Three students named beneficiaries of 2020-2021 Spring Meadow - Proven Winners® HRI scholarships

Spring Meadow Nursery and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) are pleased to announce the recipients of 2020-2021 Spring Meadow - Proven Winners® Endowment Fund scholarships.

Dale & Liz Deppe established the Spring Meadow - Proven Winners® Endowment Fund in 1999 with the belief that backing bright, well-trained, qualified people is essential to the green industry's protection and growth. Through HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation acts as the administrator of endowments that help students obtain the necessary education to pursue horticultural careers.

"We have been blessed by this industry and the mentors who've helped us along the way, and we are committed to supporting emerging professionals through efforts like these," said Dale Deppe.

Horticulture students Hunter Hall, Davis Harmon, and Erin Pfarr were each awarded $3000 scholarships for the 2020-2021 granting period, bringing the total amount of awards distributed through the fund to $92,750. The students were chosen from a competitive national applicant pool for their academic achievements, outstanding leadership abilities, and commitment to pursuing horticulture careers. 

Currently an undergrad at the University of Mount Olive, Hunter Hall is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Production Systems. In 2020, Hunter worked as an intern at a tissue culture lab focusing on woody plant propagation and production, where she said she was able to experience how science plays a crucial role in supplying the plants that power our industry. Hunter says that receiving this scholarship will provide her with the financial peace of mind to continue her education through research and explore the possibility of graduate school.

Davis Harmon is a graduate student at the North Carolina State University, where he is working toward his Master of Science degree in Horticultural Science. After graduation, his goal is to eventually return to school to obtain a Ph.D. and secure a research position where he can apply groundbreaking technologies in biology and genetics to plant breeding. This scholarship will allow him to travel (once deemed safe), to study germplasm and flora, nationally and internationally, as well as expand his volunteering efforts.

Studying plant biology, Erin Pfarr is in the Ph.D. program at Rutgers University. Her goal is to work as an ornamental plant breeder, developing beautiful and functional ornamental plants. She is particularly focused on breeding trees and shrubs for insect and disease resistance, winter hardiness, and drought tolerance. She is also interested in breeding for non-invasiveness, reblooming, and more compact forms. In a note to the company Erin said the scholarship "…will help me achieve my goal of becoming a woody plant breeder, working to improve people's lives through plants."

A total of 36 Spring Meadow-Proven Winners® Endowed Fund scholarships have been awarded to students since 2004. Scholarship applications for the 2021-22 granting period will open in April 2021. Individuals interested in applying for a scholarship can check the HRI website or contact Jennifer Gray, HRI Administrator, at (614) 884-1155 for more scholarship application details.