In addition to the annually funded research projects, Horticultural Research Institute often engages in special initiatives for the benefit of the horticultural industry. These special initiatives are funded through a number of sources and sometimes exclusively funded by HRI.

Grow Wise, Bee Smart

The horticultural industry has an important role to play in pollinator stewardship. Horticultural Research Institute launched the Grow Wise, Bee Smart™ initiative to fund research
 to inform best practices, educate and empower horticultural businesses with stewardship practices, and communicate with the buying public. Our work has expanded to include significant support for the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, including the creation of an industry toolkit.

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. MPGC will move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and the healthy food people eat. Horticultural Research Institute is a proud collaborator and has developed retail point-of-purchase materials and a retail communications toolkit to assist the industry promote this initiative.

Seed Your Future

Seed Your Future is an initiative to promote horticulture awareness across the United States. Supported by more than 150 partner organizations, this initiative strives to grow the horticulture field by advancing educational programs for students in middle school through college. To date, Horticultural Research Institute has provided nearly $50,000 in support for the Seed Your Future initiative.


SHIFT, an AmericanHort initiative, takes a hard look at what the future of the horticultural industry holds. What was once announced as “the future of retail” research project isn’t just about retail anymore – it’s about the future of the industry and how we’ve risen to the challenge of meeting modern and future consumers’ expectations. This research demands of us a shift in our strategies, thinking, and paradigms. It forces us to think and to ask ourselves – What if we started doing things differently? Tax deductible donations to the SHIFT initiative can be made through Horticultural Research Institute.

Floriculture & Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI)

The Floriculture & Nursery Research Initiative (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service) represents a strong focused collaborative effort between industry, ARS scientists, and existing "university centers of excellence" with experience with the industry's needs. Horticultural Research Institute , along with its association affiliate AmericanHort, and the Society of American Florists work with ARS to ensure FNRI dollars are distributed to support research on urgent emerging pest and disease problems, invasive plant species, labor issues, and improved environmental and resource management.  Download the most recent FNRI reports here.

Intelligent Spray Technology

This remarkable research advancement is a perfect example of progress through partnerships. The Horticultural Research Institute believed in the potential of a project aimed to develop technology that automatically adjusts spray output to the structure of the crop. HRI provided some of the initial funding to get the project going. That demonstration of industry commitment opened the door to further funding through our Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative partnership with USDA-ARS.  Eventually, additional funding came through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, a program AmericanHort has supported through the Farm Bill. University research and extension involvement in Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee has helped transform a research theory into an industry reality.