Setting Up Your Short Course Schedule

Focused sessions will cover everything from nagging production issues to the latest industry trends to new technical innovations over four days of education at OFA Short Course. The one-hour to 75-minute sessions include large-scale lectures, interactive groups, hands-on instruction and directed discussions. Attendees to designated sessions can also earn pesticide recertification credits.

A sampling of grower-specific course offerings this year includes:

– Rooting Cuttings Efficiently
–”Problem” Vegetative Crops and How to Grow Them
–The Price is Right: The Cost of Your Fertility Decisions
–Insect and Mite Management
–The Latest and Greatest Perennials: Production Tips for Success
–How to Set Up a Biological Control Program
–The Nuts and Bolts of Modifying Light

Unlike past years, growers will be able to attend both of this year’s half-day workshops held Saturday, July 11. The timing of the workshops has been staggered for better scheduling. The Water Management Workshop will draw on the expertise of academics, professional growers and manufacturers to cover all aspects of water quality, treatment, conservation, irrigation design, nutrition and recycling. The Hands-On Workshop: More Profit Margin From “Lean,” meanwhile, takes the lean flow concepts of past years to new levels to help growers better weather the tough times. Case studies will be used to show attendees how other companies lean flow and the benefits they achieved.

Continuing on its history of industry participation and business development, the Grower Town Meeting is back for another year. This year’s topic, Differentiate or Die will provide discussion, ideas and advice to help growers deal with issues such as extreme energy prices, skilled labor shortages, rapidly rising input costs, maturing product lines, massive overproduction and increasing unemployment. The panel of leaders will lead a guided exploration of how our industry and businesses can differentiate to ensure continued success.

In addition to three greenhouse grower-specific tracks, Short Course will also offer a full four-day program on marketing and management topics focused on improving business practices for growers and their operations. The sessions, open to current and future business managers, include benchmarking analysis, business etiquette, the Manager Idea Exchange and building and growing your team.

Other Grower Attractions

If growers aren’t interesting in spending all of their time in the classroom, Short Course has developed many exciting events to provide value. The following key events will be open to all registered attendees:

All-Industry Trade Show: More than 550 companies in 1,500 exhibit spaces will be showcasing everything growers need for their businesses, including the latest innovations in plant material, equipment, products and services.

Keynote Address: Returning after a several-year absence, the keynote address is a must-attend event with Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainability speaking on “Future Challenges and Opportunities in our Food and Agriculture Enterprises.”

See New Trends: The new product and new variety displays will highlight some of the best new introductions in plant material and hardgoods, while Project: Green Industry will provide suggestions on eco-friendly products.

Merchandising ShowCase: The Retail Experience continues with a hands-on Merchandising ShowCase that includes more interactive displays with ideas attendees can take home and use right away.

The OFA Short Course will attract approximately 10,000 exhibitors and attendees from around the world to take advantage of this premier educational and trade show event. For additional information on the grower program, other sessions and general OFA Short Course activities, contact OFA at 2130 Stella Court, Columbus, Ohio 43215-1033. You can call OFA at 614-487-1117 or e-mail ofa@ofa.org.

Visit OFA online here.

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