Seeley’s Run Of 26 Straight Conferences Halted

The Seeley Conference, held annually for 26 years at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has been postponed this year to allow the conference’s board of directors a year to overhaul the event.

Following the last conference in June 2011, the board met to assess the event and discuss its future. The board determined then that a possible venue change and format may be necessary to best serve those who attend the conference that promotes the discussion of issues that are critical to commercial floriculture’s future.

“One of the trends we’ve noticed over the last 26 years in the floriculture industry is that there have been a lot of mergers,” says Neil Mattson, executive secretary of the Seeley board. “If you look at the total number of operations there were 26 years ago, the number of growers has been reduced by maybe 40 percent.

“In line with that notion, attendance has been lagging behind what we’d hoped it would be for the effort we put in. We’d like the conference to reach more people than it has been.”

The board surveyed attendees at a recent conference and found about two-thirds, when asked how they felt about Ithaca as a location, prefer the conference move to a major city. The board is also reconsidering the length of the conference and looking into whether it should be held during the week or extend into a weekend.

Although the 2012 conference has been postponed, Cornell’s Bill Miller, board chairman of the Seeley Conference, indicates the board is planning to hold the next conference during the last week of June 2013.

Learn more about the Seeley Conference at www.hort.cornell.edu/seeleyconference/.

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