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AFE On the Road

The AFE team has been busy the past few weeks! From North Carolina, to California, our staff has been busy from coast to coast attending floral industry events, networking, and planning for the future! Staying connected with the industry allows us to see first-hand the impact of our programs and research, and allows us to hear directly from industry members about the challenges they’re facing so we can adapt our programs to help.  Read on to learn more about all of the AFE staff adventures so far in 2024! AFE Board Meeting and NC State Tour Twice a year, the AFE Board meets in person to engage in strategic discussions and review past, present, and upcoming initiatives, charting the course…

Michelle Van Norden Named New Manager of Development & Donor Engagement

We are pleased to welcome Michelle Van Norden to the AFE staff as the new Manager of Development and Donor Engagement! We have proudly been providing programs, resources, and support for the floriculture industry for 60+ years; this has been made possible only with the support of generous donors. This position will continue to enhance connections to our donors, and further develop relationships with our stakeholders. As the Manager of Development and Donor Relations, Michelle will be promoting our many ways to give, such as named funds, legacy gifts, recurring donations, and designated donations.  As the Endowment’s community of donors grows, AFE will be able to further expand our core programs — scholarships, internships, educational grants, and innovative scientific research…

The Importance of Continued Education: Sharpe Family Grant Supports Retail Florists

Continued education is a vital part of any business, but it is especially vital in the vibrant and ever-changing world of flowers.  The Sharpe family knew how much of an impact pursuing education opportunities and attending industry events can have on a floral business. In 2019, Bob and Carol Sharpe established the Retail Florist’s Continued Education Grant to help businesses in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area pursue educational opportunities that help them stay up-to-date with the latest education, tools, tips, and trends to help their business grow.  “In an industry where businesses are handed down from generation to generation, continued education is vital for success,” said Bob. Bob and Carol wanted to help floral businesses succeed, so they worked…

Altering Petunia Development Rate to Improve Cutting Yield and Crop Production Efficiency

Researchers at Michigan State University, funded by AFE, are exploring how to breed new varieties and improve petunia crop to make production more efficient. This project is working to understand the genetic materials of different petunia varieties, and evaluate their development and performance to maximize efficiency. Read more below, and explore our other currently funded projects here. The rate at which plants produce new nodes is a fundamental trait with numerous implications for ornamental crop production. The benefits of understanding the genetic regulation of development rate and being able to manipulate development rate in the breeding of new cultivars include: 1) Reduction in crop production time:  Crop production time for annual bedding plants is a function of the rate of development,…

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Joins with the American Floral Endowment 

Amplifying Floriculture Research Advancements The American Floral Endowment (AFE) and the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation are pleased to announce a new partnership and joining of forces promoting a shared vision of cultivating and funding innovation, advancements, and growth through floriculture research. Through this partnership, the American Floral Endowment will provide a new home for the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, transitioning the Foundation to a new fund within AFE. The new Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Research Fund will continue the Foundation's current mission of providing a source of funding for research and education in floriculture while maintaining its robust history. The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Research Fund complements AFE's research efforts and amplifies floriculture growth through combining efforts, ultimately resulting in more significant achievements and…

Unveiling AFE’s New Website: Tailored for You

We are excited to unveil our newly redesigned website, featuring seamless navigation, enhanced program accessibility, and a modern, vibrant aesthetic! The new website reflects our unwavering commitment to providing easy-to-use, accessible resources and programs supporting research, internships, scholarships, and education for the floral industry. As the Endowment’s initiatives have grown over time, adapting to the industry's ever-changing needs, the website housing all of the resources has been reshaped as well. Industry members can find resources and programs specific to their business segment, including tailored-specific news, research findings, opportunities, and more. With a focus on accessibility, the redesigned platform ensures that visitors can easily access valuable resources and navigate the website effortlessly."We are thrilled to introduce the new website, which embodies our dedication to serving all segments of…

Discount Available: 2024 Greenhouse Training Online

Each course is completely online and includes pre-recorded videos, an interactive discussion board, and quizzes. The course material is available any time of the day, and new modules are activated each week during the course for the four weeks of each course, for a total of 8 learning modules. Experienced university instructors are available to help, and graduates receive a personalized certificate of completion. Courses are designed for individuals already working in the horticulture industry. Exclusively for AFE supporters, we are pleased to provide a 20% discount. Just use code: AFE2024 when you register. The University of Florida Greenhouse Training Online 2024 program starts June 3rd! Online course schedule for 2024: Greenhouse 101 teaches the underlying horticultural science of plant growth to…

Spring Hiring Campaign Kicks Off to Tackle Labor Challenges

The AFE Career Center provides valuable online career tools, resources, and industry guides tailored to both individuals seeking opportunities in the floral industry and employers looking to expand their staff. The Center provides the most up-to-date job listings, real-time job alerts, networking opportunities, and free tools to help both candidates and employers during the job search. Since its launch in 2020 by AFE, engagement has more than doubled in both job views and active applications.  Calling All Job-Seekers! Explore an array of resources including resume tips, reviews, and a centralized job openings hub at afecareercenter.com. Be entered to win 1 of 3 $50 Amazon gift cards by uploading your resume by April 23rd! Uploading your resume means employers can reach out to you directly with inquiries…

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…

AFE’s Adventure at North Carolina State University: Research and Scholarships in Action

Picture this: a group of industry leaders from AFE’s Board of Trustees and Staff embarking on a journey to North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, NC, for our board and committee meetings, along with a university tour. The trip provided us with the opportunity to spend some time with faculty and students who directly benefit from the Endowment’s programs. Twice a year, the Endowment Board meets in person to engage in strategic discussions and review past, present, and upcoming initiatives, charting the course for the future. The meetings provide for direct industry engagement and feedback on AFE’s programs. This February, however, held an extra special treat—a tour of NCSU and the chance to witness firsthand the impact of AFE’s…