Something Special Taking Root: Orchid Deal Helps University of Maryland Eastern Shore Generate Revenue, Expand Academic Programs and Foster Regional Economic Growth

By Keels, Crystal L. | Black Issues in Higher Education, September 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Something Special Taking Root: Orchid Deal Helps University of Maryland Eastern Shore Generate Revenue, Expand Academic Programs and Foster Regional Economic Growth


Keels, Crystal L., Black Issues in Higher Education


PRINCESS ANNE, MD.

Two hours east of Washington, D.C., across the Chesapeake Bay bridge, through rural Maryland past produce stands loaded with ripe peaches, plums and watermelons from nearby farms, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), a historically Black land-grant institution, is abuzz with the development of an industry new to the region.

Thousands of orchids in various sizes and vivid hues of yellow, pink, purple and white are blooming inside the 2.5-acre $4 million UMES hydroponics greenhouse facility. And some of these plants imported from China are still in nascent stages with thick green leaves that have yet to flower. Eventually, imported orchids worth $2 million--shipped from China in groups of 200,000--will grow in the greenhouse.

"This is a brand new industry for Maryland, for the Eastern Shore," says Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, president of UMES. Thompson says that one of the main advantages of the partnership between the school and the U.S. Orchid Laboratory & Nursery Inc. is that it is "in the early beginnings (of the enterprise) and not competing with anyone else." These increasingly popular flowers are grown in the United States primarily in Hawaii, California and Florida.

The recent pairing between UMES and U.S. Orchid, the American arm of Jet Green Horticulture in Beijing, China, will serve as an additional revenue stream for the university, help expand its academic program and provide economic opportunities for the surrounding Eastern Shore region.

And as all 30,000 of the orchids blossom, so do short- and long-term plans to fulfill the five-year lease agreement Thompson signed in April with Dr. John Hou, president of U.S. Orchid.

The orchid program will take advantage of a network model for growers that has already proven successful for the university in a previous contract agreement with Maryland-based Bell Nursery, which vacated the premises at the end of its five-year contract with the university. The network model developed at UMES provided an ample supply of plants and flowers for Bell Nursery, and can be adapted to growing vegetables and producing poultry, too, explains Daniel Kuennen, director of the UMES Rural Development Center. The Bell Nursery/UMES collaboration resulted in a network of more than 25 growers.

"This program helps the whole region," Kuennen says.

"The network brings expertise that would not normally be available to small farmers so they can go ahead and be farmers," says Dr. Tom Handwerker, horticulturalist and UMES officer of technology deployment who, along with Kuennen, created and implemented the grower network system. The grower network system is designed to "deploy technology to small farmers," who are then able to develop alternative crops for themselves and because of the network don't have to bother with the marketing end of the process, Handwerker says. "Our original partner, Bell, was able to use this concept to begin to market to Home Depot," he adds. "The network concept mitigates the risk for both the major marketer and the small farmer," says Handwerker, who is referred to by his LIMES colleagues as the "architect of the greenhouse."

The network grower model, in combination with the 20 years of technological and marketing expertise U.S. Orchid brings, positions UMES as the primary provider on the East Coast for these exotic plants that can range in cost from $15 to $4,000 for rarer varieties. Over time, the infrastructure of grower/marketer will generate enough product for the university and the region to become globally competitive in orchid production.

"Estimates of the university's revenue stream from the fully deployed network and tissue facility may exceed a half a million dollars per year," Handwerker explains. He adds that at this point in the project, U.S. Orchid leases the UMES greenhouse for approximately $150,000 a year and participates as a collaborator on research grants submitted by the university. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Something Special Taking Root: Orchid Deal Helps University of Maryland Eastern Shore Generate Revenue, Expand Academic Programs and Foster Regional Economic Growth
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.