October 3, 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue
Fall Conference - CFGW
Enhancing Quality of Life
Greenhouse Employee Training
Wage and Benefit Survey
2012 Greenhouse Market Outlook
Quick Links
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Eileen Nelson
UW-Madison Department of Horticulture
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Free, Supplemental Marketing Opportunity


A new, free, supplemental marketing avenue for independently owned garden centers and retail greenhouses.


The UW-Madison Department of Horticulture and UW Extension have developed a web-based map dedicated to showing the plant buying public the locations and a summary of contact and product information for each participating retail garden center and greenhouse.  The address for this website is http://wrgc.horticulture.wisc.edu.


Information on participating via a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here. 


The existence of this map will be publicized through popular press, garden clubs, master gardeners, extension channels, travel and tourism links and any other method that will reach the gardening public.


Feedback can be provided via the website or directly to the Department of Horticulture.



Fall Conference - Commercial Flower Growers 


The Wisconsin Commercial Flower Growers invite you to join them at the October 12 CFGW Fall Greenhouse Conference at the Floral Plant Grower's greenhouse in Denmark, Wisconsin. 


They have put together a diversified program that addresses some of the changes we've all seen in the greenhouse industry in recent years. Register early, help Floral Plant Growers prepare enough food and seating.


PROGRAM   - Featured Speaker:  Dr. Allan Armitage




CFGW September Newsletter 

Plants Enhance the Quality of Life 

 Source:  Ellison Chair in International Floriculture


The plethora of benefits provided by flowers, shrubs, and trees is not common knowledge, let alone ingrained in modern day American culture. Humans often have difficulty in even seeing flowers or plants in their own environment, much less connecting plants to tangible benefits - a phenomenon called plant blindness. For most people, flowers and other plants are a part of the subconscious sector of mental life, perceived as the backdrop, not the main actors in the playing out of our everyday lives.


All industry firms need to emphasize these types of "benefits" messages in the marketing efforts of their individual companies. A new publication that summarizes these benefits is entitledEconomic, Environmental, and Health/Well-Being Benefits Associated with Green Industry Products and Services: A Review and was published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture (Issue 29(2):96-103) thanks to the Horticultural Research Institute. Since previous efforts on the part of the industry to provide a united voice through a generic advertising campaign (e.g. Got Milk) have been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response, firm-level marketing of these benefits may be the best alternative (in the short run) to propagate the quality of life value proposition.


Of course, one industry-wide effort that is already in place that has shown to be quite effective in conveying this message is America in Bloom (AIB). Now in its tenth anniversary, the program has countered early naysayers by effectively not only conveying the industry's message of beautification, but one of economic development, provision of environmental amenities, and enhancement of health and well-being as well. Almost 200 cities and several million citizens have been exposed to AIB's message; undoubtedly benefiting the countless local businesses in those trade areas.


One such business owner stated publicly at this year's OFA Short Course that they had experienced an 8 percent increase in business during the period their city had participated in America in Bloom. While this alone is impressive, it is exciting to consider that as AIB continues to expand, even more synergistic benefits will likely result.


There is an old adage that says: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." This latest economic downturn has certainly caused us all to do some things differently than we had been doing them previously. We're doing more with fewer people and in some cases, fewer resources. But as we move into the future, even more aggressive marketing will be needed to ensure that we are considered as necessities in our consumers' lives and not mere luxuries.


Now is exactly the time to make those strategic marketing investments both as individual firms and through industry-wide efforts.

Employee Training Program for Greenhouse Crop Production


Texas A&M and AgriLIFE EXTENSION have a 1-hour self-directed training video designed for folks who have never had any greenhouse experience to provide a brief overview of very basic information about growing plants, integrated pest management, shipping and handling, and safety procedures. 


This training module is perfect for those who have never stepped into a greenhouse before!  It is not designed for experienced growers.


It is available in both English and Spanish and is divided into 5 modules:


(1) the Introduction and Industry Overview modules will provide a general description of the greenhouse industry;


(2) the two modules on Greenhouse Basics will follow the production of a greenhouse crop from beginning to end;


(3) the Insects and Diseases module will introduce some of the most common pests on greenhouse crops;


(4) the Finished Crop module covers basic shipping and handling procedures; and


(5) the module on Safety in the Greenhouse will provide some important tips on how to stay safe on the job.


Each module in the course includes several quiz questions to challenge your knowledge along the way.  A transcript of the training materials is available for download.  We hope you enjoy this educational experience.  The total amount of time to complete the training is 1 hour.


To learn more and register link here.

 Wage and Benefit Survey - Ball Publishing

Source:  Ball Publishing e-newsletter


It's time to get a move on with Green Profit's 3rd annual Wage & Benefit survey, the results of which will be published in our December issue. Here's why you need to GO ONLINE and fill out this year's short-and-sweet survey:

  1. It'll help you determine if you are paying an equitable wage and providing competitive benefits, and
  2. You could win a $100 Visa gift card.

Who couldn't use that right before the holidays?? Surveys work best when LOTS of people participate. So, help us help you and fill out the simple survey now. We'll love you forever if you do. 



2012 Greenhouse Market Outlook 


Every summer, the editors and business staff of Greenhouse Grower magazine gather for a day of intense discussion regarding the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the market. We ponder and debate the forces shaping the market and their implications on growers, retailers and the suppliers serving those businesses.


What emerges helps us craft the following year's strategic plan and major coverage areas for our publications.

Given the challenges we are all facing, we want to share our perspective with you in the hope that our insights can help your team with its planning for 2012.


Gain Access To:


Please forward this newsletter on to others. 

Eileen Nelson  (eonelson@wisc.edu)