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Farewell Letter from Retiring Research Director, Dr. Terril Nell

Industry colleagues and friends, 

As many of you may know, I will be retiring from AFE at the end of 2023. At the threshold of a new chapter in my life, my heart fills with gratitude for the incredible journey I’ve had in the floral industry.

Looking back, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the profound impact AFE has had on my life and career. Unwavering grant support, the platform to explore innovative and impactful research, and lifelong collaboration with those in our vibrant community have helped shape me into the person I am today. It has been a privilege to serve and contribute to an industry that breathes this kind of life, beauty, and camaraderie into the world.

Throughout my career, AFE’s mission has resonated with me deeply.  Forging partnerships between the academic world and floriculture industry leaders has always been my goal.  It is exciting when scientific results lead to real-world solutions, and when students and faculty have opportunities to see how their work can advance the industry. The value of this partnership is evidenced by continued contributions to AFE’s research, internship and scholarship programs by those who have witnessed or benefitted from these initiatives over the years.

I have worked alongside our Research Coordinator, Laura Barth, for the past year and a half, introducing her to growers, wholesalers and retailers, preparing for the transition that will take place in January.  I have every confidence that under Laura’s leadership, AFE’s research programs will continue to flourish, innovate, and empower the next generation of floriculture leaders. I hope you will welcome and embrace Laura, as you have so graciously received me over the past ten years.

To the entire AFE community, I extend my deepest thanks. Every interaction, collaboration, and friendship has enriched my life in ways I find difficult to fully express. It’s been an honor and a privilege serving this industry alongside a host of remarkable individuals. Our shared experiences will always be cherished memories, and I thank you for your partnership over the course of this amazing journey. 

With heartfelt appreciation,

Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF
Research Director