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Scholarships in Floriculture and Horticulture

Awarding scholarships for floriculture and horticulture students is a primary function of AFE. We understand the financial burden students face and are doing our part to help!

AFE has more than 30 scholarships that are awarded each year, ranging from $500 – $5,000. We are excited to support you…our next generation of industry leaders.

Requirements to apply for any of our scholarships you must…

  • Be pursuing a career in or related to FLORICULTURE or HORTICULTURE.
  • Be a CITIZEN OR RESIDENT OF THE U.S. OR CANADA or be enrolled in an accredited educational institution in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.


AFE has developed an online application platform for sophomore through graduate-level college students pursuing degrees in floriculture and horticultural fields only. If you are looking for AFE’s additional MS/PH.D. level scholarships, please click here.

Please read each scholarship description below to determine which scholarships you qualify for. You may select UP TO SIX scholarships. Applications with more than six scholarships selected will not be accepted.

AFE scholarship awards range from $500 to $5,000. These funds are issued jointly as checks in the name of the recipient and the college or institution being attended in the fall. Students selected for a scholarship will be sent a notification by July 1 of each year.

The following checklist will help you prepare a complete application:

  1. Online application
  2. Two letters of recommendation
    • Preferably one from a teacher and one from an employer. Please do not submit more than two letters of recommendation. Upload recommendations to your online application as a PDF. Letter of Recommendations uploaded or requested will be applied to all scholarships selected.
  3. Resume
  4. Transcripts from your most recent school, do not need to be official. Upload transcripts to your online application as a PDF.

Completed applications are due by MAY 1 of each year.

Apply Here


Scholarships are broken down in three categories:

  • Scholarships for undergraduate students only.
  • Scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students.
  • Scholarships for graduate students only.

Scholarships available to ONLY undergraduate students:

IMG_2322The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was established in 1921, and the flower market is now part of the largest wholesale flower district in the U.S. Eligible recipients are juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, majoring in agriculture with an emphasis on a future in floriculture. This scholarship is to provide tuition assistance to students attending a college/university in California or student residents of California attending a college/university in other areas of the U.S.

Julio and Sarah Armellini - - New Scholarships

Julio and Sarah Armellini

“Julio “Toots” Armellini is 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. 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 has over 77 years of experience in the industry, Today, Armellini Logistics encompasses many businesses:
Armellini Express Lines, Inc., J.A. Flower Service, Armellini Freight Brokerage, Armellini Air Express, and Dash Mobile Storage. The Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship is intended for sophomore, junior or senior students with a career interest in the marketing or distribution of                                        floral products.”

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.

thripThe BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship is intended for sophomore, junior or senior students pursuing a career in floriculture. Students will be selected on the basis of sound academic performance and a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. While not mandatory, it is strongly desired that the student be interested in furthering the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or sustainable practices, and preference will be given in this area.

Jim Bridenbaugh was a specialist in fresh flowers and plants, designing and commentating at design shows and seminars. His floral industry knowledge, comedic storytelling and audience rapport made him a favorite. Jim served as OFA president from 1989 to 1991. The Bridenbaugh scholarship is for sophomore, junior or senior students who are pursuing a career in floral design and marketing of fresh flowers and plants.

The CalFlowers Scholarship is for undergraduate students attending an accredited California college or university (first priority) or an undergraduate California resident attending an accredited college or university elsewhere in the U.S. (second priority). Students applying for this scholarship do not need to be majoring in an agricultural program, but must demonstrate a commitment to seeking employment in the floriculture industry after graduation. A work history or a meaningful internship experience in floriculture is necessary if the applicant is not obtaining an agricultural degree. Students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers) was founded in 1941 by a small group of flower shipping companies to foster the success of the California floral industry. Today, CalFlowers is the leading floral trade association in California serving growers and the entire supply chain in the state and in 47 states across the U.S.

Barbara Carlson, along with her husband Will, was instrumental in the establishment of Bedding Plant International (BPI) trade association, which served hundreds of growers. Fran Johnson enjoyed a long, productive career with the John Henry Co., a horticultural printing firm in Lansing, Mich. Fran also made many significant and practical contributions of time and talent through BPI to advance the greenhouse industry.  The Carlson-Johnson Scholarship for Nontraditional Students is awarded to students re-entering school after a minimum three-year absence who have an interest in bedding and/or floral crops.

The newly established Dewar Family Scholarship Fund will be awarded to an undergraduate student (or students) 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. 

NGMA is a professional trade organization for the manufacturers and suppliers of greenhouses and greenhouse components built to codes designed for a grower’s needs. The National Greenhouse Manufactures Association Scholarship targets students majoring in horticulture and bioengineering or the equivalent and are at least a junior at an accredited four-year college maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

Earl Dedman owned and operated Mountainview Greenhouses in Woodinville, Wash., and was a former president of BPFI. In addition to his participation with BPFI and BPI, Earl was involved with the Montana State Flower Growers, the Puget Sound Flower Growers and the Washington Floricultural Association. Educated in rural Montana in a one room schoolhouse, Earl had a strong commitment to education, believing it was a great way better yourself. Earl considered education and hard work to be the keys to success in life. The Earl Dedman Scholarship is awarded to junior or senior students maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA who are interested in becoming greenhouse growers.

The Ferriss Horticulture Scholarship will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student entering their junior or senior year who is majoring in Horticulture or Plant Sciences, with a career interest in herbaceous ornamental plants and floriculture industry. Preference will be given to students who have a demonstrated interest in commercial greenhouse production of herbaceous ornamental or floriculture crops (i.e., non-edible, non-medicinal crops), research related to the production, physiology, or breeding of herbaceous ornamental and floriculture crops, and/or the sales and marketing of herbaceous ornamental and floriculture crops.  The applicant should have a cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater.

The Garcia Family Scholarship Fund is intended for students attending a two-year college, or Junior or Seniors attending a four-year institution with a career focus on the marketing or distribution of floral products, including retail, wholesale, manufacturing and/or floral business ownership/operations. The Garcia Family has proudly served the floral industry since 1965.   Owned by the Garcia family, Garcia Group, Inc. operates six different divisions: Floral-Pak® Company; Plus One Imports™; Garcia Group Glass—Floraglas® and G3® brand products; Vase D’Lite® and Premium Wood Picks. All are represented exclusively by the Pete Garcia Company™ THE BEST LINES IN THE WORLD®.

The LIFGA scholarship was established in 2010. LIFGA members represent growers and retailers promoting research, education and sales of ornamentals in the local market. The LIFGA scholarship is intended for students in the Long Island/New York area studying ornamental horticulture at a community college or a four-year institution.

This scholarship was established in memory of the late Bob Gunther, owner of Gunther’s Greenhouses & Florist in Oceanside, New York. It is intended for students from Long Island and New York who are studying ornamental horticulture at a community college or four-year institution in New York. This includes floriculture, landscape maintenance, landscape design, turf and any other courses of study related to ornamental horticulture. One student will be awarded this scholarship annually.
Robert Edward “Bob” Gunther was treasurer for LIFGA for many years and instrumental in the establishment of LIFGA’s first scholarship. Gunther received the Lifetime Achievement Award from LIFGA, where he also served as a board member. He and his brother Fred took over the family business after his father passed away in 1969. Bob ran the business up until the time of his passing in 2015 at the age of 85.

Jamie Satterthwaite

Click on the photo to read about Colegrave Seabrook Foundation Scholarship recipient Jamie Satterthwaite’s internship experience.


Ed Markham was an international horticulturist. He began a career in horticulture sales after graduating from the Horticulture Department at Cornell University in 1942. Ed’s interest in providing scholarship funds to study marketing through international travel stemmed from his first trip abroad in the early 1960s. The Colegrave Seabrook Foundation Scholarship operates in cooperation with the David Colegrave Foundation in London, England. Each year there will be an exchange of students between the U.S. and Europe, alternating between the two countries. Scholarship awards of $4,500 will be made. U.S. students should apply for this scholarship in even-numbered years (2020, 2022, etc.)

Mike and Flo Novovesky have enjoyed more than 30 years of active participation in the floriculture industry. The Novoveskys know first hand the hardships a young couple must overcome when balancing a career and a family. Their scholarship fund aims to help young married students who are working to put themselves through college and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Depending on the availability of married applicants, the scholarship may also go to an undergraduate working his or her way through school with financial need and family obligations. The keys are strong interest in horticulture and financial need.

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.

John Tomasovic, past president of BPFI, has grown his family business, Tomasovic Greenhouses and Nursery, Inc., in St. Louis, which includes a greenhouse from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. They produce bedding plants, along with nursery stock, mums, poinsettias, and bulbs. The Tomasovic scholarship offers special consideration for sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate students with financial need and grade point average between 3.0 and 3.5.

Ed Tuinier, owner of Post Gardens, loved the greenhouse business, building his firm to one of the top 50 U.S. companies and inspiring his children, all of whom work in one of the two Post Gardens locations. A graduate of Michigan State University, Ed was a major benefactor of the MSU horticulture program and demonstration gardens. The Tuinier Scholarship is awarded to sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate students enrolled in the floriculture program at Michigan State University.

The Jacob and Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship was established January 1997. Jacob Van Namen is a true entrepreneur who built a Research Report 217 - Banker Plantsmultimillion-dollar business in wholesale floriculture. This award is intended to develop knowledgeable, creative individuals who will improve the floriculture industry. The Van Namen Scholarship requires students to have a career interest in agribusiness marketing and distribution of floral products and be of sophomore, junior or senior standing.

The Vocational (Bettinger, Holden & Perry) scholarship requires students to be in a one or two-year program with the intent to become a grower or greenhouse manager.  The vocational scholarship awards a scholarship in honor of:
LEONARD BETTINGER, who was a successful greenhouse grower in the Bettinger Farms family business in Toledo, Ohio, and was president of the BPI trade association from 1974-76;
JOHN HOLDEN, who had a long, helpful career at Ball Seed Co. and was active in the BPI trade association since it’s inception, attending the very first “pre-BPI” conference in 1968;
JIM PERRY, who was a respected wholesale nurseryman, who grew Perry’s Plants of La Puente, Calif., into one of the largest bedding plant operations in the U.S and was president of BPI from 1972-1974.

Amy Miller The Ohio State University Harold Bettinger Scholarship and the Jacob and Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship

Scholarships available to undergraduate OR graduate students:

Harold Bettinger was a partner in Bettinger Farms of Swanton, Ohio. In the mid-’50s, he was one of the first progressive growers to convert his bedding plant production from wooden to plastic flats. Bettinger Farms now grows greenhouse and field vegetables. The Bettinger Scholarship is intended for horticulture students, sophomore through graduate levels, who have a major or minor in business and/or marketing with the intent to apply their education to a horticulture-related career business.
Kristin Potter

Jim Rathmell was a horticulture extension specialist at Penn State University who promoted communication and cooperation with horticulturists in other countries. A widely published author, he worked with commercial growers to implement many outstanding educational programs. The Rathmell scholarship is awarded to junior or senior level undergraduates or graduate students who have a specific plan for horticulture work/study outside of the U.S.

The seed companies Ball, Pan-American, Goldsmith and Syngenta are leaders in the seed production and breeding industry, providing new, improved varieties. These seed companies cooperatively sponsor this scholarship. The Seed companies scholarship requires students to have a career goal within the seed industry and be junior or senior level undergraduates or graduate students.

Scholarships available to ONLY graduate students:

John Carew, former head of the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, dedicated his career to encouraging and guiding young horticulturists. He was instrumental in establishing BPI in 1969. The Carew scholarship is open to graduate students in horticulture with an interest in greenhouse crops.

Richard T. Meister

Richard T. Meister

Dick Meister built a family business in publishing for specialized growers in commercial horticulture. He is a strong supporter of the land-grant college system and through the years worked closely with many horticultural and floricultural leaders. This scholarship is dedicated to the outstanding accomplishments of those in university extension and especially to Will Carlson in floriculture. The Meister scholarship is open to graduate students in floriculture intending to pursue their career in the land-grant university system with an interest in research, extension or teaching.

To apply for any of these scholarships, please complete the online AFE Scholarship Application no later than May 1 of each year.

Two Floriculture MS/Ph.D. Scholarships Available

MS/Ph.D. Application Form (Learn More Here)

Ken and Deena Altman, owners of Altman Plants, created this scholarship in 2015.  The Altman family is highly appreciative of the field of horticulture and they enjoy giving back.  The Altmans support numerous efforts to improve education and research for the industry.  Altman Plants supplies plant programs to large retailers with point of purchase materials, sales reps to assist with merchandising, a large distribution system that covers the U.S., and offers expertise in growing plants.
Each year one student will be awarded this scholarship.  It is an annual scholarship, although the same person may receive it a second year should their application score the highest.

This scholarship honors the late Paul Ecke, Jr. of Encinitas, Calif., who made indispensable contributions to the advancement of the global floriculture industry. Among his many interests was concern for the future of floriculture, as influenced by innovative research and educational programs. He recognized that creative scientists and educators are required to lead the floral industry in the 21st century and beyond.
Each year, one student will receive $5,000 for two consecutive years, providing that they continue to meet requirements for this duration and submit an annual update.

To apply for scholarships, please complete the online AFE Scholarship Application no later than February 1 of each year.