Welcome to AFE's brand new website! Feel free to explore and learn more about our programs and resources. Make a Contribution to Support AFE

Dr. Stephanie Burnett Appointed to AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Committee

Dr. Stephanie Burnett, Associate Professor at the University of Maine, has been appointed as the newest member of AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Committee. In her position at the University of Maine’s School of Food and Agriculture, she teaches Greenhouse Management, Herbaceous Landscape Plants, and Introduction to Horticulture. Her research focuses on greenhouse and field flower production as well as automated irrigation in greenhouses. She has an MS degree in horticulture from Auburn University and a Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Georgia. As a member of the Vic & Margaret Ball Committee, Burnett will work together with industry, faculty, AFE Staff, and the Ball Family representative to review student applications for the Vic & Margaret Ball Intern…

A Year in Review: A Look Back at 2023

As the year comes to a close, we invite you to celebrate all that the Endowment has been able to accomplish and provide through your ongoing support. What a year it’s been! We couldn’t have done it without you. Together, we have granted over $675,000 in funding this year to support research, internships, scholarships, and education for the entire floral community. Consider making a contribution to support us continuing this great work next year! Here are some key highlights from 2023: Research and advancements are key to the industry’s ongoing growth and success. This year, we have funded 12 ground-breaking research projects, including five new projects and seven continuing projects. The projects are working to move the industry forward and help solve some of…

The Influence of Internships

AFE’s Visits with Students and Faculty at Michigan State University Just a few short weeks ago, AFE Staff, alongside the Vic & Margaret Ball Committee, had the opportunity to visit Michigan State University (MSU) to review internship applications, select students, and spend some time with faculty and students who directly benefit from the Endowment’s programs. Every year, the Vic & Margaret Ball Committee meets in March and October to evaluate applications and select students for its prestigious internship program. The program awards three-, four-, or six-month internships to students pursuing a career in commercial production/growing.  On top of the paid internship, students receive a scholarship of up to $6,000 upon completion. This program grants a full-circle experience of both hands-on…

A Launchpad for an Exciting Career in Floriculture: AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Program

Learning from experienced professionals, completing hands-on training, and making connections that could lead to your dream job—that’s just some of what the American Floral Endowment’s Vic and Margaret Ball Internship Program provides for students!Through the Vic and Margaret Ball Internship Program, interns are placed at top production greenhouses across the United States, where they work alongside experienced professionals to learn about all aspects of the industry, from growing and harvesting flowers, to shipping, and conducting research and testing. One of the highlights of the Program is the opportunity for students’ advisors to visit them on-site. During the visit, advisors have the chance to check in with the interns, tour the site, and meet the student’s coworkers and supervisors. After each visit…

A Visit with Mosmiller Intern, Gabriella, at Jacksonville Flower Market

The deadline to apply for our two hands-on internship programs is approaching quickly! Students can apply for our Vic & Margaret Ball and Mosmiller Intern Programs by Sunday, October 1st. These internships are great for both students and floral organizations – students gain industry experience working at some of the top companies in the country, and companies get to bring on new, forward-thinking individuals to their operations, helping ensure a steady pipeline of new talent into the industry. Our Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Program gives students the opportunity to gain practical floriculture/horticulture experience while training at a commercial production greenhouse or nursery, while our Mosmiller Internship Program allows students to train at leading retail, wholesale, or allied trade operations. One…

Transitioning from Classroom to Industry – Students Prepare for Internships

Twelve exceptional students from colleges and universities around the U.S. are embarking on new professional development journeys as they begin their internships through AFE’s prestigious Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program. These students are off to put their classroom knowledge to use as they gain important hands-on experience at production and retail operations.There is no doubt this will be a life-changing experience for each one of these students. Follow along with our interns on our social media accounts (listed below), where they will be sharing videos showcasing their experiences along the way! Past intern, Erin Sparks, shares her experience on how her internship impacted her:“I gained so much valuable experience working with professional growers…

2023 Paul Thomas Floriculture Production Intern of the Year Announced

2023 Paul Thomas Floriculture Production Intern of the Year AwardsRecognizing Talent and Passion from Across the NationEach year through the Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Program, AFE has the opportunity to match promising future horticulturists with top production greenhouses across the nation. These students get to see first-hand what it’s like to work at top floriculture facilities, train under industry experts, and gain insight into their future career paths. Each intern is hand-picked and placed based on their wide range of experiences, perspectives, and unique studies. Students who successfully finish their internship, including completing a written report and multiple video blogs, are eligible for our Paul Thomas Floriculture Production Intern of the Year Award. Last year, one intern stood out from…

2022 AFE Internship Placements & Awards

Taking that next career step is something to be proud of – let’s celebrate some of our industry’s next generation and their AFE internship awards!This year, eight outstanding students will pursue a freshly awarded internship opportunity through AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program.It is without a doubt that the next generation plays a significant role in the long-term success of our industry. “Investing in young professionals ensures they’re well equipped to bring lasting strength and innovation to the field. AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program makes practical floriculture and horticulture experience and training more accessible, and we’re extremely proud to be able to provide this opportunity every year,” notes Dwight Larimer,…

2022 Paul Thomas Interns of the Year

2022 Paul Thomas Floriculture Production Interns of the YearHolly Barrus, University of Idaho & William Billmeyer, Kirkwood Community College For three to six months of the year, the interns awarded AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship disperse throughout the country to gear up, take on new roles, and put their classroom knowledge to work through hands-on industry experiences. Every internship cycle proves that one key to a better future for the industry is investing in our young professionals through these experiences.Students who successfully finish the internship, complete with their written reports and video blogs, automatically qualify for the Paul Thomas Floriculture Production Intern of the Year Award. This year, two interns shone exceptionally bright – Holly Barrus of the University…

Practicing What We Preach – Our New Intern, Gracie Alvarez

At AFE, we’re a big advocate for practicing what we preach. “Funding the Future of Floriculture” means many things to us, including investing in our industry’s young professionals through scholarships, internships, and professional development opportunities. AFE has had tremendous success with past interns, having brought our last onto the team full-time. Through thoughtful consideration and understanding of the importance of hands-on experience for young professionals, we’ve hired Gracie Alvarez of the University of Missouri as our new intern – a passionate and prepared member of the floral industry.Get to know Gracie in her personal note to the industry below, as she shares her path, passions, and enthusiasm for her new role. I’ve only been involved with the floral industry since the…