254-6 Awareness, Support, and Impact of Hri.
In 1954, the industry made a conscious decision to support research and original work. The American Association of Nurserymen established a research foundation to fund research to benefit industry business operations and marketing and supplement research conducted by land grant universities. Eventually, this foundation became HRI with a robust endowment fund, all through industry support. HRI then became affiliated with AmericanHort after its formation in 2014 and expanded the scope of supported research to reflect the entirety of the green industry from the original nursery and landscape focus.
HRI further impacts and advances industry through the development of strategic partnerships. For example, HRI partnered with the National Plant Board and USDA-APHIS to develop a Systems Approach to Nursery Certification (SANC), a risk-based systems approach to nursery and greenhouse certification. Farm Bill Section 10007 has provided over $400,000 in support since 2013. Phase one included eight grow facilities, of which seven have been certified or nearly so. Phase two expands the original pilot to an additional eight grow facilities.
Outreach is a key component of HRI’s mission. Research results are disseminated though various outlets, including articles in trade publications, social media, infographic development, and the scientific journal, The Journal of Environmental Horticulture. Two recent, grower-centric publications include ‘Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for Bee Health in the Horticultural Industry’ and ‘Plants Bees Like Best’ based on research conducted through the pollinator initiative.