Guest Column: Merry Mott

April 13, 2018

“What’s up with this younger generation?”

  When we hear this exasperated question, maybe, just maybe, we aren’t focusing on the right students within this younger generation.

    Let’s talk about students involved with the Future Farmers of America and the Future Builders of America. You won’t find a group of students who are more polite, interested and forward-thinking than the members of these youth groups.

    Now, how do we capture this audience and introduce them to Florida’s nursery and landscape industry? I say we encourage them to get their hands dirty!

      In February and March, FNGLA members and volunteers engaged more than 400 horticulture and construction students through competitions and projects which offered lots of hands-on opportunities in a variety of industry specialties.

    FFA nursery, landscape and floriculture students at a recent career development event in Central Florida tried their hands at plant and pest identification, landscape estimating, and equipment safety. They even created floral arrangements. In February, FBA’s hands-on construction students laid a paver path at the FFA Leadership Training Center as part of a group project.

    Talk about learning by doing.  They truly got their hands dirty!

      The two recent events were collectively supported by 24 sponsors and team of 25 incredible volunteers who offered students a glimpse into how truly gratifying a career in the heart of Florida’s nursery and landscape profession can be.

      FNGLA’s overarching goal was to show this younger generation how they can fit into fulfilling careers in this wonderful, (profitable!) industry.  •

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