CHREF Update

By Mike Schleining, CCNP, Arbor Valley Nursery

Mike Schleining, CCNP, Arbor Valley Nursery

Big changes are in the works for the Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation (CHREF). In addition to the continual funding of research, ongoing projects and scholarship awards at Colorado State University (CSU) and Front Range Community College (FRCC), a new budget was set to allow for the initiatives the board has been discussing over the past couple years. These changes are the beginning of a larger campaign to promote horticulture across the state and solve the human capital problem we all face in the industry.

CHREF will be introducing Freshman/Transfer Scholarships to support the funnel of individuals coming into horticulture. Some funds were allocated to CSU for a research incubator that will allow for cutting-edge research to take place at the university and put the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture on the map. The foundation will also be creating their own website and marketing opportunities to better fulfill its mission and reach a larger audience.

At the December annual meeting, four scholarships were awarded to CSU students: Tate Erickson, Ian McLennan, Sarah Mendus and Cassidy Reel. All four students demonstrated interest in staying in the Green Industry within Colorado. FRCC scholarship interviews are traditionally held in the spring. New research and ongoing projects were presented and funded including woody and perennial evaluations and photoperiod studies. Dr. Klett will continue in his ex-officio role through the transition of his replacement. Stay tuned for additional updates throughout 2023.