Nov 1, 2018
AFE Creates Memorial Tribute for Gus De Hertogh

A memorial tribute has been established by members of the current American Floral Endowment (AFE) board honoring August (Gus) De Hertogh, who passed away Oct. 26, 2018, at the age of 83.

De Hertogh was an internationally renowned researcher and expert in the horticulture industry, specifically, revolutionizing forcing bulbs as pot crops on a global scale. He served as AFE’s first Research Coordinator from 1999 to 2014.

“Gus’s contributions to the bulb industry will never be forgotten. He guided the work of both students and faculty and shared his knowledge and expertise unselfishly with the floral industry throughout his life,” said AFE’s current Research Coordinator, Terril Nell.

Gus began his career at Michigan State University, in 1965, where he worked with Dutch exporters on tackling challenges with flower bulbs. At the time, it was not yet possible to effectively control the flowering of tulips or other bulbs following overseas shipment from The Netherlands, the world’s largest producer. They began what is known as the Flower-Bulb Project, a collaborative effort between the Dutch Bulb Exporters Association and the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. For the next 35 years, he would continue to research flower bulbs.

In 1978, Gus relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he would serve as the chairman of the Department of Horticulture Science at North Carolina State University.

As research coordinator at AFE, Gus helped to establish and oversee the most comprehensive research proposal review process in the industry. The four-step review process ensures that projects funded by AFE are relevant to the floriculture industry, carry the highest priority, are conducted by the leading scientists in their field, are fiscally responsible and meet or exceed AFE’s expectations.

“Serving on the Research Committee of AFE put me in direct contact with Gus. All I can say is we were very lucky to have him. Gus’s wealth of background, both as a researcher himself and as a department head (at NCSU) meant he knew how to do research and how to work with other researchers, and he was able to coach the Research Committee on what to expect from both perspectives,” said Marvin Miller, AFE Trustee and market research manager at Ball Horticultural Company.

Contributions to the Gus De Hertogh Memorial Tribute can be made here, or by sending a check with this form filled out to:

American Floral Endowment
c/o Gus De Hertogh Memorial Tribute
1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314

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