Josh Henry is currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University, although some may recognize him as a Cultivate’17 floriculture tour guide. Below, he answers three questions about his internship, why he decided to go into research and more.
Greenhouse Management: What about the American Floral Endowment internship you did as an undergraduate in 2014 appealed to you, and how do you think it helped set you up for the work you are doing now?
Josh Henry: I learned a lot at that internship [at Smith’s Gardens, in Aurora, Ore.]. What I really appreciated about it was the ability to learn about all of the different aspects of the greenhouse industry, and not just the growing side of it, but maintenance, human resources and all of that. I got to see some of the different problems that are faced in each segment of the greenhouse industry, and that was a really good experience. It’s only helped find ways to fix and think about some of the different problems facing different areas of production.
GM: Why did you decide to pursue a career at a university instead of going to work for a commercial greenhouse operation?
JH: I originally loved the idea of being a grower, and I’ve always been very passionate about the growing aspect. However, as an undergrad, I found that I really loved doing research and felt that I would be better served working closely with growers, but trying to find solutions to the issues that we face with things like plant nutrition. I feel like that’s a good way to apply my knowledge and help growers with the problems they have.
GM: What are some projects you have worked on, or are about to, that you are excited about for what they could do for growers?
JH: Most of my research over the past two years has been on the phosphorus fertilization of bedding plants, and I’m pretty much done with those experiments now and am in the process of publishing all of that research. It’s been a really rewarding experience, and I find that getting the information out to growers is really useful. [Phosphorus nutrition] is such a basic thing, but there are a lot of misconceptions by growers and within the industry, so it’s really good to help clear up some of those misconceptions.