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It’s Time to Start Teaching Kids About Careers in Horticulture: The “Green Collar” Industry

Horticulture, plants and the “green collar” industry that thrives on them are powering our lives in ways we never thought possible, creating new jobs that not only help our economy, but also make our world, and our lives, better! There have never been more opportunities to change the world through plants than there are today, but awareness of the industry that sustains them, known as “horticulture” is at an all-time low. The more we know about plants, the more we can make a difference today.


Sadly, although plants are critical to the future of the planet, they are absent from the minds of most American youth, resulting in a perilous workforce gap in the horticulture industry.

Teaching Kids About Careers in Horticulture

Some eye-opening facts about the state of horticulture:

  • There are nearly 58,000 new jobs in the “green-collar” industry, as horticulture is often called, that are expected to become available each year for the next five years.
  • Horticulturists are using their plant knowledge to solve some of our biggest challenges, like feeding a growing world, climate change and clean water.
  • Currently, the average American can recognize over 1,000 brands and logos, but fewer than 10 plants in their local areas.
  • Horticulture plays a role in fashion and beauty, science and even art and design.


With more than 100 different careers in the industry, horticulture – the art, science, technology and business of plants – has something to offer for everyone. Jobs include drone specialists, plant scientists, landscape architects and urban farmers, just to name a few.


By empowering today’s youth – the next generation of game changers and dreamers – to unlock the potential of their natural world, BLOOM! is opening their eyes to opportunities they never knew possible and, in the process, seeding their future and ours.

Teaching Kids About Careers in Horticulture

BLOOM! is the first major initiative of Seed Your Future, a coalition of more than 150 partners – including horticulture companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens, youth organizations, nonprofit organizations and individual advocates – united in their mission to promote horticulture and the diverse careers the industry offers.


“We are living in a moment of great paradox. Plants are everywhere, yet plants are nowhere,” said Susan E. Yoder, executive director of Seed Your Future. “Horticulture impacts everything from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the beautiful landscapes and floral arrangements we enjoy, but few outside the industry make this critical connection. Youth – our next generation of leaders – are the key to reversing this trend, which is why we are thrilled to bring them a campaign that introduces them to the awe-inspiring potential of the natural world.”


It is time to begin inspiring youth across the U.S. to appreciate the plant world and ensure horticulture – and the millions of people who depend on it – thrives well into the future.


Susan joined me to discuss more about how to do this, as well as opportunities for young people in the horticulture industry and more.


Teaching Kids About Careers in HorticultureTalk to young people about the world of plants and spread the word about BLOOM! Visit the Bloom website and connect with BLOOM! on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Teaching Kids About Careers in Horticulture

About Susan E. Yoder, Executive Director of Seed Your Future

Susan joined Seed Your Future in September 2016 and brings with her more than twenty-five years of experience working with nonprofit organizations. For most of her career, she has worked with organizations that focus on youth development and providing children, youth and families with opportunities to grow and thrive.  She is passionate about the outdoors and the positive impact it can have on physical and emotional health.

She is dedicated to finding more opportunities to move the traditional classroom outside, thus providing youth with the opportunity to learn about — and in — the natural world. An avid outdoorswoman and gardener, her personal motto is “Think Outside – No Box Required.”

Teaching Kids About Careers in Horticulture

Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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