A Letter from Board Member Wes Parrish
I am involved with the National Horticulture Foundation for two reasons, I believe in our mission and I believe in giving back to an industry that has been very good to me and my family. NHF’s mission is to promote our industry through scholarships and funding research projects to help our industry.
NHF has been very successful in both of these areas. Our support of research started out helping growers do a better job of producing our products and addressing troubling issues as they popped up. The industry has been growing quality products for a long time and this is due, in no small part, to the kind of research that NHF has been funding from the beginning. We have continued to fund projects addressing new issues. Texas Phoenix Palm Decline, now known as Lethal Bronzing, is infecting and killing many common landscape palms including our state tree, the Sabal Palm. We have assisted researchers investigating this serious disease with the aim of understanding and developing ways to cope with it. The recent plant shortage has led to our support of research on LED lighting for green walls so that fewer plants need replacement to keep these beautiful interior projects thriving.
I have been involved with NHF’s scholarship committee for most of my tenure as NHF BOD member. Every year we grant scholarships to students studying horticulture and related fields. These are a group of exciting young adults that we enthusiastically support. Their fields of study range from the usual majors to exciting new technologies that didn’t even exist when I first got involved with NHF. One project that I undertook was to track down as many of our scholarship recipients as I could. I found them from coast to coast involved is every facet of our industry. It was gratifying to find them involved in production, teaching, extension, interiorscaping, and research at universities and other state and federal institutions.
I cannot end this letter without restating a fact of which everyone involved with NHF is so very proud of. That is that, every dollar that has ever been invested with NHF to support our goals, is still in our investment portfolio. Only the interest earned is used to support our mission and we have continued that mission through good economies and bad. If you have already joined in and invested in us, then thank you. I hope you will continue to do so. For those thinking about supporting NHF, I hope my words have informed you of our dedication and you can find ways to assist us in our purpose of improving our industry.