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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:

  1. 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 challenges our industry members face on a daily basis. These research projects focus on areas such as improving flower quality & longevity, pest & disease management, new technologies, plant breeding & engineering, and more.
  2. Education for all remains a key priority. To support and empower the next generation, we provided scholarships to 30 students this year. We hope these scholarships can help to alleviate challenges to our labor force as new, young professionals are now granted the opportunity to pursue careers in floriculture and horticulture.
  3. Also, in support of education more broadly for the floral community at all ages, the Endowment awarded 19 organizations with Educational Grants. This funding will help these organizations host conferences, teach students and educators about the floral industry, offer programs such as greenhouse training and florist certification classes, promote sustainability practices, and more.
  4. We know education goes beyond the classroom and industry events. To ensure that the future leaders of our industry have hands-on experience, 14 of the best and brightest from universities across the nation received internships focusing on floral production, greenhouse management, commercial plant production, and floral design. These students have been working in the industry hands-on and learning far beyond what can be taught in a classroom. We are so excited to keep up with these outstanding interns through their future endeavors in our industry.
  5. Making results, research, and resources digestible for all – We can’t forget to mention our 19 free, interactive webinars we hosted throughout the year with industry experts. These include our monthly Grow Pro Webinars, which provide growers with direct access to new findings, best practices, and the chance to talk with industry experts. For young professionals, we hosted seven webinars focusing on professional development, networking, and public speaking. In addition, we hosted a Floral Marketing Fund webinar to share the latest consumer research results.
  6. Brand new this year, we launched the Thrips & Botrytis Resources Library. This comprehensive library is the result of a special research campaign, established in 2017, to address the control and management of Thrips and Botrytis. It launched recently free to all thanks to the campaign’s generous industry sponsors, whose support made this research possible. The library contains resources in English and Spanish, including webinars, articles, fact sheets, and more! Check out the free library here. 
  7. The Endowment has also been working diligently on a new sustainability project, Sustainabloom, which will be launching with a website soon providing sustainability guides for all segments of the floral industry. This exciting program, established in 2022, will support the need for continued floriculture research around sustainable practices and help to increase sustainability efforts throughout the industry. 

And, we won’t stop there… The Endowment has provided for the floral industry for over 60 years and aims to continue for many more. Also in the pipeline for 2024, AFE will be launching a fully redesigned website to further make all resources accessible, another year of webinars sharing new research findings, and so much more as AFE continues to fund its core programs: research, internships, scholarships, and education.