How to Become a Scholarship Donor

An invitation from the ...

MICHIGAN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY

    63806 90th Ave., Hartford MI 49057  Phone 269-424-3990 Fax 269-424-3096

and

MICHIGAN VEGETABLE COUNCIL, INC.

    PO Box 277, Erie MI 48133  Phone & Fax 734-848-8899 

Through the generosity of organizations such as yours, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and Michigan Vegetable Council were able to award nine $1,000 scholarships last year to students pursuing careers in the Midwest fruit and vegetable industries. We hope to match or increase that number this year and invite you to take part in this opportunity.

The number of college students in fruit industry-related horticultural programs has dwindled and continues to do so. All those related to the industry – growers, suppliers, etc. – will suffer by loss of qualified individuals. If we want quality individuals from the younger generation to stay on or at least near the farm, we must find ways to help them get started. Educational scholarships mean a great deal to students and allow them to do such things as work with professors or pursue their own research rather than spend that time in non-related, low wage employment.

The Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) and Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) are asking your company to get involved in helping these students. We want to give a representative of your company a ticket to this year’s EXPO Banquet and take their picture as they present a scholarship to a deserving student. We want that picture to appear in the Fruit Grower News and/or Vegetable Grower News, the American Fruit Grower and/or American Vegetable Grower. Pictures are also displayed at the MSHS Trust Booth during the following year’s trade show. And, we want you to receive some well-deserved and sincere thank you notes from those you help.

HOW THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BEGAN

About December of 1996, Larry VanDyke of then-Abbott Laboratories presented a check for $1,000 to initiate a scholarship program for students pursuing careers in the Midwest fruit industry. In December 1997 a $1,000 scholarship was presented to a very talented young woman at the Michigan State Horticultural Society's (MSHS) Industry Banquet. Mr. VanDyke dined with the recipient and her parents for the special occasion and then later presented her with award on-stage. 

Abbott Laboratories generously issued another check for presentation in December 1998. The MSHS Board of Directors was so impressed by the generosity of Abbott Labs that they matched Abbott Lab's gift of $1,000 so that two scholarships were presented that December. After presenting a check for $1,000 to one of the recipients, Mr. VanDyke issued a challenge to other companies that benefit from the horticultural industry to follow the Abbott Lab example. Wilbur-Ellis and The Fruit Grower News arose to the challenge and in December of 1999 four checks for $1,000 were presented to students pursuing careers in the Midwest fruit industry. In 2000, 3M-Controlled Delivery Products joined the team and five scholarships were awarded.

LEADERSHIP

We are very appreciative that Valent USA has generously followed the tradition of the former "Abbott Laboratories". Their support continues to help encourage talented students pursue education in an area that benefits us all. Thank you, Valent USA!

And thank you, Wilbur-Ellis, Fruit Grower News and Michigan Apple Promoters. These organizations rose to the challenge presented by Mr. VanDyke and have continued to support the program year after year. The Michigan Apple Promoters have ensured an annual contribution of $500 for years to come through a fund set up specifically for the scholarship program. The Michigan State Horticultural Society also continues to generously support the program.

WORKING TOGETHER

The program has grown significantly. At the inaugural Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo -- which combined the MSHS's "Hort Show" and the convention of the Michigan Vegetable Council -- in December 2001, nine $1,000 scholarships were presented to students pursuing careers in the Midwest fruit or vegetable industries!

The need for these scholarships is as great now as ever. It is important that those who draw their livelihoods from the horticulture's pockets give generously to help insure the future of the fruit industry in the Midwest. The number of college students in the fruit and vegetable industry-related programs has dwindled and continues to do so. All those related to the industry -- growers, suppliers, etc. -- will suffer by loss of qualified individuals. If we want quality individuals from the younger generation to stay on or at least near the farm, we must find ways to help them get started. Educational scholarships mean a great deal to students and allow them to do such things as work with professors or pursue their own research rather than spend that time in non-related, low wage employment.

PLEASE JOIN THE TEAM

The Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) ask your company to get involved in helping these students. We want to give a representative of your company a ticket to this year's Banquet and take their picture as they present a scholarship to a deserving student. We want that picture to appear in the Fruit Grower News and/or Vegetable Grower News and the American Fruit Grower and/or American Vegetable Grower. We want to display it at the MSHS Trust Booth during the following year's trade show. And we want you to receive some well-deserved and sincere thank you notes from those you help. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

We look forward to hearing from you soon so that we may announce a growing scholarship fund. For more information, please contact one of the following individuals:

  • Allyn Anthony, MSHS Executive Secretary: 269-424-3990 or MIHortSociety@aol.com
  • Dave Smith, MVC Executive Secretary: 734-848-8899