Bryan A. Champion, president of Herman Losely & Son, Inc. in Perry, Ohio, was a 5th generation nurseryman with a passion for the nursery and landscape industry. He sought to advance the industry through sound leadership, volunteer participation, and peer-to-peer networking and education events. Champion understood the value of a quality education and the importance of industry research. In honor of his legacy and dedication to the nursery and landscape industry, The Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship Fund was established. This fund is a continuation of his love of the industry and for empowering others as well as being generous with his time and talent.
This year’s scholarship recipient, Nathan Nordstedt, is pursuing a graduate degree at The Ohio State University, yet he has been involved in horticulture since he was young. “I always thought that I would pursue a career in horticulture,” states Nordstedt. His first experience of horticulture was spending time among his great-grandmother’s tulips and tomatoes followed by his horticultural career starting with his first job at a local nursery. While growing chrysanthemums in high school, Nordstedt began his own greenhouse business and developed hands-on skills in plant production. During his undergraduate studies at Kansas State University, Nordstedt was a member of the Kansas State Horticulture Club, had industry internships at Iseli Nursery and Ball Horticultural, and studied abroad for a semester in the Czech Republic through which he attended the Chelsea Flower Show and the European Flower Trials.
Nordstedt credits his background in the industry for giving him an appreciation for the challenges within horticulture as well as leading him to keep the industry at the forefront of his career objectives as he seeks further education to improve floriculture crops. His dedication and commitment is visible to others in both his academic and professional careers as professed by Dr. Alan Bowers of Ball Horticultural, “Nathan has demonstrated a lifelong passion and enthusiasm for ornamentals, and he brought those traits to the laboratory.” As a PhD student, Nordstedt took sole responsibility to collect and isolate strains of bacteria that can confer drought tolerance to horticulture crops grown in greenhouse systems.
Nordstedt hasn’t yet decided if his future will be in an academic or corporate setting, but until then, he will continue to give back to his community as a volunteer with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As a scholarship recipient, Nordstedt notes, “The industry support that I have received has played a key role in my ability to pursue an academic career in horticulture. I will forever be grateful for this support, and I look forward to giving back to an industry that has given so much to me.”
Nordstedt will be recognized in person by the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association at their annual trade show and convention, MGIX, on Sunday, January 14, 2018.