Twenty Students Awarded AFE Scholarships

Twenty Students Awarded AFE Scholarships

We have awarded 20 students with scholarships totaling $54,400. In this 2022 scholarship cycle, which introduced a brand-new online application platform, 65 applications were received from 40 colleges and universities. We would like to give a special thank you to the 47 industry members who reviewed and scored the applications.

We are aware the floral industry faces significant and ongoing challenges to our labor force. Now more than ever, these programs are imperative in helping support new professionals as they prepare to enter the industry workforce and launch a successful career. With these scholarship opportunities, we are keeping floriculture and horticulture competitive with other career paths by granting avenues for financial support ensuring that the industry can continue to attract and retain new students.

Please join with the Endowment in congratulating, supporting, and empowering these future industry leaders. Learn a bit about their career goals and what they see for the future of our industry!

Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship – $2,700
Suntory Flowers Scholarship – $2,000
Recipient: Landon Erbrick, Auburn University

Landon Erbrick is a Junior and Undergraduate Research Assistant at Auburn University and has conducted research impacting ornamental horticulture, including the nursery and greenhouse industries. He has a great interest in nursery and greenhouse production. On his career goals, Erbrick notes, “No matter where I end up after Auburn, I know one thing for certain: I want to have the opportunity to work hands-on in the production or research field, continuously gaining valuable knowledge and experience.” He is passionate about the floral industry and looks forward to sharing his passion with others. “As a horticulture major, I plan to carry determination, work ethic, and excellence with me into my career,” adds Erbrick.

When asked about the impact that these scholarships will have on his education and career, Erbrick said, “These scholarships help remove some of the financial burden from my shoulders and allow me to focus even more on my grades and undergraduate research.”

About the Scholarships:

Julio “Toots” Armellini was the founder of Armellini Express Lines, the largest flower carrier service in the U.S. Armellini enlisted in the Navy as a “Seabee” and was stationed all around the globe as a mechanic, where he learned the skills he used to modernize refrigerated trucking. Armellini Logistics was started in 1945. When he began expanding his lines in the early 1950s, refrigeration was new and underdeveloped, so he established a more effective way of cooling his supplies using a system of constant airflow. ThermoKing eventually made his contributions to refrigeration systems standards. Today, Armellini Logistics encompasses many businesses:Armellini Express Lines, Inc., J.A. Flower Service, Armellini Freight Brokerage, Armellini Air Express, and Dash Mobile Storage. Established by Julio and Sarah before their passing, the Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarshipis intended for sophomore, junior or senior students with a career interest in the marketing or distribution of floral products.

Based in Japan, Suntory Flowers is a world-class breeding company dedicated to innovation and enriching people’s lives by creating a world that’s alive with flowers.  Suntory’s guiding philosophy and passion is “Yatte Minahare” – the spirit of bold ambition to dream big, take challenges and never give up.  This means challenging conventional methods and striving to make the impossible possible, like creating the first blue rose or revolutionary new crops, such as Surfinia petunias, Sun Parasol mandevillas, and Million Bells calibrachoas.  Let’s inspire the next generation to dream big and go for it with the “Yatte Minahare” spirit while contributing to the growth of our industry. Suntory Flowers Scholarship is intended for junior or senior undergraduate students attending a two- or four-year institution, with a demonstrated focus on a career in floriculture or ornamental horticulture breeding or production, with a passion for exploration in developing new and innovative floral products.

Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship – $1,300

Dewar Family Scholarship – $2,200
Recipient: Nathan James, Colorado State University

Nathan James is a Senior at Colorado State University majoring in Horticultural Science. His passion for plant care began during childhood, and he carried it into his education. “Throughout my educational journey, I have been lucky enough to get hands-on experience with a variety of coursework pertaining to the health and wellbeing of plants and the organisms within their system. Now four years into college, I have gained a unique education focus on the applied sciences of horticulture-related crops,” reflects James. Continuing onward from the Michigan State University, where he gained a certificate in Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management, he hopes to gather valuable information in the plant genetics and plant physiology fields along with finding a suitable career in the industry.

When looking to the future of the floral industry, James notes, “My vision of the floriculture, horticulture, or green industry within the next twenty years is to have businesses think about the effects that the environment is facing and practice more sustainable methods within the industry. Through these actions, growers, traders, retailers, organizations, and governments could join forces in creating a more sustainable and healthier world for all generations.”

About the Scholarships:

Ball Horticultural Company is a leading international breeder, producer, and wholesale distributor of floriculture products. Ball brings the beginnings of color, foliage, fruit, and form to professional growers around the world for the retail and landscape markets. The Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship is intended for junior or senior students pursuing a career in commercial floriculture.

The newly established Dewar Family Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student in their junior or senior year, studying environmental horticulture with an emphasis and focus on a career in floriculture. The fund is established by the Dewar Family of Dewar Nurseries. Dewar Nurseries was established in 1963 by founder Alex Dewar, with the vision of providing premier plants and exemplary customer service. The Dewar Family appreciates the value of a quality education and is excited to encourage young professionals to enter floriculture production and business with this scholarship.

Read the Full Article. A condensed list of recipients and awards can be found below. 

AFE awards scholarships annually, and applications are due by May 1 of each year. Scholarship descriptions are available at

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