The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)’s third annual conference will take place June 27-29 in Atlanta.
Everyone in every aspect of consumer horticulture — from university researchers and Extension agents, breeders, growers, and garden center retailers to landscape design, maintenance, tree care, and interiorscape professionals — is invited to attend and help create a unified strategic plan around industry-wide priorities.
Using these priorities, NICH plans to promote the value of horticulture and ensure federal and state funding for consumer horticulture research and education, including its alignment with Specialty Crop Research Initiative priorities in the USDA Farm Bill.
“The goal of the meeting is to create a new value proposition for horticulture,” says Dr. Casey Sclar, inaugural Chair of NICH and Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association. “We want to get more people gardening, to be recognized for contributing $200 billion and 2 million jobs to the U.S. economy, and to drive research and education priorities toward our growing sector.”
At the NICH annual meeting, attendees will help shape the national agenda and create a strategic plan to get 90% of the U.S. gardening by 2025. A kick-off reception will be held Wednesday night at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
On Thursday and Friday morning, a professional facilitator will lead the group through several listening sessions and strategic planning exercises to explore the goals for the organization and craft the strategic plan.
“More people gardening means more sales, more jobs, and more research grants and funding,” Sclar says. “We need everyone’s input to create a unified voice to make ourselves heard, increase our profile, and enhance the value of our work.”
Travel grants are available for the meeting. For more information, go to Consumerhort.org/conference.