NGMA 2018 Scholarship Awarded to Jean Yost

To ensure the future of the industry through education, the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA) is pleased to announce that Jean Yost, a senior at the University of Georgia, was the recipient of its 2018 scholarship.

“I’m honored and very thankful,” said Yost, who plans to attend Iowa State University’s graduate program next fall to earn a master’s degree in horticulture. “This is a very supportive field, and I’m thankful for those in it who choose to give back.”

Yost’s interest area is the production of micro greens through hydroponic and greenhouse systems, breeding for disease resistance and assessing ornamental plants to pair with edible landscapes.

“I would like to breed my own cultivar of a plant species that is nutritionally significant to the consumer population,” said Yost in describing her aspirations.

During her time as an undergraduate student, Yost said she specialized in traditional vegetable plant breeding techniques, looking at answering some of the questions the green industry is asking today around the areas of food security, sustainable production and optimizing nutritional content within plant material.

“I have been fortunate to have worked on a diverse set of projects. Some of these experiences include successfully cross-pollinating vegetable crops, field data collection and statistical analysis for controlled experiments on fungicide spray programs, extension in specialty fruit pathology diagnosis for southeastern growers and laboratory maintenance for tissue culture research,” Yost said.

Yost is currently a student research assistant for UGA’s watermelon and pepper breeding program. As such, she works with controlled pollination and crosses, data collection and analysis, planting and propagation and in general greenhouse maintenance.

Earlier in her college career, Yost worked as a horticulture research farm assistant for the organic division at UGA, where she gained experience in field preparation, tractor and machinery usage, propagule and seedling development, irrigation installation and high tunnel maintenance.

Yost would like to pursue a career as a cooperative extension agent or a consultant, helping growers and homeowners grow plants and enjoy the process.

The National Greenhouse Manufactures Association Scholarship targets students majoring in horticulture and bioengineering or the equivalent and are at least a junior at an accredited four-year college maintaining a 3.0 GPA.