national program (like SAF Convention or AIFD Symposium) were held within Arizona, which would still allow for exposure to fellow out-of-state retail florists and floral industry members.

Applications for this travel grant must be for an industry event in the coming year. (For example, apply in 2017 for travel in 2018.)

Download the Arizona Retail Florist Educational Travel Grant Application


The Retail Florist’s Continued Education Grant

The Retail Florist’s Continued Education Grant will provide reimbursement grants to retail floral owners in the Maryland, Virginia and DC areas to continue their education through in-person industry events, community courses or webinar classes. 

Reimbursement grants awarded can be between $50 – $500 for individual business-related courses, and will be distributed as reimbursement grants. This means the course must be paid for and completed within the year in which the application is being submitted prior to submitting an application for reimbursement.  Receipt for payment and completion certificate are required with the application. The course must have been completed within the prior 12-month period.

While these grants are currently for florists in the Washington D.C./Virginia/Maryland metropolitan area, Bob and Carol have made a provision in their estate planning to support this fund with additional contributions which will expand the grant well beyond the Eastern Region.

Download the Retail Florist’s Continued Education Grant Application