February 20, 2008

Michigan Floriculture Growers Elect Officers

In addition to completing the first three full years as the Michigan Floriculture Growers Council (MFGC), an advocacy organization, 2008 marked its first rotation in officers. Founding officers who helped establish the group include: Steve Zylstra, president; Tom Raney, vice president; Tim Stiles, secretary-treasurer. All three will remain active on the board of directors. New officers include: Paul Karlovich, president. Karlovich is general manager of production at C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield. His position at Raker keeps him in touch with the key factors affecting our industry and he says he’s energized to keep MFGC productive and self-sustaining. Jim Tuinier, vice president. Tuinier is co-owner of Post Gardens in Battle Creek and Rockwood. He says he sees the importance of growers having a voice in public policy and values MFGC as a mechanism for addressing industry issues. Don Klooster, secretary/treasurer. Klooster is a partner in Klooster Greenhouse in Kalamazoo. […]

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January 30, 2008

ASCFG Awards Research Grants

John Dole and Stanton Gill have received research grants from the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG). Dole, of North Carolina State University, will continue his examination of postharvest life of specialty cut flowers. Gill, of the University of Maryland, will use trap plants to control insect plants in cut flowers. The competition for grants is open to academic, governmental and industry reserarchers. For more information about ASCFG, visit www.ascfg.org.

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January 16, 2008

Green Initiatives In Michigan

Michigan growers can participate in the statewide Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and a plastics recycling program. Run by Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA), MAEAP is a confidential, voluntary, non-regulatory program that allows growers to chart a path toward environmental assurance for their greenhouse system. The initiative is part of the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program. Grower Benefits: MAEAP verification demonstrates growers are using environmentally sound management practices, helping to foster community relations. MAEAP verifies that applicable Right-to-Farm practices are in place, providing nuisance liability protection. MAEAP verification demonstrates greenhouse crop growers have used effective tools for assessing and correcting environmental risks. MAEAP-verified greenhouse crop growers are recognized as outstanding environmental stewards and are eligible for cost-share incentives, tax credits, low-cost lending and reduced liability insurance premiums from participating companies.  Phase 1 is education. Phase 2 is an on-farm risk assessment. And phase 3 is third-party verification requested by the […]

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October 3, 2007

Growers Explore Sustainability Certification

Would a well-established European grower certification program work in the United States? On Saturday, Doug Cole of D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, N.H. hosted Theo de Groot, director of MPS (Milieu Project Sierteelt), and fellow growers to find out. The small group meeting included Henry Huntington of Pleasant View Gardens, also in Loudon, Noah Schwartz of Matterhorn Nursery in New York, and incoming University of New Hampshire Greenhouse Extension Specialist Brian Krug. “The goal of the meeting was to learn what alternatives growers have in the recent sustainability and certification trend,” Cole says. “Some buyers are already asking for growers to be certified with Veriflora or other companies. The meeting was designed to learn what growers have for options, before buyers dictate what we need to do. As growers, do we sit back and complain later that we weren’t involved or start investigating now? Even though I’m not a box […]

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September 19, 2007

Green Summit Thinks Outside The Box

New England Nursery Association (NENA) will bring another big-name author and speaker to expand the way we think about our business for the 2007 Green Summit learning retreat. Limited to 80 attendees, this learning retreat will be from Oct. 10-12 at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, Mass. The keynote speaker is Frans Johansson, an original thought leader, bold innovator and best-selling author of “The Medici Effect.” Johansson will work with Green Summit participants to make connections between seemingly disparate ideas from different fields and cultures, and explain how such intersections of thought can spark extraordinary and radical innovation. “NENA’s Green Summit is designed to generate truly transformational learning for green industry business leaders,” says NENA president Greg Schaan of Imperial Nurseries in Granby, Conn. “If you believe today’s leaders must be able to think differently about risks and failures to succeed, then you can’t miss Green Summit 2007.” In addition to […]

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July 25, 2007

Syngenta’s Scholarship Program

Syngenta Professional Products has a new scholarship program for undergraduate students in horticulture and agronomy called the “Grower of Tomorrow.” One student will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship and paid summer internship with Syngenta in Greensboro, N.C. Three runners up will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The program is open to juniors and seniors at one of 14 selected universities. One student from each university will be named by the faculty to represent the institution. For more on Syngenta, visit http://www.syngentaprofessionalproducts.com/

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March 14, 2007

Highlights From The Hill

Growers, florists and allied industry members descended on Capitol Hill yesterday to tell their congressional representatives why they need to support immigration reform, as well as the Floriculture & Nursery Research Initiative with USDA. Greenhouse Grower’s editor Delilah Onofrey takes you there with her recap of the Society of American Florists’ Congressional Action Days at: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/delilah/page.php?page=constant

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