July 27, 2009

Hobbs Inducted Into ANLA Hall Of Fame

The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) recently inducted Gordon Hobbs, former president and owner of C.M. Hobbs and Sons, into its Hall of Fame. Hobbs has served as president of ANLA and its grower division, the Wholesale Nursery Growers of America (WNGA). He has served as president of both the Indianapolis Landscape Association and the Indiana Association of Nurserymen, which presented him with its Award of Merit in 2007. Hobbs helped found the American Nursery Credit Association and served as secretary-treasurer for 17 years. Established in 1966, the ANLA Hall of Fame Award is given to an outstanding nursery and landscape industry professional whose business and community accomplishments serve as an example for others in the industry.

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June 17, 2009

BenchPress Profile: Susan Stieve

How does the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center help growers? Currently we have more than 3,100 accessions in our collection that are distributed free of charge to researchers around the world. We have sent our plant material, in the form of seeds or cuttings, to floriculture breeders in the United States and elsewhere. How many research requests do you get a day? How many non-research requests do you get from home gardeners? Since we began distributions in 2002 we have distributed almost 2,500 items. Because we do conserve so many beautiful plants here we do receive requests from home gardeners. As it states on the USDA National Plant Germplasm System website, germplasm is available in small quantities for research purposes. If we are unsure of the intended use of the material we will follow up with the requester and help them find alternative sources if it is for home gardening use. […]

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June 15, 2009

Ones To Watch: Matthew Swaim

Matthew Swaim, a 20-year-old horticulture and plant biology major at North Carolina State University, was afforded a monumental opportunity when Syngenta selected him as its Grower of Tomorrow winner. Now, he’s doing research at Conrad Fafard, Inc. as part of his internship and visiting growing operations like Metrolina Greenhouses. Swaim will also be interning at Syngenta Professional Products and Syngenta Flowers. “This experience totally surpasses all my expectations of an internship,” says Swaim, a plant biology and horticulture double major who’s particularly interested in a career driven by horticulture research. “I’ve looked two years for an experience like this. This is by far the best opportunity.” Swaim was selected as Syngenta’s Grower of Tomorrow based on his application, an essay he submitted and a referral letter from his academic advisor. All applicants of the program must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be a junior or senior at one of […]

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June 2, 2009

Hyslip: Spring Was Mostly Positive

Craig Hyslip, chief operating officer of Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, shares his thoughts on live goods and the spring season, what he expects this fall and where growers should go from here. What kind of feedback are you hearing about the market? “Overall, we are hearing very good things. Going into spring, we had a lot of growers who had cut back on production 15 to 20 percent. I haven’t heard differently since then. “The vast majority of feedback is very, very positive from the commercial side to the retailer. The weather for the most part has been good. We’ve seen one good day each week or a pair of good days, and that’s been very conducive for sales. “I’m hearing a little bit that growers are wishing they had done a little bit more. Mother Nature really dictates the season.” What adjustments do you expect growers to make for the […]

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May 21, 2009

SAF: Mother’s Day Sales Dip Again

Fewer consumers bought flowers this Mother’s Day than last, according to a Society of American Florists (SAF) survey conducted by Synovate eNation. According to the survey, 32 percent of adult Americans purchased flowers or plants as Mother’s Day gifts. In 2007 and 2008, about 37 percent of adult Americans purchased flowers or plants as gifts. The most popular Mother’s Day gift this year was fresh flowers, although it is decreasing in popularity. Seventy percent of purchases in 2008 were fresh flowers; only 63 percent of purchases this year were in that category. Outdoor bedding plants and garden plants (35 to 31 percent), green houseplants (12 to 11) also fell. The average amount consumers spent this Mother’s Day also fell–more than 10 percent–to $39 from $45.60 in 2008. There was a noticeable drop in spending in one of the higher spending categories, namely the $51-$75 range (from 17 percent last year […]

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May 20, 2009

So How Was Your Spring?

This year, with the economy/housing meltdown, the question we hear the most is a version of “How are sales?”   As an industry, we do not have very good polling data, so we thought we would steal an idea from CNN and do a live online survey. This type of data is critical as it can help you make better decisions on pricing/product mix/inventory levels etc. We’ve worked with consultant Laurie Scullin, Michigan State’s Bridget Behe and Ball’s Marvin Miller on the Spring 2009 Quick Vote. Please check out the five questions for Growers on the left-hand side of the page on FreshAirForum.com. If you are a grower/retailer, please answer both sections. It should take just a minute or two.   Your information is confidential and we will help break out all data by region and run a story on this later this spring.   Please go to FreshAirForum.com and […]

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May 19, 2009

Lead A Concern For Urban Gardeners

Seven million more households will grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year according to the National Gardening Association–a 19 percent increase over last year–but health officials, soil scientists and environmental engineers, according to a New York Times report, are concerned the increasing popularity in gardening will put more people at risk for lead poisoning. “You won’t know if you’re at risk unless you test your soil,” says Murray McBride, a professor of soil chemistry at Cornell University. The New York Times reports hazardous amounts of lead have been documented in backyard and community gardens in New York as well as in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington since 2003. Lead-laden soil has been found not only in inner city neighborhoods but also suburban areas. The Times report also advises gardeners how to go about testing for lead, and it suggests […]

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May 19, 2009

Short Course Takes To The Ice

Hockey players and fans attending the OFA Short Course this July can once again watch their colleagues battling it out on the ice! The ninth annual D.S. Cole Growers Presents Hockey in Columbus will take place on Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m. in the Dispatch Ice Haus, directly behind the Nationwide Arena. Men and women of all skill levels are welcome, but players must provide their own hockey equipment. The game is a no-check, no-slap-shot event with referees. Player registration is $50 per person, and there’s still room for more players. If you’re not interested in playing, you can sponsor the event. Event sponsors are recognized in the program, on signage at the event and in trade magazines, as well as on signage within the D.S. Cole Growers and America in Bloom booths on the trade show floor. The event draws a crowd of approximately 250 people each year. […]

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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

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 [email protected] 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 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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