Students Taking (Plant) Initiative
Have you heard of the College Plant Initiative (CPI)?
It is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create people who love plants and find the plants people love.
Made up of undergraduate students without backgrounds in plant science or related majors, these student leaders love plants and are passionate about sharing this love with as many college students as possible.
The student-run organization started at the University of Florida and is comprised of a core group of students who offer a unique perspective of the plant world.
Virginia Frazier, CPI’s executive director, says, “Our goal is to connect college students to the horticulture industry in order to foster new opportunities and build lifelong connections.”
In essence, the group hopes to grow new customers for our industry and hopefully new employees — students who previously may not have considered a horticulture-related career.
The organization does this by putting on in-person events, regular social media postings and articles.
CPI’s most noteworthy events are Plant Drops where they bring 1,000 plants to the center of a university campus to give away to students for free. While students are eagerly waiting for their new plant, CPI members share information about caring for the plant and how students can become involved in the horticulture industry.
Plant Drops have been conducted at the University of Florida, Penn State University and Texas A&M University and many more are planned for the 2018-19 academic year.
It is a great way to introduce students to the many benefits of plants and how great our industry our industry is!
You can learn more about the College Plant Initiative in the most recent issue of Big Grower where you will find Virginia Frazier’s article, “Cultivating New Customers … and Maybe Even Employees.”
The College Plant Initiative is supporting our industry and you can support CPI. Go to www.collegeplantinitiative.com to learn how.
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