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How Your Support of AFE Can Make a Difference in the Floral Industry

How Your Support of AFE Can Make a Difference in the Floral Industry

Past Successes, Present Priorities, and Future Goals


For over 60 years, AFE has been the leading source of funding for floral industry advances through scientific research, scholarships, internship programs, and educational grant funding for continued education for all industry members. This has been made possible through the continued support from the floral community that we serve.
The future will continue to bring new challenges, and with your support, AFE can continue to expand resources and programs. As the year comes to a close, we’d like to thank our supporters for their generous contributions and share some of the impacts that your dollars have had:

Advances Through Scientific Research Funding –
Through working with leading floriculture researchers from universities across the U.S., AFE supports projects focused on improved quality, longevity, technologies, production, post-production, sustainability, care & handling, pest & disease management, and more. The findings are broken down and presented to the industry through directly useable business resources such as posters, webinars, training programs, and more.

In 2023, we are presenting training programs, sharing the results from our Thrips & Botrytis Research Fund, sharing our general research findings through monthly Grow Pro Webinars, which are free to the entire industry, and funding 15 projects in total for 2022-2023.                

“If the employees of floral shops read and follow AFE’s Care and Handling posters, it will save the businesses a lot of money in the long run. This will ensure that the shops throw away less product.” ~John Smith, Manager of DWF’s Toledo Branch

Continued Education and Career Resources for All Industry Levels –
The support of education within our industry provides for advancement for all segments. Our educational grant funding supports continued education at all levels for industry members through state, national, and other industry-related programs nationwide. AFE’s grants support floral design education, event sponsorships to reduce registration fees, sponsorships at events, and more, for both in-person and virtual opportunities.

 “The Arizona Travel Grant allowed me to take my two top designers to the AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas, NV. What an amazing experience to bring my team; the trip was full of education, design trends, and the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the industry’s best!” ~Martha Aaron, Owner of Sedona Mountain High Flower 

Additionally, the AFE Career Centerwww.AFEcareercenter.com – provides a platform for job seekers and employers to connect and shares important resources to help you recruit top talent locally at the grassroots level. Not only that, but the Center also provides professional development resources, including resume reviews, career tips, and best practices, and more.                                                                                                                 

Supporting and Recruiting the Next Generation –
Each year, more than 30 annual scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in floriculture or horticulture programs. AFE provides more scholarships in floriculture than any other organization to help attract and retain young professionals for our industry.  Without these scholarships, floriculture can’t compete with other agricultural industries for top talent.

 “I am so grateful for the gift of scholarship funding that AFE has granted my students. For many of our students, finances are a primary driver affecting their decision to pursue higher education.” ~Terry Lanker, Coordinator of Floral Design & Marketing Technology at Ohio State ATI

Additionally, we provide students with unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internship programs while they are still enrolled in studies. These internship programs bring industry businesses new perspectives and potential employees.              

“The interns we have hosted through our partnership with AFE are pre-vetted and have a strong passion for flowers and plants. They’ve been very successful at our facilities and have brought new ideas to our programs. Their enthusiasm and dedication inspire our team, reminding us all why we are in this industry.” ~Ann Pennington, HR Manager of Neal Mast Greenhouses

Our Young Professionals Council (YPC) was established to bridge the gap between youth and the industry. It provides opportunities for young professionals and students to network with peers and industry leaders. The YPC provides professional development opportunities for the next generation through webinars, meetings, volunteer opportunities, and other resources, while they become ambassadors for AFE’s programs.


“AFE is one of the best, if not the best, supporter of young horticultural professionals that are on their journey to being upcoming leaders in the industry and academic settings.” ~Annika Kohler, YPC Member and Research Assistant at Michigan State University

Where do YOU fit in? Industry Engagement, Partnerships, and Collaboration
AFE’s programs, advances, and resources are successful through industry involvement and support. The many ways to give include: mail, online, gift of securities, employer matches, monthly recurring pledges, legacy giving through estate planning, and more. Have a specific focus in mind? Consider establishing a designated fund for research, scholarships, grants, or memorial tributes. You can make a donation today to support the future of floral here! 

Together with the industry, AFE works to create, fund, and deliver resources to address challenges at all levels and for all segments. With your input and engagement, we can continue to build a stronger, more sustainable industry today and for generations to come!
So, thank you again for your continued support and involvement! We look forward to a bright new year and ongoing industry advances.

By Karin Krause, AFE’s Manager of Communications and Outreach