AFE Awards Inaugural Thomas Intern Scholarship
The American Floral Endowment recently announced that Renata Goossen has been named the first-ever recipient of the Paul Thomas Intern of the Year Award, created to recognize an outstanding student who has successfully completed a Vic & Margaret Ball Internship.
As the Paul Thomas award recipient, Goossen will be provided with free registration, paid hotel and airfare and a cash stipend for expenses at Cultivate 2021, the annual educational and trade event sponsored by AmericanHort.
The award, sponsored by the Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Fund, is intended to promote awareness of all the student programs administered by AFE. It honors the late Dr. Paul Thomas, retired University of Georgia professor, and AFE Ambassador, a tireless and effective supporter of these programs.
A senior at Kansas State University, Goossen requested in her application for the scholarship to intern with Green Circle Growers in Oberlin, Ohio.
Best known for its Just Add Ice brand of potted orchids, Green Circle produces other crops as well, in a complex, diverse operation that ranges from propagation to finish production. Over 16 weeks in the fall of 2019, Goossen was able to work in each of the four main production areas, introducing her to a wide spectrum of crop culture.
Her duties ranged from the mundane and even menial—power-washing algae off the greenhouse floors—to, at times, taking charge of a greenhouse section in the grower’s absence. The internship provided practical knowledge of ever-advancing applications such as integrated pest management.