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AFE Turns 50!

Join us in celebrating AFE's First 50 Years of funding unparalleled research and education during our annual Fundraising dinner, September 22 in Orlando.  The fundraising dinner, held annually in conjunction with the Society of American Florists' annual convention, will honor the thousands of florists, wholesalers, growers, suppliers and scientists who have worked tirelessly for decades to make the Endowment the industry’s premier research support organization.


“In the history of AFE, more than 5,000 individuals and organizations have contributed to AFE’s mission,” said AFE Chairman-Elect and Development Committee Chairman Tom Butler of Teleflora in Oklahoma City.


Since 1961, AFE has raised more than $10 million through voluntary industry contributions, which in turn has allowed funding of $14 million toward research, and more than $300,000 in educational and scholarship opportunities.


Gus De Hertogh, Ph.D., the Endowment’s research coordinator and a previous recipient of AFE funding, said the group currently helps support about a dozen projects a year -- research that addresses a diverse range of topics from insect and disease management, plant breeding and genetics, production technology, production and post-production protocols, and consumer behavior.  This research is conducted by top floricultural scientists from many top-notch universities including Cornell University, The Ohio State University, the University of Florida, the University of California-Davis, Purdue University, North Carolina State University, Texas A & M University, and Michigan State University.


 “By funding scientific research, scholarships and internships, the Endowment benefits the entire industry,” said Red Kennicott, AAF, Endowment chairman and CEO of Kennicott Brothers Company in Chicago. “AFE-funded scientific research helps growers produce higher quality products more efficiently and, ultimately, to deliver them to consumers through industry channels.”


AFE-supported research has tackled challenges specific to each industry segment by helping growers reduce production costs, meeting consumer demand for higher quality products, and increasing profitability throughout the distribution chain. In recent years, the Endowment also has made significant strides in making its research accessible to the industry, researchers and the general public. Results from more than 120 research projects are posted on the Endowment’s web site. Today, AFE funds more than 20 scholarships, ranging from $500 to $4,000, and competitive awards are presented each year to some of the country’s top college students.


 “The floral industry is no longer “your father’s flower business,” Kennicott said.  “We all face changes – new competitors, tough economies -- that impact our businesses, but we’re lucky to have an organization like AFE that’s ready to fund research that helps us all.”


 “AFE contributions come in all sizes, and every dollar counts,” said AFE manager Debi Aker.  As the Endowment celebrates its landmark anniversary this September in Florida, Kennicott said he hopes this message – that every dollar counts – will take hold and help ensure another half century of targeted, industry-supported, proactive research.


To register for AFE’s 50th Anniversary dinner on September 22nd, become a dinner sponsor, or to make a general contribution to AFE, contact Debi Aker at, (703) 838-5211.

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2010 - Issue Two
In This Issue
   AFE Turns 50!
   MSU Graduate Awarded 2010 Paul Ecke Jr. MS/PhD Scholarship
   Memorial Tribute Established as AFE Mourns the Passing of Trustee Ernesto Velez
   Post Production Research: Cut Flower Longevity
   Floral Design Students Receive Financial Support Through AFE
   Ensuring the Next 50 Years: Consider a Bequest Gift to AFE
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Sponsorship Opportunities!

Join other industry organizations by becoming a sponsor of the 2010 AFE Fundraising Dinner and 50th Anniversary Commemorative Celebration - September 22, in Orlando. 

All sponsors receive recognition during the dinner, in the commemorative printed program, on AFE's web site, and receive special seating during the event.

Sponsorships available:

  • Table Hosts
  • Table Sponsors
  • Entertainment Sponsors
  • Wine/Champagne Sponsors
  • Other Sponsorships are available.

Contact AFE for more information!


Final Research Reports Available on the AFE Web Site!

AFE research addresses a diverse range of topics, from pest and disease management, breeding and genetics, production technology, production and post-production protocols, and consumer behavior.  Final reports on all AFE research are available at

** As a follow up to the last AFE Bulletin, Parts II and III of the Special Research Report “The Appeal of Biodegradable Packaging to Floral Consumers” are now published.


Congratulations to Vic and Margaret Ball Scholars!

AFE awarded three students the Vic and Margaret Ball scholarship from the March 1 application deadline.  These students will perform a three to six month internship at a commercial production operation.  Upon completion, they will receive a scholarship ranging from $1,500 – $6,000.  The next application deadline is October 1st – visit the AFE web site for more information.

Aric Compliment, a student at College of Dupage will complete a three-month internship at Heartland Growers, a family owned growing operation in Westfield, Ind.

Dominic Vercelote, a student at University of Georgia will perform a six-month internship at The Sun Valley Group in Arcata, Calif.

Rachel Palmer, a student at the University of Minnesota, will perform a three-month internship at Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, NC.

Attention Growers:  If your business hosts interns and you would like to be considered as a Ball host employer, please contact AFE at (703) 838-5211.

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Support AFE through an Annual Pledge!

Support AFE in our mission to grow the industry through funding scientific research, scholarships and educational grants.  Making an annual pledge to AFE is an easy way to help support the future of the floriculture industry. 
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American Floral Endowment
1601 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-838-5211
Fax: 703-838-5212
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