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HRI Receives Financial Contributions

More than $200,000 was donated or pledged to the Horticultural Research Institute at its second of twice-yearly donor receptions.

Nearly 200 horticultural industry professionals gathered recently at the Horticultural Research Institute Donor, which took place in conjunction with AmericanHort's Cultivate'14 event in Columbus, OH.

The event featured informative and brief presentations by Harvey Cotton, HRI's board president, Dr. Joseph Albano, research program director, and Mark Foertmeyer, AmericanHort board chairman.

Donations and pledges made totaled more than $200,000. The evening also included the announcement of the Future of Garden Retail Project and the AmericanHort Research Fund.

The Future of Garden Retail Project plans to tap into multi-disciplinary methods of researching, conceptualizing, and testing strategies aimed to expand the garden retail industry. In collaboration with AmericanHort, HRI will engage a national design college, the MindMarket program of the Columbus College of Art and Design, to employ a design approach to industry market research.

Over 12 months and several phases, the college will connect more than 1,000 students with association members, the industry, and consumers to investigate and identify solutions for horticulture's future.

"This initiative is more than just about designing attractive stores," says Foertmeyer. "We are taking a holistic approach to better understand and recommend how in the future we can bring more value to our customers and engage them in purchasing more products and services."

Michael V. Geary, AmericanHort president & CEO, joined Foertmeyer to announce the creation of the AmericanHort Research Fund.

"Advancing the mutual success of all horticulture industry sectors is part of AmericanHort's strategic vision," states Geary. "Partnering with HRI ticks all the boxes in our mission statement: unite, promote, and advance our industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development, and research."

AmericanHort established the fund with a pledge of $50,000 and issued a matching challenge to the industry. For every dollar raised up to $50,000 through 2015, the organization will match 100%, which could bring the fund up to $150,000 in total.

On a separate note, HRI launched the Horticultural Industry Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which with the help of AmericanHort, will:

• Develop a bee and pollinator stewardship program that improves circumstances surrounding pollinator health concerns

• Fund research that helps answer key science questions that support the stewardship program

• Spread the word to the horticulture industry communities and its customers about how the program will have a positive impact on pollinators and allow for mitigation of the spread of invasive pests that threaten our natural environment.

All industry professionals are being asked to support this effort. Contributions to this initiative will go directly to support this work. Donations can be made at

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October 15, 2019, 10:55 pm PDT

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