Mar 16, 2023
Spring Meadow – Proven Winners announce HRI scholarship recipients

Spring Meadow Nursery and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) have announced the recipients of the 2022-2023 Spring Meadow – Proven Winners Endowment Fund scholarships.

Dale and Liz Deppe established the Spring Meadow – Proven Winners Endowment Fund in 1999, believing that backing bright, well-trained, qualified people is essential to the green industry’s protection and growth. Through HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation administers endowments that help students obtain the necessary education to pursue horticultural careers.

“We have been blessed by this industry and the mentors who have helped us along the way, and we are committed to supporting emerging professionals through efforts like these,” says Dale Deppe. Spring Meadow Nursery aims to grant scholarships to students interested in woody plant production, propagation, breeding, horticultural sales, and marketing.

Four students were awarded scholarships for the 2021-2022 granting period, bringing the total amount of awards distributed through the fund to over $115,000. The students were chosen from a competitive national applicant pool for their academic achievements, outstanding leadership abilities, and commitment to pursuing horticulture careers.

Jack Schaefer has obtained landscape horticulture associate’s degrees from Cincinnati State. He is pursuing a bachelor’s in horticulture from the University of Cincinnati. Jack is employed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, where he applies his love of trees and shrubs. With the belief that plants benefit everyone in the community, Jack enjoys improving the lives of those around him with horticultural outreach projects. His favorite part about working at the CZBG is seeing the latest and greatest plant cultivars from plant breeders and experimenting with their landscape functionality.

Carolyn Krauss, who was a master’s student in plant sciences at the University of Tennessee, was awarded a scholarship as well. Tragically, Krauss died January 15. She earned her associate’s degree in business administration from the University of North Georgia, her bachelor’s degree in horticultural science from the University of Georgia, and her master’s degree in business administration, concentrating in data analytics, from Louisiana State University. Before starting graduate school, Carolyn worked as a greenhouse and garden center manager. The University of Georgia is establishing a scholarship in her memory. Gifts can be made to this fund by clicking here.

Jacob Letmanski is an undergraduate student studying Agronomy and Horticulture at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He hopes to go to another university after graduating in 2024 for graduate school, where he will pursue plant breeding. He hopes to eventually work as a plant breeder focusing on woody plants and perennials.

Sophie Schmidt is a sophomore in Horticulture Research at Iowa State University. Her research interests lie in increasing our understanding of plant genomics and leveraging that knowledge to improve plant breeding, specifically in horticultural crops. Sophie grew up in the Minneapolis area, started her own lawn care business there, and recently completed an internship in plant health at Bachman’s Nursery. Her future educational and research goals include pursuing a master’s and, eventually, Ph.D. in plant breeding or plant genomics.

A total of 43 Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowed Fund scholarships have been awarded to students since 2004. Scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 granting period are open until June 1. Individuals interested in applying for a scholarship can check the HRI website for more scholarship application details.

For more information about Spring Meadow Nursery and Proven Winners ColorChoice, visit and