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Ockert Greyvenstein of Ball Horticultural joins AFE’s board of trustees

Ockert Greyvenstein of Ball Horticultural Co. is joining the American Floral Endowment board of trustees. The board comprises industry experts from all segments, bringing diverse perspectives and enhancing the impact of AFE’s programs. Ockert

Greyvenstein will join the group, bringing his voice as an expert plant breeder and serve a three-year term with the option for a second term. Through Aug. 31, he will be filling a vacancy on the board, and then will officially begin his three-year term on Sept. 1. 

Greyvenstein joined Ball Horticultural Co. in 2014 as a plant breeder with PanAmerican Seed. A transplant from South Africa, he came to the United States for graduate school, first earning his master’s at Cornell, followed by a Ph.D. in plant breeding from Texas A&M University. 

Currently, he is the regional breeding director based in Elburn, IL, overseeing breeding operations in Illinois and Costa Rica with projects ranging from Angelonia to Zebra-striped tomatoes. Previously, he bred several crops, including Roses, Viola, Vinca, Cuphea and cut-flower Delphinium. His expertise is in genetics, breeding and applied research.

He resides in Illinois. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. Aside from getting their garden up to standard, his current priority is getting both his third and first-grade son and daughter self-sustained with fishing so that he can fish again.

Greyvenstein said, “I enjoy getting a chance to support students on their journey. Learning from them and their projects feeds my own curiosity. Plants remain as fascinating to me as they were when I first tried to graft onions and Agapanthus as a five-year-old.” Through his work with AFE, he will provide input on industry research, scholarships, internships and education programs fostering the next generation and beyond.

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