03-09-20 | Economic News

Horticultural Scholarships Bestowed

Honoring Students that Are the "Lifeblood of the Green Industry"

The Usrey Family Scholarship established in 2001 and the Susie & Bruce Usrey Education Scholarship established in 2009 by Susie and Bruce Usrey of Monrovia Growers Inc. are awarded annually to horticulture students enrolled in a California state university or college.

The AmericanHort Foundation announced the two latest recipients of two scholarship contributions managed through the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). Those students are Katherine Brafford and Ricardo Camargo, both of whom attend the University of California, Davis and both scholarships come from the Usrey family of Monrovia.

Brafford has been awarded $1,000 through the Usrey Family Scholarship, and Camargo will receive $500 through the Susie & Bruce Usrey Education Scholarship.

Working on finishing up her senior year in the plant sciences program at the university, Brafford has has worked at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden and is active with the Plant Sciences Club and the Plant Genomics Undergraduate Journal Club, among others. She enjoys participating in research to study the biological and ecological processes that impact the spread of weedy and invasive plants.

Braford plans to work in Northern California offering solutions to bridge the divide between researchers and laborers, potentially working with a university extension program or land management agency upon graduation.

"From age 16 onwards, I have managed various ecological restoration projects on private land. I enjoy the outdoor work, careful research, planning, observation, and presentation of results," she stated.

Camargo is pursuing a master's degree in horticulture and agronomy. As the youngest of 11 siblings and the first in his family to ever graduate college, his professors justifiably describe him as a born leader with an unrivaled work ethic. Camargo is currently working on research involving the interaction of various minerals in plants to improve plant health. He has goals to build a career in mineral nutrition and eventually help improve California orchard management practices.

In addition, he is committed to inspire other first-generation college students like himself, especially engaging more Latinos to consider pursuing higher education in STEM fields.

"Every day I am closer to fulfilling a mission that one day seemed unattainable," said Camargo.

Learn how to become involved in the work supported through HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation, at

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