Feb 15, 2013
HRI Recognizes Leadership, Funds ScholarshipsSource: Horticulture Research Institute

The Horticulture Research Institute (HRI) has recognized Dan Baston, owner of GreenForest Nursery in Perkinton, Miss., for his leadership service with the organization during HRI's winter reception. The institute also funded $306,000 in scholarships and grants.

The Horticulture Research Institute (HRI) has recognized Dan Baston, owner of GreenForest Nursery in Perkinton, Miss., for his leadership service with the organization during HRI’s winter reception.

Baston was appointed to the HRI board of trustees in 2005 and was nominated to the HRI executive committee in 2007. In 2011, he became president of HRI and completed serving one-year as past-president on Jan. 10, 2013.

During Batson’s tenure, HRI awarded more than $2.5 million dollars to research grants and scholarships through the HRI competitive grants program. He helped raise contributions and pledges totaling $3.4 million dollars. Most recently, he contributed his leadership and fundraising knowledge to HRI’s 50th Anniversary Campaign that raised more than $600,000 from green industry members in 2012.

In honor of HRI’s 50th anniversary, Batson launched the GreenForest Nursery Gulf States Endowment Fund. His goal is to raise $50,000 in donations from industry members and he will match these donations, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. To date, he has reached half his fundraising goal.

HRI has also funded $306,000 in research grants and scholarships to 12 research projects and 7 student scholarships for 2013.

The scholarships to be awarded in fall 2013 include :

  • “¢ $4,000: Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship
  • “¢ $3,000: Timothy Bigelow & Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship
  • “¢ $1,000: Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship
  • “¢ $10,000: Spring Meadow Nursery Scholarship
  • “¢ $1,500: The Muggets Scholarship
  • “¢ $500: Susie & Bruce Usrey Education Scholarship
  • “¢ $1,000: The Usrey Family Scholarship

The research grants that have been funded include :

  • “¢ $7,500: #458: Management of a New Introduced Pathogen of Boxwood, James LaMondia, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • “¢ $12,000: #900: Research Priorities Industry Survey, Matt Orenstein, Standpoint, Ga.
  • “¢ $14,000: #454: Salt Balance Equations to Grow Container Ornamentals with Reclaimed Waste Water, Kimberly Moore, University of Florida FLREC
  • “¢ $15,000: #467: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Carbon Footprint) and Associated Costs of Field-grown, Deciduous Shrub Production System Components and the Subsequent Impact in the Landscape, Dewayne Ingram, University of Kentucky
  • “¢ $18,000: #466: Extraction and Screening of Essential Oils from Ornamental Plants as Potential Biopesticides, Eugene K. Blythe, Mississippi State University
  • “¢ $20,000: #454: Root Attributes in the Nursery Root Ball: What Holds Trees Erect, Edward F. Gilman, University of Florida
  • “¢ $24,500: #452: Best Plants and Filter Bed Substrates for Rain Gardens, Dr. Helen T. Kraus, North Carolina State University
  • “¢ $25,000: #452: Use of Biochar to Supply Phosphorus in Container Crops, James Altland, USDA-ARS
  • “¢ $30,000: #485: Reducing Tree Susceptibility to Ambrosia Beetle Attacks in Nurseries, Steven Frank, North Carolina State University
  • “¢ $34,000: #446: Evaluation of a Weed Risk Assessment Model for Screening Ornamental Plants Throughout the US, Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California “¢ $35,000: #468: Biology and Management of Live Oak Rapid Decline in Florida Nurseries, Jason Smith, University of Florida
  • “¢ $50,000: #476: Testing and Development of Fungal Biocontrol Agents Against Asian Ambrosia Beetles and Their Symbiotic Fungi, John D. Vandenberg, USDA Agricultural Research Service


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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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