As school seniors finalize plans for secondary education this spring, those interested in pursuing plant science degrees may benefit from a scholarship opportunity available through the Arkansas Master Gardener Program.
The Janet B. Carson Master Gardener Scholarship is available to high school seniors who plan to attend an Arkansas college or university and major in a plant science-related field. Areas of study can include, but are not limited to, horticulture, botany, agronomy, forestry, plant science, turf management and landscape architecture and design.
“Whether creating and maintaining greenspaces for public enjoyment or producing healthy, fresh food for the masses, plant science careers are rewarding and enjoyable,” said Krista Quinn, Faulkner County extension agriculture agent. “With this scholarship, we hope to encourage and support the next generation of plant science professionals in Arkansas.”
The $1,000 scholarship, first established in 2014, is funded by Master Gardeners. Berni Kurz, extension educator of consumer horticulture and coordinator of the Master Gardeners program, said members want to support the future of plant sciences by providing this opportunity to Arkansas students.
“Master Gardeners are driving this program, and they are very passionate about providing funds to youth to further their education in plant sciences,” Kurz said.
Patsy Louk, chair of the County 76 scholarship committee – the statewide advisory group for the Master Gardeners program – said Janet Carson, the scholarship’s namesake, is a longtime advocate for horticulture education.
“Janet Carson spent 38 years as an extension employee, sharing her horticulture knowledge and love of gardening with many, old and young,” Louk said. “Even in retirement, she continues to do this through her blog, newspaper articles and speaking to groups across the state. She encourages all of us to start small and easy with plants that we like.”
The deadline to apply is March 10, 2022, and the scholarship application is available on the Arkansas Master Gardener Program website. The scholarship requires applicants to submit two letters of recommendation and a short statement about their career goals, along with their high school transcript and ACT (or equivalent) scores. Applicants should email completed applications to [email protected] For more information, contact your county extension agent.