MNLA Scholarships

growing careers

Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association
Academic Awards Program

“Growing Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders”

ACADEMIC AWARD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The MNLA Foundation offers scholarships to students each year who have chosen the nursery and landscape industry as their career choice.

  • $1,000 College Scholarships provided by members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and the MNLA Foundation
  •  $500 High School Scholarships provided by members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and the MNLA Foundation

QUALIFICATIONS

Award winners will be chosen based on:

  • Interest in the industry; Landlovers.org
  • Recommendations from two teachers and/or letter written by the applicant
  • Good citizenship as determined by teacher
  • Average or above average academic achievement
  • Employee experience

SELECTION PROCESS

Students may be nominated by their instructor, or a student may send their interest letter and resume to their instructor.  


Click to SPONSOR THE 2019-2020 MNLA Foundation Scholarship Program

 

Congratulations to the 2019-20 MNLA Foundation Scholarship Winners!

The MNLA Foundation partnered with 24 member companies to present 31 academic scholarships for the 2019-20 school year. Here is a look at this year’s recipients.

Adam Barkholtz
Sponsored by: Robin D. Linder Memorial Scholarship
School: Century College
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: My top priorities are researching more about mushrooms and figuring out what they can do for humans and the planet, and finding a solution to help farmers use ZERO chemicals while getting more out of the farm.
Adam Kiel
Sponsored by: Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape
School: University of Minnesota-Crookston
Major: Production in Horticulture/Environmental Landscape
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: My future plans after completing my degree are to work in the green industry to gain knowledge and experience while working toward my ultimate goal of owning my own business. I hope to own a garden center, greenhouse, nursery, and landscaping business in the region. I also hope to use my knowledge to educate people about the benefits of trees and plants and the importance of being environmentally conscious.

Mathew Becker
Sponsored by: Southview Design
School: North Dakota State University
Major: Horticulture, Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management Option
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I plan to work at a golf course in the Twin Cities as a 2nd Assistant Superintendent with the goal of becoming a Superintendent.

Grant Klabough
Sponsored by: Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery, Inc.
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: Landscape/Horticulture and Greenhouse Management
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: After graduating, I hope to find a career in growing; however, I am interested and open to all of the opportunities that the green industry has to offer.

Laura Behr
Sponsored by: Bachman's Wholesale Nursery
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture with a Business Emphasis in Fruit and Vegetable
Expected Graduation: 2022
Future Plans: I hope to work and manage a greenhouse where I will gain more experience to open and operate my own greenhouse and family-focused business.
Jacoby McConkie
Sponsored by: Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens & GrowHaus Nursery and Garden Centre
School: University of Minnesota-Crookston
Major: Horticulture with an emphasis in production
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I plan to stay on the production side of horticulture. I would love to work for a garden center or a wholesale greenhouse. I also have a passion for plant breeding.
Nathan Borowski
Sponsored by: Countryside Gardens, Inc.
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture, Business
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: I would like to teach horticulture at a Technical School, breed and develop new varieties of plants or own my own greenhouse/ hydroponic business.

Trevor O'Konek
Sponsored by: Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens & GrowHaus Nursery and Garden Centre
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: Urban Forestry, Greenhouse Management
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I plan to look for work either as a greenhouse grower or as an arborist.
Daniel Ehret
Sponsored by: Bailey Nurseries, Inc.
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: This year I took a huge step and am finally starting my own business. It will take me a few years to get fully operational as I build the inner workings and a client list and in the meantime, I’ll keep learning.
Emily Plecity
Sponsored by: Otten Brothers Garden Center & Landscaping
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: AAS of Greenhouse Management/ AAS of Landscape Design & Construction
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I would like to try several different areas of the industry, everything from propagation to planting it in the ground at clients' homes.
Abigail Fleming
Sponsored by: Countryside Gardens, Inc.
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: Urban Forestry AAS
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I see myself as a lifelong student. My passion lies in native plant husbandry, as well as permaculture practices. Ultimately, my goal is to continually restore a component of naturalism in our urban spaces. I also plan to bring my expanding knowledge of soil health and water conservation into my future green industry positions.

Cora Rost
Sponsored by: Robin D. Linder Memorial Scholarship
School: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Major: Plant Science
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: I am currently aiming to become a greenhouse manager. I am working in the Neil Anderson Lab at the UofM. I have collected data for studies and learned new propagation techniques in the lab setting. I am interested in many plant-related subjects from garden design to plant breeding.

Victoria Foss
Sponsored by: Wilson's Nursery, Inc.
School: Central Lakes College
Major: A.A.S. in Horticulture with Honors emphasis, Sustainable Greenhouse Production certification, Local Foods Production certification
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I plan on using my knowledge to help educate people on how to utilize their property in a responsible and safe way as well as maintain a beautiful landscape while protecting wildlife and the environment.

Ashley Schaaf
Sponsored by: Tangletown Gardens, LLC
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: Landscape/horticulture AAS and Greenhouse management technician AAS
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: "After I graduate I plan to use my knowledge of plants and successful growing techniques at Tangletown Gardens Farm. At Tangletown Gardens I have opportunities to learn and work with a wide variety of plants along with the experience of a farm. My ultimate goal in the green industry is to educate children.

Karl Grebe

Sponsored by: Pleasant View Gardens, Inc.
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: I plan on working in the industry and pursuing a master's degree in plant breeding part-time through Wageningen University, or at a research University. I would like to work on disease-resistant cultivars of plants and develop new ways of battling existing and exotic pests.

 

Izaak Thielke
Sponsored by: Wilson's Nursery, Inc.
School: Rochester Community and Technical College
Major: Horticulture Science
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: My influence on the future will hopefully be seen from under a healthy tree canopy. I plan to continue to further my education, attend conventions and workshops to keep up to date on the latest innovations and information relevant to forestry. I will become an ISA certified arborist.
Eric Hall-Floden
Sponsored by:
School: Iowa State University
Major: Horticulture (Landscape Design)/Environmental Studies
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: I am inspired to design landscapes that can reinstill life to post-industrial sites, incorporate native plants that utilize stress as an asset and to help mitigate against the pressures of our changing climate and the ever-increasing risks of floods, urban heat islands, chemical runoff, and air pollution.
Jillian Turbeville
Sponsored by: Robin D. Linder Memorial Scholarship
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2022
Future Plans: My overarching goal is to transfer into a graduate program to complete a master's degree in plant genetics after graduation. Through the study of genetics, propagation, pathology, and many other plant sciences, I aspire to uniquely make an impact.

Killian Harnish
Sponsored by: Bailey Nurseries, Inc.
School: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Major: Plant Breeding and Genetics
Expected Graduation: 2021
Future Plans: One of my passions has always been sustainable agriculture and the impact that the agriculture business has on the environment. I hope that through my studies and future career in the green industry I can have a positive impact locally and globally. My plan is to attend graduate school for plant breeding and bioinformatics.


Shannon Wald
Sponsored by: Southview Design
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: Landscape & Horticulture / Landscape & Design
Future Plans: I plan to pursue a career with a Landscape Design company whose values I can stand behind, and a community of coworkers who I can lean on and also support.

Katrina Harris Portwood
Sponsored by: Home Sown Gardens LLC
School: Rochester Community and Technical College
Major: Horticulture Technology A.A.S
Expected Graduation: Dec 2020
Future Plans: I love the field of horticulture so I plan to get a bachelor's degree although I have not decided on which college to attend yet. I also plan to continue growing my landscape maintenance and design business.


Brittany Wilcox
Sponsored by: Grove Nursery Center
School: Rochester Community and Technical College
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I plan to continue my education at University of Massachusetts Amherst to complete a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainable food and farming. Then growing my business The Green Shack LLC creating green spaces for homeowners to integrate their land into being beneficial to the environment around them.


Lucy Kailhofer
Sponsored by Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: I am very excited to join the green industry’s workforce in the coming years. I am interested in improving public spaces where many people in the surrounding communities can enjoy the beauty nature has to offer. It is important to me that people have a location where the hard, complex work that goes into ensuring there are plants ever-improving across the market can be appreciated by generations.

Zara Wirkus
Sponsored by: Natural Creations, Inc.
School: Hennepin Technical College
Major: landscape design and construction
Expected Graduation: 2020
Future Plans: In May, I will have my associate's degree in landscape design and construction and my plan is to acquire a horticulture internship in New York City. My dream is to design rooftop and vertical gardens for the big city and hopefully, one day possess a company of my own.


 HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

Maria Anderson
Sponsored by: Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape
School: Forest Lake High School, Forest Lake
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Future Plans: After I graduate, I plan to study horticulture at the University of River Falls Wisconsin. I am currently working at Wagner's Greenhouse at their retail center in Hugo, MN. I could see myself in a Nursery or Greenhouse near the Twin City area after obtaining my degree.

Wyatt Halverson
Sponsored by: Prescription Landscape, Inc.
School: Lincoln High School, Thief River Falls
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Future Plans: I plan to study at the University of Minnesota Crookston, where I will minor in Horticulture. I also plan to be an active participant in subsistence farming and expand my houseplant collection!

Madison Lindeman
Sponsored by: Landscape Renovations, Inc.
School: Highland Park High School, St. Paul
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Future Plans: I love FFA and have found a passion for horticulture through it. I think that the area of horticulture is very large and involve many different components. That is why I want to study horticulture.

 

Lynn Rigge
Sponsored by: Gertens
School: Redwood Valley High School, Belview
Major: Plant Science
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Future Plans: Next year I plan to attend the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. I will be majoring in plant science. I hope to gain research experience and eventually have an meaningful career in the areas of plant science and food security.
Will Stencel
Sponsored by: Landscape Renovations, Inc.
School: Maple River High School, Mapleton
Major: Plant Science
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Future Plans: After graduation, I am attending the University of Wisconsin- Superior to major in Plant Sciences. I will continue to work in horticulture-related jobs and internships. After I get my bachelor’s degree in Plant Science, I plan on going to the University of Wisconsin- Madison to get my master's in Botany. My dream job would be creating new hybrids/species of plants for landscape or commercial use.

Geena Zebrasky
Sponsored by: Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape
School: Forest Lake High School, Forest Lake
Major: Horticulture
Expected Graduation: 2019
Future Plans: I plan to work in sustainable agriculture and finding ways to fight climate change by altering our practices and using plants as a tool I think that the green industry will see a lot of growth as society changes the way they view their relationship with the earth.
 
This year’s High School Scholarship awards will be given
out at the end of May 2019. Students will be invited to
attend the Green Industry Awards Celebration at
Northern Green January 14, 2020.
Thank you to the 2019–2020 High School Scholarship
Sponsors: 3 scholarships: Prescription Landscape, Inc.,
3 scholarships: Landscape Renovations, Inc.,
2 scholarships: Hoffman & McNamara Nursery
and Landscape, and 1 scholarship: Gertens.
 
   
 

These scholarships are made possible through cooperation between the MNLA Foundation and MNLA-
member-company sponsors. If you are interested in becoming a scholarship sponsor, or in finding out more about the MNLA Foundation, please contact MNLA by email mnla@MNLA.biz or by calling 651-633-4987.

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