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AFE Announces 2009 Scholarship Recipients

Money - 2009 scholarshipsFourteen horticultural students have been selected as 2009 scholarship recipients and are beginning the school year with scholarships from AFE.
“These very deserving individuals have demonstrated their commitment and passion for the floriculture/horticulture industry,” said AFE’s Scholarship Chairperson PJ Ellison, of Ellison’s Greenhouses in Brenham, Texas.  “We are very pleased to be able to help them along their career paths.”

Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship and Bud Ohlman Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Nathan Urben, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“My true ambition is to start my own garden center (and)…emphasize an organic, environmentally friendly approach to landscape design and maintenance,” says Urben. He hopes to start his career by working as a grower for a mid- to large-sized producer of herbaceous perennials and/or bedding plants.
The Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship is intended for junior or senior students pursuing careers in commercial floriculture. Ball Horticultural Company is an international breeding, production and distribution corporation involved in nearly every facet of floriculture.  Includes: Ball and PanAmerican Seed, Ball FloraPlant, ColorLink, Ball Superior (Canada) and Vegmo Plant, plus 11 joint ventures around the world.
The Bud Ohlman scholarship requires students have a career goal of becoming a bedding plant grower for an established business and have junior or senior status. Bud Ohlman was a hands-on grower in his family business, expanding the truck gardening operation to include greenhouses, bedding plant and flowering annuals production.  During the off-season he coached expansion projects, even into his 70’s.  Bud’s work ethic was second to none, inspired by his God, his family, and his industry.

Harold Bettinger Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Jessica Feuerbach, North West Missouri State University

Feuerbach is a horticulture major with a minor in business management who intends to focus on greenhouse management in graduate school. Her career goal is to gain experience working in different segments of the floral industry before “returning home to help manage and operate the garden center, greenhouse and flower shop business that has been in my family for over 50 years.”
The Bettinger Scholarship is intended for horticulture students, sophomore through graduate levels, who have a major or minor in business and/or marketing with the intent to apply their education to a horticulture-related career business. Harold Bettinger was a partner in Bettinger Farms of Swanton, Ohio.  In the mid-50’s, he was one of the first progressive growers to convert his bedding plant production from wooden to plastic flats.  Bettinger Farms now grows greenhouse and field vegetables

Bioworks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship
Recipient: Angela Magdaleno, California Polytechnic State University

“I ultimately plan to own my own retail nursery, but would also like to teach horticulture at both the high school and college level,” says Magdaleno. She has also started to fulfill requirements toward her Pest Control Advisors License.
The BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship is intended for students pursuing a career in floriculture. While not mandatory, it is strongly desired that the student be interested in furthering the use of Integrated Pest Management (“IPM”) or Sustainable practices and preferences will be given in this area. Students will be selected on the basis of sound academic performance and a grade point average of 3.0 or better.

James Bridenbaugh Memorial Scholarship and Jacob & Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship
Recipient: Amy Hinkle, Penn State University

Hinkle grew up on a 27-acre produce farm and started her own cut flower business Amy’s Flowers, “with about 100 zinnia plants” at the age of eleven. It is still in operation today. “After college, I plan to put my horticulture education into action by opening up my own greenhouse business, floral design shop or roadside farmer’s market,” says Hinkle.
The Bridenbaugh Scholarship is for sophomore, junior, or senior students who are pursuing a career in floral design and marketing of fresh flowers and plants.  Jim Bridenbaugh was a specialist in fresh flowers and plants, designing and commentating at design shows and seminars.  His floral industry knowledge, comedic story-telling and audience rapport made him a favorite.  Jim served as OFA president from 1989 to 1991.
The Jacob & Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship, established in January 1997, requires students have a career interest in agribusiness marketing and distribution of floral products and be of sophomore, junior, or senior standing.  Jacob Van Namen is a true entrepreneur who built a multimillion dollar business in wholesale floriculture.  This award is intended to develop knowledgeable, creative individuals to improve the floriculture industry.

John Carew Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Jared Barnes, North Carolina State University

“I am interested in plant health, and I look forward to doing research and educating others about how to grow the best plants possible,” says Carew, who plans to earn his doctorate and teach.  His Master’s Degree work is focused on nutrient disorders of floriculture crops.
The Carew Scholarship is open to graduate students in horticulture, with an interest in greenhouse crops. John Carew, former head of the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, dedicated his career to encouraging and guiding young horticulturists.  He was instrumental in establishing BPI in 1969.

Earl Dedman Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Catherine Terando, Iowa State University

“I’ve gained a lot of experience from the garden center (where I) work…and have found areas that need improvement,” says Terando. “I intend to operate my own business someday and believe I have what it takes to run my own garden center successfully.”
The Earl Dedman Scholarship is awarded to students who are interested in becoming greenhouse growers, are from the Northwestern United States, and have sophomore, junior, or senior status. Earl Dedman, owned and operated Mountainview Greenhouses in Woodinville, Washington, and was a former president of BPFI.  Earl considered education and hard work to be the keys to success in life.

Fran Johnson Scholarship and Seed Companies Scholarship
Recipient: Suzanne Zwecker, Rochester Institute of Technology

“I have been an avid gardener since I was a small child. After my husband died I realized I needed to figure out what to do and gardening became a refuge, so the Horticulture program at FLCC seemed like a perfect fit.  I am extremely motivated to excel in every class.  I want to learn as much as I possibly can, and I know that getting top grades and recommendations from my professors is the best path to a good job after I graduate,” says Zwecker.
Fran Johnson enjoyed a long, productive career with the John Henry Co., a horticultural printing firm in Lansing, Michigan.  Fran also made many significant and practical contributions of time and talent through the BPI trade association to advance the greenhouse industry.  The Fran Johnson Scholarship goes to students re-entering school after a 3-5 year absence, who have an interest in bedding and/or floral crops.
The Seed Companies Scholarship requires students to have a career goal within the seed industry and be junior or senior level undergraduates or graduate students.  Seed companies – Ball, Pan-American, Goldsmith and Novartis, are leaders in the seed production and breeding industry, providing new, improved varieties.  These seed companies co-operatively sponsor this scholarship.

National Greenhouse Manufacturing Association (NGMA) Scholarship
Recipient: Emily Meigs, Butte College

“I have always loved plants, and have been studying the medicinal properties of plants for many years.  So, I figured that horticulture was a good place to start. Three years later, I have completed my Associates degree with a 4.0 GPA,” says Meigs.
The NGMA scholarship targets students majoring in horticulture and bioengineering or the equivalent, and are at least a junior at an accredited four-year college maintaining a 3.0 GPA.  NGMA is a professional trade organization for the manufacturers and suppliers of greenhouses and greenhouse components built to codes designed for a grower’s needs.

Mike and Flo Novovesky Scholarship
Recipient: Nicole Waterland, The Ohio State University

“My love and joy for working with plants started when I was young. I would like to be a member of the floriculture community conducting research and educating students and the next generation of floriculturist.  My research interests are improving and maintaining the postharvest quality of floriculture crops,” says Waterland.
The Novovesky scholarship fund aims to help young married students who are working to put themselves through college and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  Depending on the availability of married applicants, the scholarship may also go to an undergraduate working his or her way through school with financial need and family obligations.  The keys are strong interest in horticulture and financial need. Mike and Flo Novovesky have enjoyed over 30 years of active participation in the floriculture industry.  The Novovesky’s know first hand the hardships a young couple must overcome when balancing a career and family.

James K. Rathmell Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Meng Tee, Kansas State University

“I am originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and have been in the United States since spring of 1993 when I enrolled in Kansas State University at the College of Agriculture Technology Management. I completed this program in Spring in 1996,” says Tee.
The Rathmell scholarship is awarded to junior or senior level undergraduates or graduate students who have a specific plan for horticulture work/study outside of the United States. Jim Rathmell was a horticulture extension specialist at Penn State University who promoted communication and cooperation with horticulturists in other countries.  A widely published author, he worked with commercial growers to implement many outstanding educational programs.

John L. Tomasovic Sr. Scholarship
Recipient: Jeremy Crook, Utah State University

“I want to be a professor of floriculture and a leader in the industry academically and professionally.  Plants are my passion and learning as much about the as possible is my pathway to share this passion with others,” says Crook
The Tomasovic scholarship offers special consideration for sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate students with financial need and a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.5. John L. Tomasovic, Sr., past president of BPFI, is owner of his family business, Tomasovic Greenhouses & Nursery, Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri (formerly John L. Tomasovic, Sr., Inc.) which includes greenhouses from 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  They produce bedding plants, fall mums, ground covers, poinsettias, Easter lilies, and sell nursery stock and dry sales of bulbs.  The business began with his father in 1931.

Ed Tuinier Memorial Scholarship
Recipient: Ryan Kreger, Michigan State University

“I became interested in the area of horticulture through family tradition.  I grew up working in the family business, Kreger’s Landscape and Garden Center. I started when I was 11 years old doing odd and ends in our small nursery such as, pulling weeds fertilizing, and pruning nursery crop. As I grew older I gained more responsibility and more interest in along with our growing business.  Soon I was field boss of the nursery” says Kreger.
The Tuinier scholarship is awarded to sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate students enrolled in the floriculture program at Michigan State University.  Ed Tuinier, owner of Post Gardens, loved the greenhouse business, building his firm to one of the top 50 U.S. companies, inspiring his children, all of whom work in one of the two Post Gardens locations.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Ed was a major benefactor of the MSU horticulture program and demonstration gardens.

Vocational (Bettinger, Holden & Perry) Scholarship
Recipient: Thomas Baker, Clemson University

“I have an extreme interest in all aspects of plant science and commercial greenhouse production.  I have also developed a extreme interest in micro propagation and plant breeding.  After graduation in May 2010 I plan to do a international scholarship for one year in The Netherlands,” says Baker.

Recipient: Elizabeth Bridges, North Carolina State University

“My grandmother has always been an avid gardener, and I inherited her love of plants and flowers. I enjoy all aspects of the horticulture field from working with soil and planting seeds to determining what flower to use for a garden border.   I feel that working with landscapers, florist, or green houses will increase my knowledge and abilities in the field of horticulture. After several years of work in the horticulture industry, my ultimate goal is to open my garden center/ greenhouse in my own hometown of Boiling Springs, NC,” says Bridges.
The Vocational (Bettinger, Holden & Perry) Scholarship requires students to be in a 1 or 2 year program with the intent to become a grower or greenhouse manager. The Vocational Scholarship is awarded in honor of:  Leonard Bettinger — a successful greenhouse grower in the Bettinger Farms family business in Toledo, Ohio, and was president of the BPI trade association from 1974-1976;  John Holden — who had a long, helpful career at Ball Seed Co. and was active in the BPI trade association since its inception, attending the very first “pre-BPI” conference in 1968; and Jim Perry — a respected wholesale nurseryman who grew Perry’s Plants of La Puente, California into one of the largest bedding plat operations in the U.S and was president of BPI from 1972-1974.