2021 INEF Scholarship Winner and Donation Recipients

2021 INEF Scholarship Winner and Donation Recipients

Indiana Nursery Endowment Fund Report 2021

The Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA), on behalf of the Indiana Nursery Endowment Fund (INEF), which is commonly referred to as the INLA Scholarship wishes to congratulate our three recipients. Rachel Zelt from Monroeville, Indiana as the individual scholarship winner and two donation recipients — the Indiana FFA Leadership Center and the Indiana Accredited Horticulturist (IAH) program.

2021 Scholarship Winner:  Rachel Zelt
This year’s winner of the INEF $6,000 scholarship graduated from Heritage Jr/Sr High School in Monroeville and currently attends Purdue University’s Landscape Architecture program. Rachel received $3,000 for her freshman year and will receive the remaining $3,000 her sophomore year. After receiving the news, Rachel sent a personal note of appreciation to the INLA/INEF.

Rachel graduated from Heritage Jr/Sr High School with a grade point average of 4.314 on a cumulative 4.0 scale. Her class rank was 1 out of 130. Another thing that stood out on her application was the number of high school credits she earned (53) and an SAT score of over 1300! Needless to say, her academic easily qualified her to be considered, but after delving into her activities, involvements, and awards, it was easy to see that she will become a true leader/mentor in our industry. She was an FFA member during all four years of high school and received numerous awards in various Career Development Events (CDE), as well as volunteered for her church, community, school events, and the FFA.

In her personal note on the application, she shared that over the past few years she had grown towards the horticulture and landscape field, so much so that in September 2020, this was going to be her college career choice. She also shared that having lived and worked on the family farm enabled her to appreciate the value of hard work. And summarized her future aspirations in the field in the last remarks of her application as, “I hope to be able to help the environment through improving the ways we use nature and the space around us — in cities, small towns, and rural communities.” I truly hope that she is able to attend our INLA Annual meeting and Awards on January 25, 2022 at the Indiana Convention Center to receive her plaque and for many in our industry to get acquainted with her.

Donation Recipient:  FFA Leadership Center 
Also receiving INEF monies was the Indiana FFA Leadership Center in Trafalgar, Indiana. Joe Ramey, formerly of Central Nine, is now the executive director of the Leadership Center and expressed his sincerest gratitude to receive the $4,000 donation. Joe wanted to let everyone know when you have that size of a facility, it takes a lot of volunteers and donations to help keep the facility operational. COVID took away almost all events for 2020 and in 2021 experienced limited amount of attendance. If anyone wishes to “help out” in way of hands-on labor or donations via equipment or monies, please contact Joe via email jramey@inffa.org or call the center at 317-878-5464.

Donation Recipient:  Indiana Accredited Horticulturist (IAH
The other and final recipient of INEF monies was the Indiana Accredited Horticulturist (IAH) certification program to assist in a planned updating to the current IAH educational training manual. The $4,500 donation along with monies set aside in the INLA budget enables the IAH committee to move forward with a more complete update, instead of a piece meal approach. The IAH is seen by many as one of the most comprehensive educational manuals and certifications in the Midwest. Even now, it is the only horticultural certification approved in the state of Indiana. If anyone needs more info, please feel free to contact me, rhaggard@inla1.org or call 317-889-2382. The INLA cannot express their gratitude to the INEF Board for this generous donation.