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US: ASHS sharesr results of horticulture career survey

ASHS President Mary Meyer shares the results of a recent survey about horticulture careers; Thanks to all of you who responded to the brief online survey sent to ASHS members recently. The survey garnered 641 responses; approximately a 30% response rate from our membership. See the tables for results. It was great to see 104 responses from graduate students, 81 from undergraduates, and 95 from industry. I am reading all of your responses and preparing a summary that will define our ASHS Horticulture Careers initiative.

Lack of awareness of horticulture is the reason most of you felt students are not signing up for this major. Below are two ideas that most of you thought would work to attract students and could begin with minimal effort.

Offer high school scholarships. This could be from industry partners, college, department, or private donor funds. Pick an inner city school, the largest high school in your state, or use other criteria. Ask for a student essay on “why I want to study horticulture”; use your existing scholarship committee to grant the award, promote with the other scholarships you already award. Share your ideas and results next year at the annual conference!

Develop corporate–academic partnerships, such as a Horticultural Summer Institute for junior or senior high school students (we used to call these camps). Hold it one week in the summer in conjunction with 4H, FAA, and Cooperative Extension. Solicit corporate partners, who will promote this as Hoffman Nursery has done. Students will leave with a whole new awareness of what it means to be a horticulturist.

I hope this survey and responses will help you engage in specific initiatives that will introduce students to our fascinating discipline.

Click here to see the results

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