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The Wild, Out-of-YourComfort-Zone Adventure Every Student Should Pursue Tanner Douglas Cole

One of the requirements to graduate with a fouryear degree in horticulture from The Ohio State University is to complete a three-month internship in one’s field of interest. Like many things in life, I’m given a relatively simple task…and then promptly take it to an absurd level, and then double my response. My father wasn’t a huge fan of this tactic. For example, as a 10-year-old, I doubled the size of my garden and proceeded to fill it with purple potatoes and rainbow Swiss Chard. I think my father was a bit more proud when I decided to complete a six-month internship in Europe. Half was spent in the Netherlands, one of the great epicenters of horticulture and plant sciences. The other half was spent in Germany, a nation recognized as an industrial savant and export juggernaut.

…taught me how to adapt to shifting circumstances far out of my comfort zone… Both internships were organized by The Ohio Program (TOP), an international exchange program of The Ohio State University specializing in internships for students in the green industry. When I say I couldn’t have done it without The Ohio Program, I’m not attempting to be dramatic, I genuinely mean it. Understanding the bureaucracy, government policies (on both sides of the pond), more on page 10… Connect: An AmericanHort Member Benefit

Tanner Douglas Cole

What’s Inside: The Wild, Out-of-Your-Comfort-Zone Adventure Every Student Should Pursue 1 Do You Have a Showroom for Your Clients?


Precision Sprayer Technology Can Increase Application Accuracy, Reduce Chemical Waste


Cultivate: Bringing the Industry Together for More than 85 Years


Make the Most of Your Trade Show & Education Experience


Business Solutions Organized for Your Business Interests The AmericanHort Knowledge Center is your go-to-resource for information you and your employees need. Visit AmericanHort.org/Connect for more business-building solutions.


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The Showroom Our showroom is in the middle of our office space. There are 11 offices and a resource room on the outer edges of the showroom. All of our offices have containers and plants. We all know how important plants are in the workplace! Biophilia studies have shown you’ll have happier, healthier employees with plants around. The creative holiday department turned one of the corner offices into a Christmas showroom. This has been so helpful to show clients who simply cannot visualize designs or pieces. In our showroom our talented interior staff begins staging one-of-a-kind containers…some with birch, twigs, moss balls, adding in lighted green spheres, a fountain, a double-sided green wall, a moss wall, seating, and of course, plants. We also make space

for our conference area toward the end of the room. Our conference area is used for happy hours, training sessions, client meetings, and staff and company meetings – something we didn’t have in the old building and use almost daily. Our visiting clients can get a better understanding of what a container will look like in their space. It helps them to see size, height, and shape. They realize how creative they can be with containers and plants. Many times we take them into the greenhouse so they can actually see the plants we are suggesting they use or to help give them ideas. Our move into the new building was a big undertaking, but with all of our employees’ manpower with moving, cleaning, and some construction over several weeks, we are now settled in and enjoying our new place! Come by and see us if you are ever in town. Lynn Ott, Growing Green Inc lynn@growinggreen.com (314) 531-7920, ext. 332 growinggreen.com 800 Edwin St, St Louis, MO 63103

Do You Have a Showroom for Your Clients?


By Lynn Ott We had a contractor knock a hole in the wall of the lunchroom/kitchen to open up the space and make it feel larger. This really works well when we have functions in the showroom or conference area. The main wall of this space is painted “our” green to continue our branding along with three columns that run down the middle of what is our showroom.

Growing Green was bursting at the seams; office personnel were crowded in the space we had occupied for the last 35 years. We had three warehouse spaces for our holiday décor and containers. We wanted a larger, brighter greenhouse, a fabrication room that wasn’t down the street, and a showroom to host events and clients. We loved and owned our beautiful building in Midtown St. Louis, but we needed more room. We purchased a very cool art deco building built in 1953 not far from our previous location. We began to make our mark on the building by putting graphics on the entry doors and windows as you enter the foyer. We added graphics to the floor in this area, seating pieces, and two green walls that surround a mirror with the Growing Green logo.

We hired a very talented individual who does ironwork to come look at our green columns with the idea that we want these columns to give the impression of trees. She measured, went back to her shop, and later returned with amazing pieces that she secured around the green columns. These black “trees” are one of our accent colors. In this same space we have a black and grey graphic installed on a window which ties in nicely. We love the trees! She has since returned to make a table platform out of black iron with twiggy, viney legs to compliment the trees. These are truly works of art!

DAYS A YEAR Experience the confidence of being an AmericanHort member and take care of your business in these ways:

Guarantee Your Future

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AmericanHort is the national association for horticulture businesses across all segments. By being an AmericanHort member, businesses make the commitment to guarantee their future, develop their staff, make business connections, and protect their business. You can do the same and more with an AmericanHort membership. Join your colleagues from across the industry in advocating for and supporting its bright future. Learn more at AmericanHort.org/Join. Cultivating the industry for over 220 years.


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Precision Sprayer Technology Can Increase Application Accuracy, Reduce Chemical Waste

outdoor crops. “The sprayer that we are using now is set up for applications to trees,” Demaline said. “The next testing will look at using the technology with bed production of shrubs like holly, juniper or perennials. For smaller bed production of shrubs and perennials we wouldn’t use an air blast sprayer. It would be a different spray application system. When making applications to trees with current sprayers, there tends to be much more drift because the spray is up in the air and a larger area has to be covered. There tends to be more over-spraying with trees than with smaller plants where the spray is more focused toward the ground.”

By David Kuack

Horticultural Research Institute is funding research to develop sprayer technology that would allow growers of field and greenhouse crops to precisely target plants, eliminating chemical waste while protecting the environment. Tom Demaline, president of Willoway Nurseries in Avon, Ohio, is one of five growers in the United States testing a precision sprayer technology that is being developed with funding from the Horticultural Research Institute. Demaline is working with Dr. Heping Zhu, a research agricultural engineer at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Application Technology Research Unit, in Wooster, Ohio. Zhu is heading up the research team to develop the precision sprayer technology that uses laser scanners to determine the shape and size of the plants to be sprayed. “The test equipment we are using is on a conventional air blast sprayer,” Demaline said. “The technology uses a laser scanner to size up the plants and make the application to individual plants. The scanner makes thousands of detections per second to plants so that it is able to apply more precisely the spray to the plants. The scanner can see the gaps between the trees. If one tree is shorter, the sprayer is not spraying into the air above that tree. If there

Researchers at USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Ohio State University, Oregon State University and the University of Tennessee and commercial nurseries in those three states are cooperating to develop precision sprayer technology that is expected to be able to be used on outdoor and greenhouse ornamental and vegetable crops. Photo courtesy of Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort

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is a gap between the trees, it’s not spraying into the gaps. We’re minimizing the applications and the applications are focused on the target plants. It’s positive from both environmental and economic standpoints. The chemical is only being applied to the plants.”

A sprayer equipped with the precision sprayer technology does not spray what the laser scanner doesn’t see. The sprayer applies the chemical only when the scanner identifies a plant to be sprayed. Photo courtesy of Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort

Willoway Nurseries in Avon, Ohio, is using precision sprayer technology with a conventional sprayer set up for chemical applications to trees. The company will next be testing the sprayer technology on bed production of shrubs and perennials. Photo courtesy of Heping Zhu, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Potential Application to All Crops Zhu said conventional sprayers for ornamental nurseries frequently result in over-applications, wasted chemical and spray drift issues related to variations in plant canopy shapes and sizes. Field tests in commercial nurseries with prototype sprayers equipped with the sensor technology have been shown to reduce pesticide use by more than 50 percent, resulting in annual cost savings of approximately $230 per acre. “The laser scanning system sends out 43,200 points every second,” Zhu said. “We developed a computer program to convert bounce-back signals from these points to measure size, shape and foliage density of plants. The sprayer does not spray what the scanner doesn’t see, so there isn’t much waste occurring because the sprayer is applying the chemical only when the scanner identifies a plant to be sprayed. The tree structure determines how the spray application is made. “This technology can be used for existing sprayers to treat different size crops. The sprayers that are being field-tested in nurseries in Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee are for small and large, single- and multiple-row trees. We have tested the sprayers for three years in the field.”

Zhu said the next part of this research is to make the system adaptable to existing sprayers for different types of plants. He said the software has been developed to be able to program it to make different spray applications for various types of application equipment. The sprayers can be used to apply a variety of chemicals including fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators. “We are creating a universal control system that can be adapted to existing and future spray systems,” Zhu said. “Growers will not have to make changes to their equipment including the sprayer nozzles. Also, spray manufacturers can easily advance their new spray equipment with precision capabilities. We expect that this technology will also have application for use in greenhouse spray systems. This is a new research project that is being funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (http://nifa.usda.gov).”

Demaline said the new sprayer technology would definitely have application to greenhouse production. “I could see it being adapted for greenhouse production,” he said. One way this could be done is by spraying from a boom focusing on the canopy of the plants. “It should also have application to greenhouse vegetable production. I could see a sprayer rolling down aisles of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. It’s only going to spray where there are plants.”

Tom Demaline, president at Willoway Nurseries, said the precision sprayer technology might be adapted for greenhouse production using a spray boom to focus on the canopy of the plants.

Benefits of Precision Spraying

The second phase of the precision sprayer technology research is to use the technology to retrofit existing equipment allowing growers to use their current sprayer equipment. Photo courtesy of Heping Zhu, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Demaline, who operates 1,000 acres of outdoor production along with 30 acres of heated growing structures said the precision sprayer technology has the potential to be used on most indoor and

Demaline said he hasn’t seen any downside or negatives to the technology. “The spray applications using the new technology aren’t made any faster than the current applications,” he said. “It’s just a much more accurate application. The amount of chemical that we were mixing up to spray actually goes a lot further now. “There is nothing that has to be done differently in terms of applying the chemical. It’s applied according to the label directions. We’re minimizing our inputs and more precisely applying a targeted chemical to a targeted area.” Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president for industry advocacy and research at AmericanHort, said the collaboration between researchers at Agricultural Research Service, Ohio State University, Oregon State University and the University of Tennessee and commercial nurseries in those three states has enabled growers to see firsthand the benefits of the technology that has been developed. “Talking more on page 7… 2016:6 | 5

Precision Sprayer Technology Can Increase Application Accuracy, Reduce Chemical Waste…continued from page 5

AmericanHort Annual Meeting

Sunday, July 10, 2016 8:15 a.m. Battelle Hall during Cultivate’16

Cultivate’16: Bringing the Industry Together for More than 85 Years The best things in life tend to grow and develop organically— they succeed because they are good, authentic, real, and bring tangible value. Cultivate emulates this pattern. It started as “Short Course” in January 1930, spearheaded by Professor Alex Laurie. The program quickly outgrew its original space in The Ohio State University’s Home Economics Building (Campbell Hall), and in 1964, with a 50-booth trade show and attendance in the thousands, Short Course moved off campus to a downtown Columbus hotel. To spare you the details of more history, the full timeline can be read online at AmericanHort. org/Cultivate. The highlights include the year there were two Short Courses, a few more moves, record attendance of 10,499 horticulture professionals, and the momentous occasion in 2014 when Short Course became “Cultivate,” a fresh name for the industry’s bright future. Now the rest of the story is the people behind the scenes who have made this all happen over the past 85+ years. Every step of the way, there have been passionate people committed to bringing the industry together and encouraging businesses 6 | AmericanHort.org

to the growers in those states who are using the technology, they say it’s incredible,” Regelbrugge said. “They have so dramatically reduced their chemical applications. The basic research has been done and there is a commercial company now offering to commercialize the technology.

Cultivate wouldn’t be what it is without the passionate (and creative!) excitement and efforts of our volunteers. Pictured L-R: Doug Schuster, Superseed (Jared Barnes, PhD), and Will Green.

with continuing education, new information, networking, and enthusiasm. Cultivate’16 is brought to you by the staff of AmericanHort, a 22-person team that works tirelessly to make it all happen. Along with the disciplined dedication of core volunteers, input from all industry segments via the Community Connector groups, the guidance of the AmericanHort Board of Directors, and a zest to always make Cultivate better than the year before, the staff is planning next year’s Cultivate event before this year’s event even happens. There are vendors to contract, hotel blocks to book, themes to create, education to develop, and logistics to streamline. We can’t say it’s a walk in the park, but on Saturday morning of Cultivate when you ride down the escalators and are met with the breathtaking view of our industry at large...well, let’s just say that’s the moment where everything becomes worth it. Because at Cultivate, industry businesses find answers and reasons to keep doing what they do. That’s important, because at the heart of it all, our industry is plants and people. Our job is to connect the two, both internally and externally. Today, Cultivate boasts nearly 10,000 attendees a year, 600+ exhibitors, 130+ educational sessions, 95 expert speakers, breathtaking displays, 1000s of new plant varieties, thousands of new solutions and technologies, and moments of inspiration, realization, and motivation. It’s the industry’s home for horticulture—the one time a year where we can get together to boost each other up. Cultivate’16 is July 9–12 this year in Columbus, OH USA. Attendees come from every horticulture segment, across all fifty states, and over 20 countries. Activities include educational sessions, trade show exhibitors, no-pressure networking events, amazing displays, and more. To learn more and attend the event, please visit AmericanHort.org/Cultivate.

“The second phase of the research, which is really exciting, is to take the essence of the technology, the laser scanners and the computer programming, and to be able to retrofit existing equipment so growers are able to use their current sprayer equipment so they can experience these same benefits. Growers are really excited about the results and the potential of this technology.”

…probably the single most exciting example that I have seen in years of funding a project specifically for horticulture.

Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort Senior Vice President of Industry Advocacy & Research, can make a desk out of anything. The work doesn’t stop just because we’re out of the office and wearing shorts!

While staff spend the first week at the Convention Center in tshirts and jeans, when the event finally opens, we clean up alright! Pictured L-R is Margaret McGuire-Schoeff, Business Engagement & Event Director; Jennifer Noble, Knowledge & Professional Development Administrator; and Michelle Gaston, Learning Resource Specialist.

One of the things that Regelbrugge is excited about is the way the industry was able to leverage its funding sources to pay for the research. “The funding for the research in the initial stages was mostly ARS, with strong encouragement from HRI,” he said. “HRI in the current year has invested $50,000 to support the work, which is considerable for an industry grant. The research is also being funded through the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, which is our industry’s partnership with ARS. “It has also received funding through the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which is a U.S. Farm Bill program that we have supported in our advocacy efforts. For years the Farm Bill was focused on row crops and livestock and in recent years it has become more about specialty crops, including horticulture. This is probably the single most exciting example that I have seen in years of funding a project specifically for horticulture.”

David Kuack Freelance Technical Writer Ft Worth, TX dkuack@gmail.com For more: Heping Zhu, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Application Technology Research Unit; (330) 263-3871; heping.zhu@ars.usda.gov. Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries Inc.; (440) 934-4435; tdemaline@willowaynurseries.com; http://www.willowaynurseries.com. Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort, craigr@americanhort.org. Horticultural Research Institute, (614) 487-1155; jenniferg@americanhort.org; http://www.hriresearch.org.

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Make the Most of Your Trade Show & Education Experience Compiled by AmericanHort Staff It hardly seems possible, but Cultivate’16 is right around the corner, July 9–12 in Columbus, Ohio. Cultivate currently holds the ranking of number 132 on Trade Show News Network’s list of the top 250 trade shows (across all industries). With a trade show of this size and scope, this is a lot to see, so it’s important to make the most of your time.

Our favorite feature? Exporting the calendar you built directly to your calendar. This is especially handy in picking out your “must-attend” educational sessions and keeping track of them onsite.

Onsite Guide When you get to Cultivate don’t forget to pick up a printed onsite guide. This contains a listing of exhibitors as well as a map of the convention center, education sessions, and networking opportunities. Use the segment icons to easily find booths and/ or education sessions that correspond directly with your area of interest. It’s also a great reference guide after the event.


What’s the Key? Plan ahead! Maybe you have a list of can’t-miss exhibitors, a product or solution you are hoping to find, or maybe you just want to see it all. Regardless of your goal for Cultivate’16, taking a little time to plan will pay off in the long run.

To make your planning easy, take advantage of the online My Show Planner (through our vendor, Map Your Show). Simply provide your email address and password to set up a user account (cultivate16.org); then you can search for exhibitors, products, and education sessions. It’s easy to save exhibitors to your list, add private notes about them, ask for a meeting with them, and even share your “to visit” list (with your private planning notes staying private) with others on your team.

FF Get registered online at Cultivate16.org (Remember AmericanHort members get the best pricing for Cultivate’16 so if you haven’t renewed your membership, now is a great time to do so)


Here are our tips for a great trade show and education experience.

Your Cultivate’16 Checklist

FF Plan Your Time at Cultivate’16 using the My Show Planner

PRO TIP! If you are attending Cultivate’16 with multiple people from your company, plan how you will divide and conquer. Identify specific exhibitors that you each want to meet with or things you want to see. Be sure to take notes and share what you saw at the end of each day. Remember that sharing notes and discussing what you want to take back to your business is most effective when you do it daily.

FF Download our Cultivate’16 App Brought to You By AmericanHort


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Cultivate’16 App Plan Your Education Time There is so much education offered at Cultivate’16 that thoughtful advanced planning can help you and your team pinpoint the opportunities that will benefit your business the most. There are 4 jam-packed days of education with over 130 learning opportunities. Classroom learning combines with “beyond the classroom” learning to make Cultivate’16 a one-stop shop, no matter what your preferred learning style. Take advantage of the following: • • • • • • •

Traditional in-classroom learning Tours SHIFT-in-Action Experience Hands-on workshops Knowledge Center Live for Growers Keynote Presentations

A free Cultivate’16 App is available for both iPhone and Android. Our app gives you instant access to hours and schedules, can’t-miss events, session information, and handouts, plus the app allows you to link your My Show Planner to your mobile device.

AmericanHort Staff In your planning, you may find you have questions. Our team is dedicated to providing you the service and support you need. Get in touch! Whether inperson, on the phone, by email or mail, or online. We look forward to seeing you at Cultivate’16!

FF Pack layers and comfortable shoes— Even though it’s July, you may find some areas of the convention center or session rooms to be cool so make sure to have a sweater, light jacket or layers. You’ll also be on your feet walking the Solutions Marketplace so comfortable shoes are a must. FF Be sure to bring extra business cards. With networking activities, exhibitors to visit, and new connections to make, you will want to be prepared with plenty of business cards to share. FF Print Your Badge onsite—Badges can be printed onsite at the registration area located in the Connector. Badges are required to enter the event.


Don’t forget to add your selected programs to your My Show Planner.

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The Wild, Out-of-Your-Comfort-Zone Adventure Every Student Should Pursue… continued from page 1 and long-time relationships with sorting agencies like the Dutch Stichting Uitwisseling or German KrassGrün is genuinely invaluable. Located in Honselersdijk, the Netherlands, MDK Flowers and Greens is a cut flower and foliage company emphasizing high-tech automated processes to grow their array of tropical plants in a Northern European climate. My experience there was immensely educational covering the numerous factors that are involved with plant growth and development in an intensely controlled environmental system. This training focused heavily on the greenhouse as a tool for producing high-quality plants, and detailing fertilizer systems, irrigation systems, climate and ventilation systems, equipment maintenance, and the different techniques involved with each.

This portion of my internship also included a research project on the legendary Floraholland auction, a market and logistical behemoth with a stake in almost every aspect of the horticulture industry in Holland. In addition to my Floraholland tour and research, I participated in detailed tours of different companies ranging from exceptionally advanced orchid production facilities to Astilbe breeding operations, and a carbon-neutral sustainable greenhouse production facility which is only one of a handful in the entire world. Located outside the small village of Kevelaer, Germany, Gartenbau Elbers is a producer of potted plants transitioning from traditional methods into a more sustainable efficient business. There, my training emphasized logistical oversight, management techniques, and developing new methods to streamline ineffective company practices. This transition stage in the company’s life is parallel to what many American companies are experiencing right now. Without a doubt, the Netherlands is a shining example of what controlled environment horticulture CAN BE in its most advanced form, but many Dutch practices aren’t feasible or costeffective in other places around the world such as the United States or even Germany. 10 | AmericanHort.org

That’s why Gartenbau Elbers’ shift to contemporary methods is appropriate for someone like me who is returning to an American industry plagued by many of the same challenges. Challenges that range from rising fuel costs to rising labor costs to a consumer population more concerned about environmental stewardship than ever before.


On my off-times, I enjoyed a half dozen worldfamous gardens in England, 5,500-year old temple ruins In Malta, spectacular woodland fungi in Germany’s legendary forests, and singlehandedly bolstered Europe’s fantastic fermented beverage industry. In short, my personal travels and adventures were just as important as the internships themselves. The stated goals for these internships all focused on the production of plants and the supporting industries surrounding that production. Both internships certainly exceeded these goals. However, the most valuable experience these internships awarded me is completely unrelated to the biology or growth of plants. Instead, it has taught me how to adapt to shifting circumstances far out of my comfort zone and how to work with a diverse labor force.


Over the course of six months, I worked with an incredibly diverse array of individuals: a flamboyant Slovakian man, a fiercely independent Swiss woman, two fascinating people from Ghana, Dutch citizens ranging from placid high-school guys to sassy grandmothers, absurdly hard-working Poles, delightfully industrious Germans, and a cadre of Romanian men as mischievous as they were productive. Living, working, and interacting with these individuals has had a profoundly positive effect on me both professionally and personally. Sharing my life with people that represent vastly different cultures and countless different perspectives has allowed me to approach any situation with a newfound openness and with an equally open arsenal of problem-solving techniques. Embarking on such a wild, out-of-my-comfort-zone adventure was, and will likely remain, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Tanner Douglas Cole The Ohio State University Sustainable Plant Systems–Horticulture cole.676@buckeyemail.osu.edu To learn more about The Ohio Program, visit OhioProgram.org or email top@osu.edu.

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Š 2016 AmericanHort. All rights reserved. This material may contain confidential information and it is for the sole use of AmericanHort members. The information contained herein is for general guidance and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It cannot be distributed, reprinted, retransmitted, or otherwise made public without prior written permission by AmericanHort. Please contact the editor at (614) 487-1117 for permission with acknowledgment.

Editorial Staff Michelle Gaston Laura Kunkle, Editor Jen Noble Gina Zirkle

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