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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.  In addition to the general educational grants that AFE’s funds, there is also a Floral Design Grant and a new Arizona Retail Florist Travel Grant – see details below.

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 Grant Application


Special Educational Grant Reports:


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.
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

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 the 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.)

The application deadline for this grant is October 1 each year.

Click here to fill out the application form. Send the completed form to


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.

To apply to received a reimbursement grant, please complete the Application Form and return it to AFE no later than March 1 of each year. Applications will be reviewed and recipients will be notified by June 30th if selected.

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 any one year. In the past, such topics have included improvement of federal research funding, identification or research needs, and (most recently) recruitment of students into floriculture careers. This meeting is the only one of its kind and it bringing 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,, 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.

SAF Pest Management Conference
At SAF’s annual Pest Management Conference, SAF grower members learn proven, leading techniques to help fight insects and disease. Networking with growers from varying background helps attendees create the best strategies to adapt to their business. The conference features a tabletop trade show of the latest Integrated Pest Management (IPM) products, technical information on disease and insect management tools and an update on American Floral Endowment research funding.