About NJHA

NJHA Creed

We are growing, living parts of the earth.
We are conscious of our desire to cultivate our horticultural abilities
And find comfort in sharing this knowledge.
We make our way together on a separate path,
Yet all in the same direction.
We are the National Junior Horticultural Association and we accept the challenge of being horticultural leaders of tomorrow.


The focus of NJHA is summed up with the acronym HYCEL.

  • H stands for Horticulture. Horticulture is an art, science, business, or hobby used in everyday life. It is the love and passion for plants. It conjoins backyards to neighborhoods, and neighborhoods to community, introducing new cultures and a new way of life.
  • Y stands for Youth. The youth of today search for knowledge and have a desire to learn new skills. As youth attain more knowledge and greater skill, they develop a respect for the dignity of work and become more productive and responsible citizens.
  • C stands for Careers. A career represents an individual’s life and work in society. NJHA acquaints youth with horticulture careers to inform them of opportunities to continue their passion into adulthood. Careers represent the future of horticulture in NJHA.
  • E stands for Education. NJHA promotes and sponsors an educational program for youth through projects and activities which relate to the understanding of horticulture.
  • L stands for Leadership. A leader is someone who moves out in front, who forges ahead with ideas, ambition, and determination to get things done. A leader motivates others and makes them want to join him or her in an endeavor. This is the goal of each NJHA member.


On August 22, 1935, the first convention of NJVGA (Now NJHA) was held in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a one day event, with seventy-four members from Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut participated. The state of Massachusetts won the contest.

In 1942, the convention was increased to four days. During the period of 1940 to 1953, the administration of the Association was carried on by a committee of five to seven adults and the Junior Executive Committee. In 1958, the Judging, grading and identification Contest branched out with a 4-H, FFA division in addition to the Open Division. In 1953, the National Junior Vegetable Growers Foundation was established and incoporated under the Laws of the state of Delaware on January 6, 1953. The name was changed to National Junior Horticultural Association in 1964. The Achievement and Leadership Project was added in 1965 and the Experimental Horticulture Project began in 1966.


Leadership Team

View our Leadership Team