American Horticultural Research Institute kicks off 60th anniversary year at MANTS

WASHINGTON, USA: On Thursday, January 6, 2022, the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), kicked off a milestone year, recognising and thanking donors, researchers, and the industry during a reception at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore, MD.

September 19, 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of HRI, the horticultural industry’s research and scholarship foundation and the year-long celebration got off to a strong start at MANTS raising over $400,000 in donations during the event.

HRI, the AmericanHort research foundation, was established by industry leaders on the premise that no one could better direct needed research to advance horticulture than the very people who work in it, day in and day out. Today, HRI sticks to that same vision: funding and guiding horticultural research efforts with the direct input from industry professionals.

To date, HRI has supported $9.5 million in research grants and scholarships–$3.6 million of that has been distributed to over 100 research projects since 2012. HRI has grown from a small organisation to a nationally recognised foundation providing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in research grants, a robust outreach programme, a proven track record of establishing swift-moving emerging issues funds, and a growing scholarship programme.

“HRI’s success is driven by the industry’s belief in our mission and both their financial and volunteer support,” stated incoming 2022 HRI President Alan Jones, of Manor View Farm, Monkton, MD. “We achieved this milestone through the hard work and dedication of our industry volunteers, our staff team, and our thousands of donors over the last six decades. HRI’s work improves our industry and will continue to do so for decades to come.”

During the celebratory reception, Ed Tankard, owner of Tankard Nurseries Inc, of Exmore, VA, announced the creation of the John E. Tankard Jr. Research Fund. This new fund aims to provide a legacy in memory of John Tankard Jr., Ed’s father, who guided the business for 53 years, in order to secure a long-term source of funding for research deemed important to the industry.

American Beauties Native Plants announced that it will provide a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $10,000, for donors who would like to help grow the fund aimed at supporting research into native plants. To donate to this fund, visit  or contact Jennifer Gray at

Danny Summers, CEO of the Garden Center Group, announced that the Southern Nursery Association Legacy fund within HRI was about to exceed $300,000 and offered a limited quantity gift to donors interested in contributing to this fund. Each donor will receive a limited-edition copy of the Southern Nursery Association legacy book.

Additional donors were recognised during the celebratory reception, including American Beauties Native Plants, Spring Meadow Nursery, North Creek Nurseries, Herman Losely & Son, Overdevest Nursery, Decker Nursery, NewGen Boxwood, Manor View Farm, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and GreenForest Nursery.

Monies raised from donations made during events like this, and throughout the year, fund the activities of the Horticultural Research Institute’s research and scholarship programs, along with educational outreach activities for the industry.

HRI tackles the biggest challenges—everything from disease management to water quality and availability—to bring you the information and best practices you need to perform better, grow faster, and prepare for the future.

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the research affiliate of AmericanHort, has provided over $9.5 million in funds since 1962 to research projects covering a broad range of production, environmental, and business issues important to the green industry. Over $20 million is committed to the endowment by individuals, corporations, and associations.

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