Want to keep up with the latest news in commercial horticulture? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Formation of the Missouri Green Industry Alliance
The professions of Missouri’s green industry, as of January 1, 2017, will be represented by a single professional, non-profit organization to be known as MoGIA or the Missouri Green Industry Alliance. Since July of 2015, the leadership of the MLNA (Missouri Landscape and Nursery Association) and the MoTOC (Missouri Turf and Ornamental Council – prior to 2008, organized as the MVTA, Mississippi Valley Turfgrass Association) have been meeting jointly to discuss opportunities to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of representing Missouri’s green industry with a unified voice.  The outcome of these initial joint MLNA/MoTOC leadership meetings realized the theme “COMMON GROUND – we are stronger together.”  

Native Plant Education to Feature Prominently at 2017 Western
All of the education at the 2017 Western, to be held Jan. 19-20, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri, is posted online including the schedule, speaker biographies and session descriptions. Education on native plants and their uses in the garden and landscape feature prominently within this education. Sessions include:

  • Claudia West, author of Planting in a Post-Wild World, will offer a keynote address on Thursday on Planting in a Post-Wild World.
  • Grow Native! is partnering with the Western to offer a special education track on Friday
    Recorded webinars are available on wnla.org and include:
  • Jacob Blue with Ayres Associates discuss a Native Plant Project Showcase
  • Jennifer Schamber and Tammy Behm with Greenscape Gardens on Selling Native Plants in the Garden Center
  • Nadia Navarrete-Tindall with LIncoln University discusses Native Plants for Monarchs
  • Doug Tallamy presents Building Pollinator Populations

Seven Students Awarded Bryson L. James Student Competition Awards
Seven students from four universities were presented cash awards totaling $2,500 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition held during the 61st SNA Research Conference. The awards were presented on August 31 at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, during the SNA Research Conference Luncheon.

First place winners of $500 each included Shuyang Zhen, University of Georgia (Ph.D.), David Gianino, University of Georgia  (M.S.), and Avery Lamb, Auburn University(B.S.). Second place winners of $300 each included Geoffrey Weaver, University of Georgia (Ph.D.), and M. Terri Williams, North Carolina State University (M.S.). Third place winners of $200 each included Nastaran  Basiri Jahromi, University of Tennessee (Ph.D.), and Zhitong Li, University of Georgia (M.S.). In addition to the cash awards for excellence in written and oral presentations for their respective research projects, each student was presented with a plaque.

Early Bird Registration Pricing Ends December 23 for MGIX 2017
Registration ends December 23 for the Midwest Green Industry Xperience (MGIX), taking place Jan. 16–18 in Columbus, Ohio. Formerly known as CENTS, MGIX takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and is hosted by the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association. The conference includes a tradeshow, education sessions, pre-conference workshops, and special events.

Colonial Gardens Announces Approval of Master Plan by the City of Blue Springs
Colonial Gardens has announced approval of its master plan and construction permits by the City of Blue Springs. The master plan outlines several improvements and construction phases for Colonial Gardens, which covers approximately 40 acres in Blue Springs and is aimed at growing the current nursery and garden center into an agritourism destination. Improvements include: building a cafe designed to serve fresh and local fare; creating an open-air space for hosting special events; building retail and event structures for shopping and educational opportunities; constructing a nature trail around the existing pond and planting a mixed-fruit orchard to allow visitors to pick their own fruit.

Ball to Acquire Majority of Share in Ex-Plant A/S
Ball Horticultural Company announced the acquisition of a majority of shares in Danish breeding company Ex-Plant A/S. Ex-Plant will become a part of Ball’s PanAmerican Seed division upon the close of this transaction, which is anticipated in January 2017. Current owner Carsten Leth will retain the remaining shares and will assume the new position of Global Business Manager-Pot Plants for PanAmerican Seed. The current Ex-Plant team located in Glamsbjerg, Denmark, will remain in place and will join the global PanAmerican Seed network of breeding locations in development of market leading product for the global ornamental horticulture market.