AFE Appoints New Research Coordinator

One of the American Floral Endowment’s most important programs is its research funding, which shows the impacts of developing best practices and innovative ways to tackle industry challenges. This research guides the industry to new heights in sustainability, improved methods, and revolutionary discoveries. To help facilitate this mission, the Endowment has expanded its team to include a new Research Coordinator to assist with expanding research programs and communicating the findings. 

Meet Laura Barth – AFE’s Research Coordinator.

With the recent expansion of new monthly research webinars and training resources, it was a priority to bring on expertise in these areas. AFE’s research provides the best and most current information and solutions to pressing issues in the industry. Barth will work alongside Dr. Terril Nell, AFE’s current Research Director of 8 years, to pursue and disseminate this information through industry outreach, collaboration, and communications. This will include updates through AFE’s Grow Pro Webinar SeriesThrips & Botrytis Research Fund, and other training and resources.

Dr. Terril Nell notes, “I am thrilled to work alongside Laura to address current and future industry challenges. Laura’s deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the field will make her an incredibly influential member of the AFE team. Her industry and university connections will be an important asset to our work as we disseminate AFE’s important research and resources more regularly.”

In addition to overseeing the monthly webinars and training efforts, Laura will also be preparing articles and research processes from AFE-funded research and will serve as the liaison to AFE’s new Sustainability Initiative that was just launched in July.

Get to Know Laura Barth
Laura received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from NC State University, where she worked on research projects in entomology, plant pathology, ornamental plant breeding, and horticultural substrates. After graduation, Laura was the Horticulture and Pathology Specialist at the American Chestnut Foundation before coming back to NCSU as an Extension Assistant. She develops and instructs online classes in partnership with Longwood Gardens. Not only that, but she serves as the Digital Communications Director with the International Plant Propagator’s Society (Southern Region of North America) and is a contributor and consultant for DK (Penguin Random House), where she recently worked on two books in the DK GROW series.

Laura currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her partner Jimmy and their daughter Ossie, where they enjoy the many outdoor activities the area has to offer. Ossie loves playing at their neighbor’s organic vegetable farm and the local garden center, and often provides a little free labor by harvesting produce and pulling weeds – perhaps a future horticulturist in the making! Laura also enjoys art and photography, and has had her work displayed in different galleries across the country.

One exceptionally bright gold star on Laura’s resume remains as a previous recipient of AFE’s Seed Companies Scholarship in 2015. While we are thrilled to see a prior scholarship recipient thriving within the industry, we are even more excited to welcome her aboard the AFE team.

Among these accomplishments, AFE has recognized an extraordinary passion in Laura that appears to feed her hunger for experience and a positive vision for the industry.

“I’m excited to bring my passion for science, communication, and education to AFE’s outstanding research initiatives in my role as Research Coordinator. As a recipient of an AFE scholarship as a graduate student, I’m grateful for the opportunity to now have a career with the Endowment where I’m able to give back to the floriculture industry. I’m thrilled to be working alongside Dr. Nell and am looking forward to engaging with industry professionals, academics, and having my finger on the pulse of floriculture research,” said Laura.

With her dedication and unwavering passion, AFE is thrilled to welcome Laura and expand our research communications and efforts. Please welcome, Laura, and if you see her at industry events, introduce yourself. And, if you have any challenges you’d like to discuss, reach out to Laura at