May 5, 2009

Short Course Cracks Largest Trade Shows List

The OFA Short Course trade show again has been named as one of the 200 largest trade shows by the annual edition of the Tradeshow Week 200. With more than 152,000 net square feet of exhibit space, Short Course moves up to No. 174 in the United States for 2008. The show was 185th the year before. The show debuted on the list two years ago at 194th. “We are very proud to make the list again this year. The show gets better each year because OFA is committed to making the Short Course a high quality event for both attendees and exhibitors.” says Wendy McAtee, OFA’s Director-Expositions. “We are continually reminded that the OFA Short Course is the event to attend because it’s a great opportunity to see everything you need for your business in one place.” The 2009 trade show July 12-14 in Columbus, Ohio, will have more than 1,500 […]

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April 30, 2009

Southeast Greenhouse Conference Approaching Fast

The Southeast Greenhouse Conference will take place from June 18-20 this year at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, S.C. Nearly 350 booth exhibitors are expected, ranging from all facets of the greenhouse industry. The conference features a lineup of timely topics and respected speakers over the three-day period. Workshops will explore topics critical to the success of both grower and retail businesses. Among those scheduled to speak are Charlie Hall, current holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. He’ll lead a three-part series with Forrest Stegelin, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia, on costs, pricing and financial survival to help attendees run their businesses better. A three-part perennial series is also part of the educational track, and it includes speakers Allan Armitage, Rita Randolph and Ken Turrentine. For full conference details, click here.

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April 30, 2009

CGGA Presents Top Service Award

The Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association (CGGA) presented its highest service award to Joe Vaiuso, owner of Vaiuso Farms, for his contributions around the state. Vaiuso has been on CGGA’s board of directors since the association was founded in the early 1990s, and he currently serves as the association’s treasurer. Other recently elected CGGA officials include: - President: Joe Arisco, T&D Growers, Cheshire–Vice President: Diane Karabin, Karabin Farms, Southington–Secretary: Sara Blersch, Daffodil Hill, Southbury Five others are serving on the association’s board of directors: - Phil Banning, Geremia Farms. Wallingford–Tom Curtiss, GLB Enterprises, Bridgewater–Dennis Fowler, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, Cheshire–Mike Wrobel, Winterberry Gardens, Southington–Luke Zapadka, Woodland Gardens, Manchester

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April 30, 2009

Seats Open On Standards Committee

Three seats on the National Sustainable Agriculture Practice Standards Committee are now vacant, and Leonardo Academy seeks applications to fill them. Seven members of our industry currently sit on the 58-member committee, which has been asked to develop a national standard for sustainable agriculture under the rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Leonardo Academy, a non-profit organization that works to advance sustainability, is providing facilitation and process support for the standard development initiative. If you’re interested in applying, contact Amanda Raster at Leonardo Academy. She can be reached by phone at (608) 280-0255 or by eMail at amanda@leonardoacademy.org. Applications should be submitted by 12 p.m. CDT on Monday, May 11. New Committee members will be announced on Wednesday, May 13.

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April 30, 2009

Ones To Watch: Nathan Urben

Nathan Urben, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student with an interest in pursuing a career as a grower, recently received a $1,000 scholarship from the Wisconsin Nursery Association. Urben, a native of New Glarus, Wisc., is a double major in horticulture and Spanish. His goal is to work as a grower, as a horticulturist at a botanic garden or as a garden center owner. “In this role, I will not only be able to convey my passion for plants, but also the importance of creating environmentally sound landscapes,” Urben to the Wisconsin Nursery Association. “I feel it is my duty as a horticulturist to emphasize this key concept to my future customers so that they can make smart decisions concerning their landscaping needs.” For more information on the Wisconsin Nursery Association, click here.

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April 29, 2009

PIA Announces Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame Inductees

Todd Bachman is one of three members of the Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame’s 2009 class, as announced last week by the Plant Industry Alliance (PIA). Richard Parker and Tom Acklin are the other inductees. Bachman, who was tragically killed at the Olympics last summer, grew up working in greenhouses and was known for his passion for the green industry. He worked as a chairman and board member of many boards, including the Minnesota Commercial Flower Growers, Society of American Florists, North Central Florists’ Association, Ohio State Florists’ Association, American Floral Endowment, Yoder Brothers, Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Foundation and Hortica Insurance Company. Bachman was a strong supporter of his community through his faith and through the establishment of the Todd and Barbara Bachman Chair in Horticulture/Floriculture Marketing at the University of Minnesota. The 2009 inductees will be inducted into the Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame on October 1 […]

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April 27, 2009

Looking At Loss Leaders

Retailers were more aggressive kicking off spring. That in itself is good, because we all knew this would be a tough year to draw consumers into stores and spend money on more than absolute necessities. Given the state of national and local economies, this is not a year to be complacent. Lowe’s television commercials received rave reviews, as viewers marveled at masses of bedding plants parading down the street like a magic carpet. This was a significant investment by Lowe’s and a strong vote of confidence for plants as a product category. Home Depot aired its share of television and radio commercials with the slogan, “More saving. More doing.” Notice the passive sentence construction emphasized the word “More.” Being an editor, I keep wanting to change it to, “Save more. Do more.” But what really caught everyone’s attention were the three-for-a-dollar and 33-cent annuals promotions at Home Depot and Lowe’s. […]

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April 20, 2009

Keeping An Eye On Food Gardening

According to a National Gardening Association (NGA) study titled The Impact of Home and Community Gardening In America, 7 million more households plan to grow fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs in food gardens in 2009. That figure is up 19 percent from the 36 million households that had food gardens in 2008. NGA also reports 21 percent of food gardening households in 2009 will be new to gardening, and a small portion (11 percent) of households already active in food gardening plan to increase the amount and variety of vegetables they grow this year. A few other key findings: - About 5 million households are extremely or very interested in having community gardens located near their home.–The average spent on all types of food gardening in 2008 was $70 per participating household.–The most popular vegetables with home gardeners are tomatoes, which 86 percent say they’ll grow this year. To read […]

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April 17, 2009

March Retail Sales Disappoint

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail industry sales for March (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) decreased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from February, and dropped 3.7 percent unadjusted over the last year. “A chilly start to spring and a late Easter combined for dreary March sales,” says Rosalind Wells, chief economist for NRF. “To compensate for the Easter shift, retailers typically look at March and April together to get a better look at how their stores performed. Easter should give a much-needed boost to April sales.” Read the full story here.

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April 17, 2009

Mother’s Day Spending Dips

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2009 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch, Americans will spend an average of $123.89 per person for Mother’s Day, compared to last year’s $138.63. Total Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach $14.10 billion. The majority of people (66.8 percent) will buy flowers for mom, spending a total of $1.9 billion. “No one will forgo celebrating Mother’s Day because of the bad economy, but they will put careful thought into what they buy and how much they spend,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategic initiatives, BIGresearch. “Moms will understand that kids may be spending on a budget, so inexpensive, personal gifts will go a long way.” Read the full story here.

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April 17, 2009

Groups Push To Resolve Mexican Trade Dispute

Oregon agriculture exporters whose products face steep Mexican tariffs met today with Congressman Kurt Schrader to ask for his help in resolving a trade dispute between the United States and Mexico. On March 19, several Oregon agriculture sectors were slapped with tariffs of up to 20 percent after a pilot program allowing Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways was scrapped. Mexico reinstated the pre-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tariffs in response to Congress’ decision to stop funding the Department of Transportation’s Cross Border Trucking Pilot Program. “Ending the program clearly violated provisions of NAFTA and provoked Mexico to retaliate against a number of industries, including the many Oregon growers who depend upon the Mexican market,” says Jeff Stone, director of government relations for the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN). OAN, which represents Oregon’s largest sector of agriculture, stressed the urgency of resolving the trade dispute before the start of […]

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April 7, 2009

Spending Up In February

For the second month in a row, consumers spent more money, the number edging up by 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department reported. The report follows a 1 percent jump in January. However, incomes fell by 0.2 percent in February, thanks to a significant number of layoffs. The spending increases followed six declines between July and December. Read more here.

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