Hort Science Summer Institute Visits HNI

Newly planted seedlings at HNIThe horticulture industry is filled with interesting and dedicated people. We’re engaged and challenged by what we do. Hoffman Nursery had a chance to pass along some of that enthusiasm to a group of high school-aged youth. A few weeks ago, we hosted students from the Horticultural Science Summer Institute, which is co-sponsored by the NC State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Program with the Department of Horticultural Science.

The program helps students explore horticultural possibilities as they start their career paths. They learn about everything from breeding fruits and vegetables to woody plant culture to cut flower production. They also learn about sustainable plant production techniques and equipment. In a broader context, their studies address decision-making for college and developing themselves as leaders. As part of their week-long residence at the institute, they take field trips to local horticultural businesses.

Student toured HNI production facilitiesThey visited Hoffman Nursery to see what we do and learn more about the nursery industry. After touring the facilities, our staff talked to them about working in the horticultural trade, what they should be looking for in an employer, and what an potential employer might be looking for in them. John Hoffman described his decision to focus on ornamental and native grasses and how the industry has changed since he started.

It was refreshing to meet this lively and diverse group of high-schoolers. The future of our industry depends on attracting young people to a career in horticulture. A big thanks to program coordinator, Liz Driscoll, for sharing her students with us.

Click here to get more information on the Summer Institute.

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