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Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI)

 Partnering with USDA-ARS to generate scientific research on high-priority issues.

AFE Research Coordinator and a past SAF President Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, (pictured center) with North Carolinians Ted Todd and Debby Sacra of The Blossom Shop Florist in Charlotte, Mark Yelanich of Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, and Michael Trogdon, AAF, of Burge Flower Shop, Inc. in Asheboro talk about the importance of FNRI funding with Corey Brown, a legislative assistant in the office of Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), during SAF’s Congressional Action Days this past March.

Making Floriculture Research A Priority!

Floriculture research is a priority and core program supported by AFE. In addition to the Endowment funding projects annually, we work with other industry organizations and government agencies to support additional funding for research for the industry. One of these partnerships is with the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) where AFE works with AmericanHort and their foundation, HRI, to provide guidance on where funding should be focused.

In the photo above, AFE Research Coordinator and a past SAF President Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, (pictured center) with North Carolinians Ted Todd and Debby Sacra of The Blossom Shop Florist in Charlotte, Mark Yelanich of Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, and Michael Trogdon, AAF, of Burge Flower Shop, Inc. in Asheboro talk about the importance of FNRI funding with Corey Brown, a legislative assistant in the office of Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), during SAF’s Congressional Action Days this past March.

About FNRI:

Established by SAF and the then American Nursery and Landscape Association in the late 1990s, the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) plays a critical role in generating scientific research on high-priority issues that affect all segments of the industry, including post-harvest technology, water quality and pest and disease management.

Effective Aug. 1, 2019, the American Floral Endowment assumed the role of floral industry liaison with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for FNRI, identifying research priorities, making recommendations to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and evaluating the progress of research to ensure it is meeting its objectives. AFE and AmericanHort work directly with the Agriculture Research Service to recommend floriculture research projects and researchers.

“AFE has a long history of working closely together on myriad projects, and AFE’s Research Committee has provided expert feedback on FNRI research, making this new partnership a logical next step,” said Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, retired Research Director and past SAF president. “As a nonprofit organization that funds research and scholarships in floriculture and environmental horticulture that benefit all segments of the floral industry, AFE is perfectly positioned to help identify the industry challenges and priorities best suited for FNRI research.”

The Society of American Florists and AmericanHort both support the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) through lobbying efforts for additional funding and communicating with members of Congress so that they are aware of the importance of FNRI research to the floral and nursery industry and their constituents.

History of USDA-ARS Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI)

The ARS Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) was presented to congress in 1998 by the American Nursery Landscape Association and Society of American Florists (SAF). The initiative was the culmination of five years of surveys and discussions among the green industry, academic researchers, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to identify priority research goals and key projects in environmental horticulture.

FNRI was first funded in FY 1999 with $1 million in congressionally appropriated funding to ARS. Since that time, there have been six additional funding increases of more than $6 million, although actual appropriated dollars have been adjusted for rescissions, sequestration, and other changes to federal base funding.

FNRI uses a model of tripartite coordination between ARS Office of National Programs, commodity groups (American Floral Endowment – AFE and AmericanHort), and university cooperators. AFE and HRI make recommendations to set research priorities each year to ARS. Over the years, some FNRI funds have been moved to ARS base funds in order to hire permanent ARS scientists for FNRI objectives, mostly at the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA). The remaining funds are distributed to floral and nursery researchers on a yearly basis as determined by ARS Office of National Programs in consultation with AFE and AmericanHort.

FNRI funding represents a substantial portion of the overall ARS effort in floriculture and nursery research and a unique public-private partnership funded through ARS. FNRI plays a critical role in generating scientific research on high-priority issues that affect all segments of the floral and nursery industries, including post-harvest technology, water quality, and pest and disease management. In FY2019, the total amount allocated for FNRI at ARS headquarters was nearly three million dollars. This amount does not include FNRI funding that has been converted into ARS base funds.

FNRI FY 2023 Annual Report

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FNRI FY 2020 Annual Report

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FNRI FY 2019 Annual Report

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Currently Funded Projects

Germplasm Collections and Evaluations
Biotechnology
Innovations for Production
Climate and Economic Impacts
Insects and Weeds Research
Reducing Disease

Explore More of Our Research

AFE is committed to supporting research that advances the industry and combats current challenges.

Looking For Funding?

AFE is committed to supporting research that advances the industry and combats current challenges. This research benefits every segment of the industry. We welcome new research proposal applications by August 1st of each year.