December 15, 2016
Scott Pollock
Scott Pollock (centre), flanked by Ruby and Bob Allen.
On a sunny September afternoon at the beautiful A.M. Mac Cuddy Gardens in Strathroy Ont., Fanshawe College horticulture technician program coordinator Michael Pascoe gathered some 70 first and second year students in a shady area to announce the school’s recipients of the annual Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation (OHTF) scholarships.

With OHTF donors Bob and Ruby Allen watching, Pascoe described a hard working student who would become the first person to achieve the scholarship — designed to support a mature student in Fanshawe’s horticulture program — in their name.

“Scott Pollock is in tune with our profession and cognizant of what it is and what it means,” said Pascoe. “He is also one of those people who just gets along with everybody. He has a personality that allows him to work and interact with everybody at all levels, from faculty and staff to his peers and industry professionals. And finally, he’s an incredibly good worker, and in fact he has worked here at Fanshawe in the gardens during the summer and has really been looked on as a team leader.”

Pollock, humble and grateful, was elated.

“I was really in disbelief because there are a lot of people in the program who have worked their tails off,” he said. “I felt a little bad about that, because there are other people who really deserve that kind of thing. But at the same time, I tried to look at it from the perspective that there are people here at Fanshawe who believe in me, and I’m going to use that as motivation to try my best.”

A second year student at Fanshawe, Pollock says he was inspired to pursue a career in the green professions by his grandfather, who worked in the industry in the Windsor area for many years.

“He had a real strong passion for horticulture and that kind of inspired me to look deeper into it and to learn about the impact this industry can make on people’s lives.”

As he prepares to graduate in the spring, Pollock’s excitement is palpable. And for now, he’s keeping his options open, because “there are so many different paths you can take in this profession.

“I’m certainly interested in the path of sustainability, where there is such a need to develop ways to produce more plants on less land. There’s also the route of general landscaping where you get to work hard every day, which is great because it feels good to work your eight to five, so that by the end of the day, you feel like you’ve earned your supper. And there’s also the greenhouse side of things; I’m really interested in the science behind horticulture, down to the molecular level. The possibilities are so vast.”