MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — Seed Your Future announced the launch of its new free online Horticulture Scholarships Search Tool to help students find scholarships to support their education and training in horticulture. This is the newest resource from Seed Your Future, a coalition of more than 200 partners — including horticulture companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens, youth organizations, nonprofit organizations and individual advocates — united in their mission to promote horticulture and careers working with plants.
Finding enough qualified candidates for open positions is the number one issue of concern for employers across the horticulture and “green-collar” industry, according to research conducted by Seed Your Future. For students, a top concern is how they will pay for their education and training. Connecting students with employers and organizations that provide financial support for education is a priority for Seed Your Future.
“In today’s uncertain economic climate, families are searching for financial support to help their kids pursue education and training — that’s what makes the Seed Your Future Horticulture Scholarship Search Tool such an important resource,“ said Charlie Hall, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University and co-chair of the Seed Your Future Advisory Council. “The resource is comprehensive across the diversity of careers working with plants, so it’s a great centralized clearinghouse of this type of information. It’s going to save students and parents a lot of time and energy in trying to determine what is available to help fund their education.”
The online tool, SeedYourFuture.org/
In 2019, Seed Your Future hosted a national summit to explore promising practices to help youth and families explore careers working with plants and to help employers close their workforce gap. Students and representatives from certification and training programs, colleges, universities and the industry joined together to develop strategies to create and execute solutions to these critical issues. This Horticulture Scholarship Search Tool is the third in a series of new resources launched by Seed Your Future as a direct result of the summit. A comprehensive online database of all horticulture programs offered at institutions in the United States and Canada debuted in October 2019 — followed quickly by a Horticulture Internship Search Tool, offering information on available internships in the green-collar industry.
Key to Seed Your Future’s mission is their commitment to promoting all types of careers working with plants and the wide diversity of training and education required to prepare for a green-collar profession. From community colleges to universities, from certifications to job-training programs, Seed Your Future knows that everyone needs resources to help them find and fund their unique plant passion. “As a department head at a community college, I know that having a tool like this where families and educators can easily look for potential scholarship sources is so needed,” said Elizabeth Riley, Ph.D. of Alamance Community College. “This new tool allows those helpful resources to be found in a much easier fashion than I have seen before. We have such a supportive industry that is willing to aid future members of our industry and this tool brings them all together in one place!”
“I continue to be impressed with the resources Seed Your Future has developed to help support the green-collar industry and inspire more young people to pursue careers working with plants,” said Hall. “Future resources in development by Seed Your Future include a recruitment toolkit for horticulture and green-collar industry training and education programs, and industry promotional materials to open peoples’ eyes to the remarkable power of plants and the rewards of careers in the green-collar industry.”
— Seed Your Future