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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…

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…

Thank You for a Milestone Year!

We are excited to share the following accomplishments from 2023: Funded over $765,000 to support – research, scholarships, internships, and education. This year we reached over $20 million in funding since founded in 1961.. T & B Research Library – the release of new information and resources addressing Thrips and Botrytis. Results of five years of specialized research which will save the industry tens of thousands of dollars annually... The establishment of our Sustainabloom program– a new initiative providing guides and best practices to help you in your sustainability efforts. The official site will launch in the next few months and will have resources for all segments and sizes of businesses.. Industry collaboration and partnerships with other floral organizations and media partners increasing awareness and…

Controlling Whitefly on Poinsettia

Unfortunately, poinsettia and sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) go together like cats and fleas; if you have one, you’ll have the other. By this time (June) you should already be considering your whitefly management strategy. Here, we make a case for biocontrol as both a viable and economical way to control whitefly based on leading research supported by the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and many years of grower experience in Canada. The Problem with Pesticides Management of Bemisia whiteflies with pesticides can be difficult, if not impossible, in some years. This is because whiteflies that originate on cuttings (and those that fly in from field crops, as in the Southern US) have likely been exposed to multiple applications of several groups of…

Upcoming Webinar Releasing Consumer Houseplant Study Results

The Floral Marketing Fund (FMF) will host a webinar on December 9th at 1 PM Eastern to present results from a consumer preferences study about houseplants conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study’s researchers, Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University, Dr. Hayk Khachatryan, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS, and Dr. Charlie Hall, Texas A&M University, will reveal the data, address trends in houseplant purchasing, and discuss how the industry can capitalize on them. Register for the webinar at: https://bit.ly/Consumer20.To better understand the rising popularity of houseplants over the last decade, this study addresses the gaps in information that speak to the main drivers of consumer usage. Most recently, due in part to COVID-19, sales have seen further growth because…

Increasing Demand and Satisfaction in the Floral Industry

New Study Results Explores Purchasing, Preferences, and Targeted Messaging The Floral Marketing Fund (FMF) released the results from the first of three consumer preferences studies being completed in 2021, Increasing Demand and Satisfaction in the Floral Industry. The results come from two separate surveys conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic (one in July of 2020 and one in June of 2021) by researchers Dr. Benjamin L. Campbell, Dr. Julie H. Campbell, and Dr. Jessica A. Holt at the University of Georgia. The study was funded by the FMF, whose mission is to develop, support, and promote collaborative fundraising, research, and marketing efforts to increase flower sales. As businesses look to serve new and existing customers, they must ensure they are not only driving…

Collaborative Sponsorships Fund New Houseplant Consumer Study!

Five major industry contributors, including the Floral Marketing Fund, Altman Plants, Costa Farms, Green Circle Growers, Hortica, and Metrolina Greenhouses have come together in collaboration to fund an exciting new research project. The study, “Houseplants Consumer Preference and Purchasing Behaviors,” is led by researchers, Hayk Khachatryan and Melinda Knuth at the University of Florida and Charlie Hall at Texas A&M University.Houseplant purchases have been on the rise for the past decade, a trend that further escalated sales throughout 2020 due in part to COVID-19. Industry experts hypothesize that because people are home more, they are engaging in more plant-related activities, but current predictions still lack empirical evidence on the driving factors of consumer usage, and many questions remain unanswered. The study intends to provide an in-depth…

Successful Poinsettia Packing, Shipping, and Handling

Preparing Your Poinsettias for Shipping and Retail Display Begins at Bract ColorIt is hard to believe that the first poinsettias will be shipped to retail stores in just 4–5 weeks and shipments will continue until near December 20. Life becomes hectic in poinsettia greenhouses as the season progresses so it is prudent to establish handling and shipping practices now that will ensure that quality poinsettias are shipped, and quality poinsettias are received. In the past, growers would ‘harden off’ crops to prepare them for the entire handling, shipping, and handling programs by reducing watering and fertilizer and lowering temperatures. Today, poinsettia performance is best when plants are grown with strong root systems and are grown lean in the final four weeks…