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By YPC Member, Yiyun Lin

My first time at NFF was a fantastic experience. The meeting began with a tour of the Chicago Botanic Garden, showing us its unique landscape, incredible design, newly renovated greenhouse space, as well as a first look at their seasonal orchid show that included around 50 different species. It was an educational experience to learn about the garden’s history, their ongoing research projects, and the breeding programs that contribute to both the garden and the industry.

Following the tour, the meeting began with talks focusing on future and young faculty. Attendees from various backgrounds shared valuable advice and experiences, providing me with knowledge that will assist in my future career. As graduate students, we were able to interact with the great minds in the floriculture field, providing a unique networking opportunity that allowed me to learn more about the expectations from the floriculture industry and academia.

Presenting my research and hearing from other graduate student presentations was one of my favorite parts of the NFF. It not only provided attendees with a scope of current floriculture research, but it provided students with insightful advice from specialists across various fields in floriculture that will aid in improving our research. I hope that NFF will continue to encourage graduate student involvement at the meeting, and that travel grant opportunities can be made available to allow more students the opportunity to participate. I am extremely grateful to the organizers of NFF and to the American Floral Endowment for their continued sponsorship of this important meeting.

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