Cultivating Excellence: Announcing the 2024 Paul Ecke, Jr. and Altman Family Scholars

Alexandria, Virginia — Six individuals dedicated to the horticulture industry have excelled in their fields, earning them scholar status in two prestigious educational funding programs through the American Floral Endowment (AFE). 

The Paul Ecke, Jr. and Altman Family scholarships help fund the education of full-time graduate students pursuing a career in horticulture or floriculture. Those who receive the scholarships are rewarded for their accomplishments as they continue working toward growth in the industry.

The 2024 recipients are Savannah Mead, West Virginia University, Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship, first year; Jack Bobo, North Carolina State University, Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship, second year; Jessica Brown, Michigan State University, Altman Family Scholarship; Manjot Sidhu, Michigan State University, Altman Family Scholarship; Greta Gallina, University of Georgia, Altman Family Scholarship; and Haramrit Gill, Texas A&M University, Altman Family Scholarship.

“The goal of AFE is to support young professionals and help them in their journeys as they become the next generation of innovators and leaders in the industry,” said Debi Chedester, Executive Director of AFE. “These endowed scholarships are at the heart of the mission of our organization, and we are honored to help support these post-graduate students who are standouts among their peers.”

About the Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship
The scholarship honors the late Paul Ecke, Jr., a horticulturist from California credited with moving the industry forward with his innovation and educational program development in the field. The scholarship awards the chosen scholar with $5,000 for two consecutive years ($10,000 total). The recipient must be pursuing a Master’s or Doctorate degree at a U.S. land-grant university. For more information about the scholarship, click here. 

About the Altman Family Scholarship
Created in 2015 by Ken and Deena Altman, the Altman Family Scholarship seeks to support improvement in horticulture education and research by investing in outstanding, young industry professionals. The Altmans believe in the power of giving back and do so through the reach of this scholarship and Altman Plants programs that offer growing expertise to the industry. This scholarship provides an annual scholarship ($5,000) to promising and dedicated graduate students pursuing a career in horticulture. For more information, click here.

Floriculture MS/Ph.D. Scholarships

To learn more about our Paul Ecke, Jr. and Altman Family Scholarships and to apply, click here. Applications are due by February 1st each year! 

About the American Floral Endowment (AFE)
The American Floral Endowment is the trusted source and catalyst for floriculture advancement through funding of innovative research, scholarships, internships, and educational grants that best serve the dynamic needs and demographics of all industry sectors. Since 1961, more than $18 million has been funded in research and educational projects, and more than $3 million has been funded in scholarships and internships designed to attract and retain the future leaders of the industry. To learn more about AFE or how you can support floriculture programs, visit