Ivy Honored for Contributions to North Carolina’s Horticultural Industry
Lee Ivy, director of North Carolina State University’s Agricultural Institute (AGI) and assistant director of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Academic Programs Office, has been selected to receive the Kim Powell Outstanding Contribution to the Horticulture Industry Award from the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA). He was recognized at the NCNLA membership breakfast and annual meeting held on Jan. 19, 2023, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Established in 2004, the Kim Powell Outstanding Contribution to the Horticulture Industry Award recognizes an individual’s significant contribution to the association and the horticultural industry, specifically the involvement in program development and execution.
The Academic Foundation
Ivy earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Tennessee before attending NC State for his master’s degree. Ivy went on to be a professor at Sandhills Community College for 11 years, where he started working with students and contributing to the industry.
“He would bring his students up every year to tour our nursery and get them more involved with our industry from the growing side to the installation side,” says Kevin Cagle, owner of Greenthumb Nursery, LLC and president of NCNLA. “You could always see the excitement on his students’ faces when coming and gaining more knowledge of the industry they were entering.”
Returning to CALS
Ivy returned to NC State’s Department of Horticultural Science in 2012 to become an award-winning senior lecturer and advisor for another decade.
He has served as the AGI’s coordinator for horticultural science management courses in ornamentals and landscape technology and small-scale farming. He taught a series of horticulture production courses, landscape design and build, landscape construction, and landscape maintenance. In 2017, Ivy’s online-only Horticultural Science 200 class earned the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology.
From 2012-2022, Ivy co-advised the top-ten nationally-ranked HortPack student competition team that participates in the annual National Landscaping Collegiate Competition. He is consummately networking with green industry employers on behalf of his students to foster job and internship opportunities.
How AGI Students Inspire Ivy
“As a leader, I am inspired and energized by a student’s drive to excel in academics, and their efforts to integrate into the agricultural industry network and create lasting relationships while here at NC State,” says Ivy. “For students looking to be a leader in the future, I encourage them to look for ways to serve others now and learn about themselves, people’s tendencies, and timing for introduction and implementation of new ideas
“I like challenges, and I care about people. Leadership is about people and is a challenge if it’s being done well. Like my students, I have learned that it is a privilege to be part of the dynamic pursuit of knowledge and innovation that agriculture offers.”
In 2020, Ivy co-authored the textbook titled “Landscape Design, Installation and Management” with Christopher Hart. Published by Goodheart-Wilcox, the book defines green industry practices, safety, design principles, design processes, producing and selecting plants, the business side of landscaping, and landscape installation and maintenance for students.
In addition to Ivy’s list of credentials, he is a licensed landscape contractor, certified pesticide applicator and certified plant professional in North Carolina, and is nationally landscape industry certified.
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