5 Can’t-Miss Events To Watch For At Farwest 2016

Brie Arthur

Brie Arthur

Whether it’s classes on biocontrols and gardening trends, or networking opportunities in and around the trade show floor, there’s plenty happening at Farwest 2016, which takes place Aug. 25-27 in Portland, OR.


Here’s a closer look at five events and activities you may want to add to your calendar.

Guest Speaker Ronald Valentin Explains Using Biological Control Agents For Optimum Results In The Greenhouse

The Farwest Show will feature biological control expert Ronald Valentin as one of its guest speakers this year.

Valentin, Technical Lead-North America, Bioline Agrosciences Inc., will deliver a talk on Saturday on “Biocontrol: Starting BCAs in Propagation, Starting with a Clean Plant, and Understanding Life Cycles,” that will give greenhouse growers a better understanding of the impact of biological control agents (BCAs) as a first line of defense for plugs. Valentin will discuss a range of issues related to BCAs, including when to start them, defining what clean young plants/plugs really are, implications of pesticides used on stock plants in propagation, and the consequences for growers planning to use BCAs once plugs have arrived at the greenhouse. He will also discuss the changes that can work positively to be successful with starting BCAs.

Valentin was born in the heart of the greenhouse industry in the Netherlands, growing up in a family-owned greenhouse operation that started using biological control in 1971. With education in crop protection management, biochemistry, and vegetable production at State Secondary College of Agriculture in De Lier the Netherlands, he embarked on a career in biological control in 1986. Over the years, Valentin has worked with many growers to set up sustainable and effective pest management programs with a focus to use BCAs as a first line of defense. He also has trained and managed technical support teams in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.

Speakers Will Connect Retail With The Now Generation Through Lifestyle and Wellness

With a spotlight on garden retail, two of the industry’s rising stars will bring fresh perspectives on how retail can connect with today’s gardener. In seminars, garden industry communicator Brie Arthur and garden designer Jenny Peterson will share insights on making gardening relevant in the modern day, pointing out lifestyle options and health benefits inherent to plants.

In one of her two seminars, Arthur’s “Marketing to Generation Me” will look at opportunities for green industry professionals to reinvent themselves for the modern consumer, taking the lifestyle of gardening to the next level. She’ll share strategies to connect with and retain millennial-aged customers, from foodscape design techniques to modifying the product that supports a gardening lifestyle. Arthur’s fresh take will enhance the retail relationship with a new generation of gardener.

Arthur writes, speaks, and appears as the Foodscaping correspondent on the PBS television series “Growing A Greener World.” With a background in landscape design and more than a decade of experience in nursery production, she inspires and encourages gardeners to appreciate all the attributes horticulture offers.

Peterson’s seminar, “Selling Wellness: Cultivating the Relationship between Gardening and a Healthy Lifestyle,” emphasizes that garden centers are a link to health and wellness for their customers. She’ll show how to develop special events and use displays and labeling to create awareness of the health benefits of gardening.

Peterson is a Texas-based garden designer and owner of J. Peterson Garden Design. In addition to running a successful design firm, she is also a writer, author, and speaker. As a breast cancer survivor, she specializes in educating others on how gardening helps enhance the quality of life, healing from the inside out, and helps to create balance and enhance wellness.

Arthur’s seminar takes place Thursday, August 25. Peterson will speak Friday, August 26.

“Walk the Show Floor with Experts” Features “Buglady” Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

One of the Farwest Show’s “Walk the Show Floor with Experts” segments will feature perspectives with industry consultant Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, owner of Buglady Consulting. Wainwright-Evans will lead interested attendees around the show floor, pointing out her favorite products, sharing thoughts on what’s new and interesting, and giving personal insight related to greenhouse production through biological control and pesticides.

Wainwright-Evans has been in the horticulture industry for more than 25 years, focusing on biological control and using pesticides properly. She has worked throughout the U.S. and internationally consulting to greenhouses, nurseries, and gardens. She has been working as owner of Buglady Consulting for 15 years. In addition to her walk, Wainwright-Evans will be conducting two education seminars during the show: “How to Manage Pests While Protecting the Pollinators” and “Bio-control Quality — Know What Your Are Getting.”

Wainwright-Evans’ walk will take place Friday, August 26.

Pre-Show Tours Include Track At Premier Retail Garden Centers

This year, Farwest Show organizers have added a retail garden center tour as one of three pre-show tour options. The new tour showcase several of the area’s most innovative and successful retail garden centers. It takes place on Wednesday, August 24. This retail-focused tour is in addition to two wholesale operations-focused tours.

Tour attendees will visit five garden centers — Bauman Farms and Garden, Shonnard’s Nursery, Florist and Landscape, Garland Nursery, Sebright Gardens, and Little Prince of Oregon Nursery. Together, these garden centers will showcase the best of retail that includes year-round agritainment, full-service retail, floral and landscape departments, a fourth-generation nursery, niche grower/retailer operation specializing in shady selections, and cutting-edge plants. It will be a full day of discovering innovative displays, new ideas, and fresh inspiration.

Registration is required for the tour. Cost per person is $99 when registered by July 31 and $115 starting August 1. The full day includes luxury motor coach transportation, lunch, beverages, and snacks.

“Women in Horticulture” Networking Event Connects Industry Shakers And Movers And Recognizes Garden Designer, Jenny Peterson

The “Women in Horticulture” networking event will bring women in horticulture together to establish connections, share opportunities, and encourage involvement to advance the industry. The event will celebrate the vital roles women are playing in today’s business and spotlight the life and work of featured guest Jenny Peterson, garden designer and owner of J. Peterson Garden Design. The gathering takes place on Friday, August 26. Women professionals from across the industry and nation will mix and mingle in a time of sharing and will have a chance to visit with Peterson and learn more about her work and life.