On Thursday, January 6, 2022, the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), kicked off a milestone year, recognizing and thanking donors, researchers, and the industry during a reception at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore, MD. September 19, 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of HRI, the horticultural industry’s research and scholarship foundation and the year-long celebration got off to a strong start at MANTS raising over $400,000 in donations during the event.
To date, HRI has supported $9.5 million in research grants and scholarships--$3.6 million of that has been distributed to over 100 research projects since 2012. HRI has grown from a small organization to a nationally recognized foundation providing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in research grants, a robust outreach program, a proven track record of establishing swift-moving emerging issues funds, and a growing scholarship program.
“HRI’s success is driven by the industry’s belief in our mission and both their financial and volunteer support,” stated incoming 2022 HRI President Alan Jones, of Manor View Farm, Monkton, MD. “We achieved this milestone through the hard work and dedication of our industry volunteers, our staff team, and our thousands of donors over the last six decades. HRI’s work improves our industry and will continue to do so for decades to come.”
During the celebratory reception, Ed Tankard, owner of Tankard Nurseries Inc, of Exmore, VA, announced the creation of the John E. Tankard Jr. Research Fund. This new fund aims to provide a legacy in memory of John Tankard Jr., Ed’s father, who guided the business for 53 years, in order to secure a long-term source of funding for research deemed important to the industry.
Danny Summers, CEO of the Garden Center Group, announced that the Southern Nursery Association Legacy fund within HRI was about to exceed $300,000 and offered a limited quantity gift to donors interested in contributing to this fund. Each donor will receive a limited-edition copy of the Southern Nursery Association legacy book.
Additional donors were recognized during the celebratory reception, including American Beauties Native Plants, Spring Meadow Nursery, North Creek Nurseries, Herman Losely & Son, Overdevest Nursery, Decker Nursery, NewGen Boxwood, Manor View Farm, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and GreenForest Nursery.
Monies raised from donations made during events like this, and throughout the year, fund the activities of the Horticultural Research Institute’s research and scholarship programs, along with educational outreach activities for the industry.