Terril Nell inducted into Floriculture Hall of Fame
Society of American Florists announced that Terril Nell, Ph.D., is the 2023 inductee into its Floriculture Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at the organization’s 138th annual convention.
The Floriculture Hall of Fame recognizes the highest standards of service and professional responsibility in members of the floral industry. Inductees have been instrumental in creating significant and lasting improvements or innovations for the industry.
Nell’s contributions to the advancement of floriculture and horticulture, and his advocacy for floral research and funding exemplify his dedication to the industry throughout the past 60 years.
The preeminent expert on postharvest care and handling of flowering potted plants and cut flowers, Nell co-authored the Society of American Florists’ Flower and Plant Care Manual and has been a frequent columnist for Floral Management magazine. He’s steadfastly advocated for floral research and funding, and held numerous leadership positions, most notably SAF president and director of research for the American Floral Endowment (AFE).
Nell spent 35 years as a professor at the University of Florida, chairing its environmental horticulture department from 1991 to 2012. In 1983, he developed the UF Postharvest program, which concentrated on potted plant and cut flower performance for growers, shippers, wholesale, and retail florists and interior plantscapers. His research results and work have led to the development of best practices that improve flower and plant longevity. Beyond his university research, Nell has served as an industry consultant for growers, wholesalers and retailers for more than 40 years.
Since retiring from UF in 2012, Nell has served as the director of research for the American Floral Endowment. In this role, he serves as the liaison to the FNRI, while also collaborating with the Horticulture Research Institute, AmericanHort, the Specialty Crop Research Institute and other government-funded agencies to support their work for the industry. He also oversees research funding projects.
“It’s hard to pinpoint his greatest influence on the industry,” says Ken Young, AAF, CEO of Phoenix Flower Shops and AFE chairman. “He’s most known for his research and teaching, but he’s devoted so much personal time, even since retiring from academia. He’s collaborated with so many organizations to solve challenges in pests and diseases and more; traveled the world as a consultant to retailers, wholesalers and growers; and served on countless advisory committees and boards. He still attends every major industry event. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking a trade show with him, you feel like you are with a celebrity. Everyone knows and respects Terril.”