Syngenta Professional Products announced North Carolina State University senior Matthew Swaim as the first-place winner of the 2009 Syngenta Grower of Tomorrow internship program. The announcement was made at the 20th annual Turf and Ornamentals Communicators Association (TOCA) conference, May 14, 2009, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

As part of his internship, Swaim attended the TOCA conference and will also attend the OFA Short Course in July in Columbus, Ohio, to meet and interact with industry professionals from the greenhouse industry. Swaim also will spend one-on-one time this year with four Syngenta businesses — Conrad Fafard Inc., Syngenta Flowers, Inc., Syngenta Horticultural Services and Syngenta Professional Products — to obtain first-hand knowledge of growers’ needs, legal issues, genetics and communications efforts in the ornamentals industry. Swaim received a $2,500 scholarship to further his educational goals.

“I was very pleased to have been chosen as this year’s Grower of Tomorrow winner,” said Swaim, who is majoring in horticulture and plant biology, with minors in environmental science and turfgrass science. “I am anxious to learn more about the scientific side of horticulture, and I’m excited for the opportunity to work with one of the leaders in the ornamentals industry.”

Runners-up in the program are Holly Williams from Cornell University, and Tiffany Kohl from the University of Wisconsin, who each received a $1,000 scholarship to further their educational goals.

“As a steward of the ornamentals industry, we developed this internship program to help cultivate future growers’ passion for pursuing careers in ornamental horticulture,” said Bert Wagemans, ornamental market lead for Syngenta Professional Products. “We are pleased to offer Mr. Swaim the opportunity to gain hands-on working experiences by immersing him into a variety of aspects of the industry.”

Recipients were selected based on their application, essay and a referral letter from an academic adviser or professor in their area of study. All applicants must have had at least a 3.0 GPA and be a junior or senior at one of 28 pre-selected universities with horticulture programs.

To learn more about Syngenta products and services for the golf, lawn and landscape, ornamental and aquatic businesses, visit or call 1-866-SYNGENTA (796-4368).