We envision a U.S. where: Everyone understands and values the importance of plants and the people who work in the art, science, technology and business of horticulture.
To promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.
What's Happening in the World to Cause Us to Act?
There has been a decline in interest in plants and in pursuing careers in horticulture. This has caused many challenges including: low appreciation for how plants impact the world; declining college, university and certification program enrollment in horticulture; and plant blindness (the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment, leading to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs). We are also challenged by negative stereotypes about careers working with plants. Check out a few of the alarming statistics:
The average U.S. citizen can identify more than 1,000 brands and logos, but fewer than 10 local plants.
Most schools stop teaching plant-based concepts in the third grade.
ZERO middle-schoolers in our focus groups across the country said they have heard the word "horticulture."
Only 61% of the average 57,600 annual job openings in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources or the environment are filled due to lack of qualified candidates - causing a severe workforce gap.