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Western n Edition

Section One of One

GROWER

March 2012 Volume e6 Number r4

$2.50

Serving All Aspects of Commercial Horticulture

Greenhouse • Nursery • Garden Center • Fruit & Vegetable • Farm Markets • Landscapers • Christmas

Eisley Nursery

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Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association presents scholastic awards ~ page 3

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . 20 Direct Marketing . . . . 10 Landscape. . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Melissa Piper Nelson

Today’s Marketing . . . . . 5

Page 2


Page 2 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Eisley Nursery celebrating 80 years in business by Kelly Gates This fall, Eisley Nursery of Auburn, CA, will celebrate 80 years in business. While the nursery was initially managed by both Henry and Lila Eisley, it was Lila who was responsible for founding the company. According to Lila’s granddaughter, Earlene Eisley-Freeman, in 1932, there were laws that prohibited someone like Henry from forming a business. “My grandfather was a postal carrier, delivering mail by horse and buggy and there was a law that anyone with a federal job could not have a personal business,” explained Earlene, current coowner of Eisley Nursery. “So, my grandmother started Eisley Nursery herself. She planted a bunch of flowers in her front yard and sold them to people who traveled along the major thoroughfare just beyond the yard.” Many of Lila’s early customers were gold miners. They frequently traveled to Sacramento to trade gold for goods and on their way home, they stopped by to buy boxes filled with pansies cut from the Eisley’s flower beds. Over time, the couple passed the family business on to their sons Earl and Harvey. Earl — now 81 years old — and his four children, James, Susan, William and Earlene, run the growing operation today. “We have other family members who work here too, including my brotherin-law John, his daughter April, William’s sons Hank and Cliff, my daughters Phoebe and Angelina and our step-mom,” noted Earlene. “We also employ around 40 year round employees. During peak season, we have 80 people or more on staff.” Eisley Nursery is no longer just a small flower bed in a front yard. There is a wholesale division and a retail division and the nursery sells a long list of products ranging from annuals, perennials and containerized plant material to shrubs, trees, hard goods and even a new line of canning supplies. Earlene decided to add canning items to the mix as the number of customers buying vegetable plants increased in

recent years. This trend, she said, is still on the rise. “With the economy struggling, sales of vegetable plants have gone way up,” she explained. “We had so many people coming to us for vegetable plants for home gardens that I decided to start carrying canning supplies. I’m also going to take a Master Food Preservers course personally so I can teach customers how to safely can their vegetables.” The preservation products will be the perfect pairing with the wide array of vegetables shoppers can get at Eisley Nursery. The company grows and sells 100 varieties of hybrid and heirloom tomatoes alone-the best selection in the region. Peppers are another popular item, with varieties running the gamut from mercifully mild to hot, hot habaneros. The nursery also has its own brand called “Eisley wax peppers.” The rest of the repertoire includes standard veggies such as eggplants, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers, among many others. “We grow all of our vegetables from seed in our 45 greenhouses,” said Earlene. They are later transplanted up from seed flats to pony flats, jumbo flats, 4-inch pots or 1-gallon containers. We even sell some 5-gallon tomatoes later in the season for $20 per pot.” For customers wanting to beautify their landscapes, there are plenty of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees to choose from. Eisley Nursery also stocks hanging baskets and mixed containers as well, plus a host of fertilizers, soils and mulches, decorative products and gifts. Classes and seminars are offered nearly every month out on the paved patio in front of the retail shop. Some of the courses are so popular that they have to be split up to accommodate the overwhelming response. “Our dad hosts a vegetable clinic in March that draws so many people, we’ve had to start offering a morning and evening class one weekend and another set of morning and evening

An old family photo of Lila and Henry Eisley with their children, Harvey and Earl. Photo courtesy of John Mackey Photography Auburn California

Eisley employee Heather Lucas (right) helps a customer with her nursery purchases. Photo by Bruce Button

classes the following weekend each year,” said Earlene. “Hundreds of people attend that class. People also crowd the place for our January rose pruning and fruit tree pruning seminars.” When it rains, the nursery’s warehouse is used as a makeshift classroom. Often, additional space needs to be cleared to make room for the masses. Local customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the company’s offerings. The nursery also supplies independent garden centers throughout the Golden State and in some parts of Nevada, extending its reach way beyond the Auburn area. A fleet of delivery trucks is on hand to take shipments as far north as the California and Oregon border and

south to Modesto, with drop-off points nearly everywhere between. This well-rounded business setup works well for the current management team at Eisley Nursery. And if the next generation of Eisleys have anything to do with it, the nursery will continue on this way well into the future. “We don’t have plans to expand any time soon. Other than adding a few new products and developing our marketing outreach through Facebook and other social media outlets, the company will stay much the same for the foreseeable future,” Earlene told Country Folks Grower. “Our main goal is to keep offering a diverse product mix and the best customer service possible, which is what has enabled us to thrive up to this point.”

Earl Eisley and his four children run the operation. Photo by John Mackey Photography Auburn California


IINLA presents scholastic awards, Gold Medal for achievement and elects members to Board of Directors College of Southern Idaho with plans to one day own and operate a greenhouse and help to educate young people on all aspects of plant growing. 2012 Board of Directors elected Also, during the Idaho Horticulture Expo, INLA members elected their 2012 Board of Directors. The following officers were installed: President Aaron McCracken, Sunnyside Gardens, Idaho Falls; President-elect Debbie Hepworth, Olsen’s Greenhouse, Meridian; First Vice President Tami Plank, Moss Greenhouses, Jerome. Southwest Chapter Directors: Joe Gruber, The Lawn Company, Boise; and Brian Winn, Jayker Wholesale Nursery. Southeast Idaho Directors: Jon Wilkes, Branching Out, Bellevue. North Chapter Director: Kevin Merrifield, Clifty View Nursery, Bonners Ferry; Cindi Kimball, Moose Valley Farms, Naples; and Stephen Acker, Circle D Farms, Sandpoint. Certifications awarded The Idaho Nursery & Landscape Associations’ certi-

Hans Borbonus, owner of Cloverdale Nursery in Boise, Idaho, receives the 2012 Gold Medal of Horticulture from Franz Witte. Photos courtesy of Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association fication programs recognize individuals as a trained professional with skills, knowledge and expertise in the horticulture industry. During the

The INLA Board of Directors are, left to right, front row, Bob Reggear, past-president, Reggear Tree Farm, Craigmont, ID; Cindi Kimball, Moose Valley Farms, Naples, ID; Tami Plank, first vice president, Moss Greenhouses, Jerome, ID; Brian Winn, Jayker Wholesale Nurseries, Meridian, ID; and Debbie Hepworth, president-elect, Olson's Greenhouse, Boise, ID. In back are Jon Wilkes, Branching Out, Bellevue, ID; Matt Wolff, most current past-president, Baxter Nursery, Emmett, ID; Stephen Acker, Circle D Farms Sales Inc, Bonners Ferry, ID; Joe Gruber, Lawn Co, Boise, ID; and Kevin Merrifield, Clifty View Nursery, Bonners Ferry, ID. Absent from the photo is current President Aaron McCracken, Sunnyside Gardens, Idaho Falls, ID.

2012 Idaho Horticulture Expo, people showed their commitment to professional excellence by taking exams. The Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) exam includes two parts; written examination and plant identification. The written portion consists of 200 questions based on the principles and practices of all aspects of the nursery industry. The plant identification portion has 50 plants that are selected and the genus, species, cultivar and common name are to be identified. Michael Haas, Emmett, Idaho, was certified as a CNP. Certified in Irrigation was Brian Sperry, Power Enterprises, Nampa, Idaho. The Certified Plant Diagnostician (CPD) exam is a written examination consisting of questions all relating to diagnosing plant problems including (but not limited to) proper identification of the insect, disease, or herbicide that may have caused the damage. Earning his CPD is Mike Bauer, University of Idaho Bonner County Extension, Sagle, Idaho. Gold Medal of Horticulture presented Hans Borbonus, owner of Cloverdale Nursery in Boise, Idaho was awarded the 2012 Gold Medal of Horticulture.

The Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association presents the Gold Medal of Horticulture to deserving individuals who, in their lifetime, have generously and selflessly contributed to Idaho’s horticulture industry. Hans Borbonus has spent more than 50 in the horticulture industry; in fact nearly his whole life has been devoted to his craft. He ushered in the Art of Landscape for Boise and many other places in the state; no longer could it be just a tree or two and some grass. His is a truly an American Story. Born in Germany before World War II, he immigrated to this country in his mid 20s, became an American citizen and with hard work and a little luck along the way has seen the success we all believe is possible in this country. What we call “The American Dream.” Hans came to Boise in 1959 and started doing lawn and garden maintenance upon his arrival; with his two brothers for a time. In the mid 60s, he moved to the current Cloverdale Nursery location, which is now about 80 acres. Soon after he started the first sod farm in the Intermountain west, possibly the entire Northwest.

For more photos from Idaho Horticulture Expo please see Page 14

Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 3

The Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association (INLA) presented scholastic awards to five students at the annual Idaho Horticulture Expo held in Boise, ID. These outstanding students were chosen for their scholastic record, need and their ability and sincerity in pursuing employment in the nursery industry in Idaho. Each student received a check for $750. The award winners are: • Rachel Gerlach, from Boise, currently attending the College of Western Idaho to obtain her associate’s degree in horticulture technology. • Micah Wood, from Rigby, currently attending BYUIdaho, with plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture design build. • Ashley Barkow, from Idaho Falls, currently attending BYU-Idaho and studying arboriculture. • Ismael Ruelas, from Shelly, currently attending BYU-Idaho with the intention of graduating from the Horticulture department and then pursuing a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. • Heather Smith, from Twin Falls, currently attending the


Choosing a sprayer can be a daunting task by Jon M. Casey When Randy Phillips of Cave Ridge Vineyard looked into buying a sprayer for his Shenandoah Valley vineyard, he relied on the recommendations of others in the industry that he knew and trusted. That makes perfect sense. He was able to call upon them for specific information to help him make his own, personal decision based upon his specific needs, at his specific location, with all his vineyard's specific variables that accompany a decision of this kind. However, that might not always the

case with every grower, when it comes to choosing the right sprayer for the job. So, how does a person go about choosing the right sprayer for their vineyard? Well, after several discussions with knowledgeable people in the industry and with a “touch” of research thrown into the mix, I determined it takes a lot of thoughtful inquiry and an understanding of what is important if you are going to get the “right one for you!” For example, in a book entitled: “Effective Vineyard Spraying-A Practical Guide for

The Jacto Arbus 400 is a versital Airblast Sprayer that is useful in numerous growing situations. Here, the grower is spraying an apple crop. Growers,” by Dr. Andrew J. Landers, the writer

Page 4 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Photo photo by Bruce Button Clifford Eisley, in charge of the 'Dirt Crew' at Eisley Nursery and Terry Lynott, who works in the retail division, look over the primrose crop.

Country Folks The Monthly Newspaper for Greenhouses, Nurseries, Fruit & Vegetable Growers (518) 673-3237 • Fax # (518) 673-2381 (ISSN # 1065-1756) U.S.P.S. 008885 Country Folks Grower is published monthly by Lee Publications, P.O. Box 121, 6113 St. Hwy. 5, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428. Periodical postage paid at Palatine Bridge, NY 13428. Subscription Price: $22. per year. Canada $55 per year. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Country Folks Grower, P.O. Box 121, Subscription Dept., Palatine Bridge, NY 13428-0121. Publisher, President..................................Frederick W. Lee V.P., General Manager ....................Bruce Button, 518-673-0104 ....................bbutton@leepub.com V.P., Production ................................Mark W. Lee, 518-673-0132 .........................mlee@leepub.com Comptroller .....................................Robert Moyer, 518-673-0148 ....................bmoyer@leepub.com Production Coordinator ................Jessica Mackay, 518-673-0137 ..................jmackay@leepub.com Editor ...........................................Joan Kark-Wren, 518-673-0141 ...............jkarkwren@leepub.com Page Composition .........................Allison Swartz, 518-673-0139 ....................aswartz@leepub.com Classified Ad Manager ...................Peggy Patrei, 518-673-0111 ...................classified@leepub.com Shop Foreman ..........................................Harry DeLong

Palatine Bridge, Front desk ................................ ....................................518-673-0160 Accounting/Billing Office ...............518-673-0149 .....................amoyer@leepub.com Subscriptions ..................................888-596-5329 ..........subscriptions@leepub.com Web Site:................................................................ .............................www.leepub.com Send all correspondence to: PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 Fax (518) 673-2699 Editorial email: jkarkwren@leepub.com Advertising email: jmackay@leepub.com

AD SALES REPRESENTATIVES Bruce Button, Ad Sales Mgr . . . . . . . bbutton@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . .800-218-5586, ext. 104 Dan Wren, Grower Sales Mgr . . . . . . . .dwren@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 117 Jan Andrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jandrews@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 110 Dave Dornburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ddornburgh@leepub.com. . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 109 Laura Clary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lclary@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-218-5586, ext. 118 Steve Heiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sheiser@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 107 Tina Krieger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tkrieger@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 108 Ian Hitchener . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ihitchener@leepub.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802-222-5726 Kegley Baumgardner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . kegleyb@va.net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 540-255-9112 Wanda Luck / North Carolina . . . . . . . . . .luck@triad.rr.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336-416-6198 (cell) Mark Sheldon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . marksh500@yahoo.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 814-587-2519 Sue Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .suethomas@nycap.rr.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 949-305-7447

Lee Publications 6113 State Hwy. 5, PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 We cannot GUARANTEE the return of photographs. Publisher not responsible for typographical errors. Size, style of type and locations of advertisements are left to the discretion of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. We will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The publisher reserves the sole right to edit, revise or reject any and all advertising with or without cause being assigned which in his judgement is unwholesome or contrary to the interest of this publication. We assume no financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisement, but if at fault, will reprint that portion of the ad in which the error appears.

suggests there are, “Many interrelated factors resulting in Effective Vineyard Spraying.” I must say, that is an understatement! In his book, Landers, a professor at Cornell University, addresses these issues by identifying the “spraying target” an objective that includes grape variety, growth stage, crop conditions, canopy architecture, block size, row width, penetration, deposition, acceptable coverage, acceptable disease and insect threshold. Added to that, he elaborates on other factors, which include but are not limited to: productivity, time available, work rate, efficacy, drift potential, spraying system, spray (formulation, etc.), sprayer capacity, operator (skill and training), financial factors, safety, management, weather, and environmental concerns and sustainability. And, that's just for starters, since this is but a partial list of considerations posted inside the front cover of this 260-plus page book! May I suggest that the readers do their due diligence when it comes to selecting the right sprayer for their own operations because it is clearly a matter of personal preference based on the needs that each grower finds most important to them. With that in mind, I'd like to share a few of the products that are currently available. While this list is short and fairly concise, the people with whom I was able to gather information on how to select the right sprayer for the job, were all understanding about

how growers select their equipment. Each person expressed a primary interest in developing a relationship with their clients that would offer the customer the most in cost effectiveness, thorough and reliable service, as well as after-the-sale help that owners are looking for when it comes to caring for the equipment once it is out of the warehouse and onto the farm. Roger Swihart, owner of Swihart Sales Co. of Quinter, KS, said his company has worked with growers to help provide an economical, yet efficient sprayer that is compact and easy to use. The company's “Little Hercules” brand of sprayers features a squirrel cage fan for creating the air volume necessary to do the job. He said that by using this method of air production, it allows for individual units to be smaller, and easier to use, while not sacrificing air velocity and canopy penetration. Swihart owns Spray Innovations, the manufacturer of his line of sprayers, available in PTO driven and engine driven models. He said customers can select the model that best meets their needs. He offers units that can be transported via pickup truck or ATV or mounted on a trailer behind a vehicle of choice. The Little Hercules line is a smaller version of the larger sized, Spray Innovations units. Steve White, of Jacto Inc., Tualatin, OR, agreed with the other vendors, by saying that the customer needs to find the right sprayer for that individual's personal needs. He said his company's sprayer line, is manufac-

tured in Brazil. As an emerging nation when it comes to growing fruit and produce, Brazilian agriculture has created the need for a unit that requires less horsepower to operate. He said that the Jacto line of sprayers is ideal for the grower that has a low horsepower tractor, one who is looking for a sprayer that operates at these lower power levels. “We have 2 models that operate at 20HP with most of the units in the 30HP and up range,” he said. White noted that for the growers who are just beginning grape growing and are looking to start small, the Jacto lineup of sprayers is ideal for the smaller to mid-sized grower. He said that he enjoys helping the new grower who is looking for technical help and needs some training. While chemical labels give the application rates, he said they don't offer the kind of information on how to read the label that helps the grower to keep their spray on target. He said his company offers a proprietary Microsoft Excel spreadsheet calculator that aids the customer in how to mix their material and calibrate their sprayers so that they can have optimum application. “This really helps to make application easy,” he concluded. For more information on the aforementioned sprayers and resources, contact them at: Dr. Andrew J. Landers at www.EffectiveSpraying.co m; Roger Swihart Swihart Sales Co. at swiharts@ruraltel.net or at 785-754-3513; and Steve White Jacto at swhite@jacto.com or at 931-205-3957.

The “Little Hercules” can be outfitted as a leaf blower for increased capabilities.


Today’s Marketing Objectives By: Melissa Piper Nelson Farm News Service News and views on agricultural marketing techniques. Called to an accounting Laura Ingalls Wilder, the famous author of the book and series Little House on the Prairie, wrote an article from her farm in January 1918 entitled “Make a New Beginning.” In it she outlined justifications for a yearly accounting. While she hurried to mention that she did not herself make resolutions on New Year’s Day just because it was the first day of the year, she did encourage read-

ers to review past efforts to see if they had advanced forward in their plans, or fallen back. She and her husband once decided to compare accounting records for one year between their two separate farm operations — her poultry income and his dairy business. At the time of the accounting, they were surprised with the outcome — they had equaled out in profitability. (Her husband had predicted a much

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have taken, blogs posted, reports written, journals kept, customer newsletters developed and social media blasts sent. All are reminders of what was accomplished (profitably, or not) over the past year. I’ve worked with farmers who kept all accounting records in a file until the tax season reared its head and then re-created a year’s worth of computer records in a couple of “all nighters” sessions. Other producers are strictly regimented about more consistent accounting so they see the patterns of good business options and where changes must be made on a more fluid basis. Whatever your business dictates and your time allows, Laura In-

galls Wilder was reminding her readers that for a number of financial and philosophical reasons, bringing oneself to an accounting is as important as any New Year’s resolutions. “Besides the help in a business way, there are a great many interesting things that can be gotten out of farm accounts if they are rightly kept,” said Mrs. Wilder. Sage advice indeed, Mrs. Wilder! The above information is from the book, Little House in the Ozarks, The Rediscovered Writings. The information provided is intended for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.

Farmers may be more organic than people think by Lynne Finnerty Ever heard of the hype cycle? Created by Internet consulting firm Gartner, Inc., the theory goes like this. New technology goes through a cycle, including a “technology trigger” phase, in which it generates excitement and press coverage; a “peak of inflated expectations” phase, in which the hype leads to unrealistic expectations; a “trough of disillusionment” phase, in which the technology fails to meet expectations; followed by a “slope of enlightenment” phase, in

which the hype has subsided but some businesses continue to use the technology for its actual benefits; and, finally, the “plateau of productivity” phase, in which the practical benefits become accepted as part of normal business. For example, “cloud computing,” the use of computer programs and data storage over the Internet, has been a subject of media buzz. It’s supposed to save businesses money on computer software they won’t need to buy if they can get the same services at no or low cost via the Web. Gartner says cloud computing is coming to the end of the “peak of inflated expectations” and is headed toward the “trough of disillusionment.” Recent news stories have pointed out that information entered into a Web-based service could be compromised. Of course, people will continue using cloud computing, just with their expectations less in the clouds. What does all of this have to do with farmers? The hype cycle is an interesting way to look at what’s happening with organic agriculture. Organic food has been the darling of

the news media, with stories about how it was going to save everything from small farms to the planet. Then some organic food companies got big and some already big companies, seeing consumers’ willingness to pay premium prices for organics, jumped on the bandwagon. Some of the same people who were early fans of organic food tend not to be fans of big companies, so they started wondering if buying local was more important than buying organic. Then, the recession hit and the growth in organic food sales continued but slowed. Organic milk sales dropped. However, some organic practices have practical benefits and farmers across the agricultural spectrum are adopting them. For example, specialty potato grower Brendon Rockey of Colorado has started growing “green manure” crops to build up his soil quality to the point where he doesn’t need commercial fertilizers or pesticides. He considers himself a hybrid of or-

ganic and conventional farming. Jay Yankey, a Virginia fruit, vegetable, corn and soybean grower, uses beneficial insects to control pests and cover crops to prevent erosion, as well as no-till farming to retain soil moisture and nutrients. But Yankey also uses pesticides. He says farmers use the practices that work for them and more organic practices are becoming the norm. That sounds like the “slope of enlightenment,” which means the “plateau of productivity,” in which farmers use a mix of methods and modern technologies to achieve all of their goals — maximizing yields, reducing costs, satisfying consumer expectations, caring for the land and meeting growing food demand — with less division between those who wear this or that label, might be around the corner. That’s good news for all of us. Lynne Finnerty is the editor of FBNews, the official newspaper of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

FOCUS ON AGRICULTURE American Farm Bureau Federation

Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 5

PLASTIC MULCH

greater profit from his dairy operation.) Not only did Mrs. Wilder encourage good accounting skills for the farm or agribusiness operation, but asked her neighbor farmers to use the process to discover all they had accomplished throughout the past year. Her conclusion tendered that to acknowledge accomplishments brought extra effort to current business operations — a push forward toward success. Accounting today is much more sophisticated than the author’s

1918 ledger books, but her advice is sound nearly a century later, and comes with her added caution that if we do not see improvement, “…it is time to take a new path.” The beginning of a new year is past and we are on toward spring and a new season of planting and production. If you have not taken the time to bring yourself to an accounting (and the approaching tax season is a good reason to) then maybe now is the time to see which path you have been on and where you may want to go in the future. If you think pouring over your modern day computer ledger is boring, you might take stock of your operation through the photos you


Page 6 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Planting seeds to help the specialty crop industry grow by Trista Etzig, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Project Manager When it comes to supporting the American agricultural economy and its communities, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is all in. Here at AMS, we have several grant programs that producers and other organizations can utilize to help increase the competitiveness of their businesses. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is a unique partnership administered with the help of state departments of agriculture. Encouraging collaboration with schools and other local organizations to help promote specialty crops, it provides states funds to support creative projects. These grants are investments that will help sustain the livelihood of

American specialty crop farmers and increase community access to fresh fruits and vegetables Often these investments are made to help beginning and transitioning specialty crop farmers get on their feet. In 2009, the California Department of Food and Agriculture worked with California FarmLink to offer business planning and succession planning services to underserved farmers in the state. With the help of one of our grants, the organization was able to provide a series of workshops and networking sessions for nearly 900 participants, planting seeds for their future success. We enjoy working with states like California to help support specialty crop farmers. Last year, we invested in 55 spe-

cialty crop block grants that funded 740 initiatives across the country including the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We hope that you are as excited as we are about the upcoming 2012 grant year and that you are anxiously waiting to submit your applications. Proposals for the 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant funds will be accepted until July 11. Before you submit your application, we encourage you to visit our site to familiarize yourself with the grant rules and procedures as well as look at some previous projects. Source: USDA Blog, http://blogs.usda.gov/ , Feb. 8, 1:15 p.m.

Blueberries blossom at Spiller Farm in Wells, Maine. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will support blueberry and other specialty crop growers in California and the rest of the U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo by henskechristine

NORCAL announces 2012 member meeting NORCAL, the California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers, the non-profit trade association representing the needs and interest of the floral industry in California, has announced its 2012 Member Meeting. NORCAL invites all members of the association to join them to discuss the current climate of the California floral industry. NORCAL places great value in the participation of its members in these important meetings. To encourage the greatest turnout possible, this year, NORCAL will bring the meeting to the members. For the first time the state will be divided into three major growing re-

gions, North Central California, South Central California and Southern California. Each of these regional meetings will focus on topics that affect those areas specifically, with additional emphasis placed on issues that concern the California floral industry as a whole. NORCAL has collaborated with three hotel properties along the beautiful California coast. The dates and locations of the 2012 Member Meetings are as follows: • North Central California — Wednesday, August 15 — Monterey Hyatt, Monterey, CA; • South Central California — Tuesday, August 21 — Fess Parker

Double Tree Resort, Santa Barbara, CA; and • Southern California — Wednesday, August 22 — Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, CA. The Monterey Hyatt, Fess Parker Double Tree Resort and Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa afford NORCAL the unique opportunity to have all components of the 2012 Member Meeting under one roof with locations more convenient to the vast majority of the membership. NORCAL has negotiated the best possible rates at each of these hotels and will provide meals and beverages

for the duration of the meeting to assist in making attendance an affordable experience. “Our member meetings are so important for the health and longevity of our industry. By providing a setting that is more accessible to all of our members we can get up close and personal with the issues every grower, shipper, wholesaler and associate experience and then use what we learn to put resolution into action,” said NORCAL President Pat Mullen of Mayesh Wholesale Florist. NORCAL’s goal is to hold meetings that promote healthy, inspiring

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Future is bullish for Ag graduates by Karen Ross, California Agriculture Secretary My e-mail inbox lit up last week after Yahoo! published a story claiming that college degrees in agriculture are useless. It certainly is a counterintuitive statement. Across our country, farming is hotter than ever. Agricultural exports broke records in 2011 and demand for local production of food made available through farmers’ markets and other venues is an exciting trend that I firmly believe is here to stay. The view from here shows a dramatic increase in farming-related job opportunities, and that’s much more than young people on the farm. There are roughly 300 different kinds of careers in the food industry. It takes a lot of hands to grow, package, distribute and serve food to hungry consumers here and around the world. Many of the

available jobs are unfilled because, as technology advances, there is a corresponding need for science and technical educational programs. The foundation to meet that demand must be built at the high school level and then extended into colleges and universities. Some of our best minds are working right now to address this issue. Agriculture needs young minds now more than ever. In the meantime, as the Washington Post reported recently, Ag graduates are finding jobs. The Post referenced a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce showing that Ag graduates were among the most employable coming out of college. So that Ag degree is very useful, and graduates will be highly sought-after well into the future. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.

Capitol Comments: Farmland assessments rise again rate. It is multiplied by a soil productivity factor, which varies from about 0.5 to 1.3, based on soil type. Some acreage is adjusted by an influence factor, a percentage reduction that accounts for factors such as frequent flooding. The result is the assessed value of farmland. That assessment times the property tax rate, less any credits, is the tax bill. The base rate is adjusted each year with a formula. The DLGF offers the details on its

website, at www.in.gov/dlgf/7016. htm. It’s complicated, but three of its features tell the story. First, it’s a capitalization formula. It divides the estimated net income earned from a farm acre by an interest rate to get the amount that a “rational” investor would pay for that acre. For example, in 2008 the DLGF estimated that a landowner renting the acre, or an operator growing corn or beans, could earn an average of $165. The

Chicago Federal Reserve reported several farm-related interest rates that averaged 6.56 percent. Divide the earnings by the interest rate and (after some rounding) the result is $2,508. Now imagine an auction for an acre that earns $165. The first bid is $1,000. Earnings of $165 on an investment of $1,000 give a rate of return of 16.50 percent. That’s a really great deal, because our rational investors get a rate of return of only

6.56 percent on other investments. They bid more, say $2,000. That’s a rate of return of 8.25 percent, still a good deal. At a bid of $2,508, the rate of return is no better or worse than other investments. A rational investor would not bid more. The second important feature of the base rate formula is that it’s a sixyear rolling average. For taxes in 2011, capitalization results from 2002-2007 were averaged together. For 2012, the years are 20032008. The base rate changed because the results for 2002 were dropped, and the results for 2008 were entered. Back in 2002, corn and bean prices were pretty low, and the net income estimate was only $63. The interest rate was higher — 7.02 percent — so the capitalization result was only $890. That low number was dropped from the average for 2012 taxes. Here’s where a new quirk in the formula comes in. The DLGF drops the highest value of the six from the average. The General Assembly changed the formula for 2011 taxes, to make the increases in the base rate a little smaller. For 2011 taxes, they dropped the highest value of $1,927 from 2007 data. The

2008 value is higher, so now it is dropped, and the 2007 figure enters the average. For 2012 taxes, the base rate average dropped the value $890 and added the value $1,927. The base rate increased from $1,290 to $1,500. Without dropping the highest value, the base rate for 2012 taxes would have been $1,670. The calculation change reduced the base rate by about 10 percent. The third important feature of the formula is the four-year lag. The DLGF used data from 2004-2009 for the 2013 calculation of $1,630. We know the data for 2010 and most of the numbers for 2011. That means we can project what will happen to the base rate for 2014 and 2015. Commodity prices have remained high and interest rates have remained low. So for taxes in 2014, the base rate will be about $1,760. For taxes in 2015, the base rate will be about $2,030. The six-year average and the four-year lag have another implication. The expected high prices and low interest rates in 2012 will first enter the formula for taxes in 2016 and will remain in the formula for six years, dropping out in 2022. The base rate is likely to increase and remain high for a long, long time.

Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 7

by Larry DeBoer, professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University Here comes this column topic again: Property taxes on farmland are increasing. The base rate for the assessment of an acre of farmland was $1,290 for taxes in 2011. It will be $1,500 per acre for taxes in 2012. And Indiana’s Department of Local Government Finance has announced the base rate will be $1,630 for taxes in 2013. Farmland is assessed starting with this base


Keep the customer you already have

Page 8 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Retaining your existing customer base is one key to the longterm growth and success of your business. “It is crucial that the business owners think not just short term, or what did customer X buy from me today,” says Glenn Muske, rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist for the North Dakota State University Extension Service. “Instead, every customer should be viewed from the perspective of how much he or she will buy from me in the next five, 10 or 20 years.” Think of your

customers’ long-term value to your business. Doing so generates a completely different mindset of your customer base. The customer who purchases $10 a week is a $520 customer for the year and a $5,200 customer in a 10-year period. When including what customers buy and the respective profit generated in the long term, a customer with relatively small purchases becomes a big contributor to your success. In most cases retaining an existing customer is far less expensive than

attracting a new one. Plus, one satisfied customer is likely to bring another and then another , which helps you continue to grow. Word of mouth is the most effective and least costly means of advertising your business. And with the growth of social marketing it is easier than ever to create opportunities for your loyal customers to share their thoughts with others. “If you remember the penny-candy days, the candy itself made a small profit, but the profit was continuous,” says Muske. “It also

brought moms, dads, grandfathers and grandmothers into the store as well, not just to buy the candy, but to shop and buy other things.” Here are some tips on how to retain customers: • Know who is coming in, what they are buying and what their purchase adds to your bottom line.Use that data to learn how you can help your customers find ways to do their work better, more effectively and, maybe, at a more affordable price. Giving them a little price break today may

mean more business for you in the long term. • Find ways to surprise your loyal customers. It might be just listening. It might be a special program. It might be carrying a certain product. Everyone responds to something different. Determining what works for your business takes time but is worth your effort in long-term success. • Build a foundation of trust. The old saying of “underpromise and overdeliver” never fails. • Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Understand their pressures and opportuni-

ties. Today we find that American consumer buying patterns have slowed. As the economy improves, consumers will remember those who listened to them. “Customer service should focus on the five basic expectations of customer services: rapport, recognition, reliability, responsiveness and resolution,” Muske says. “Remember that developing a solid customer base takes time. Set your goals, know how you are going to get to those goals and be patient.” Source: www.extension.org

USDA to conduct annual floriculture survey From mid-February through March, representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will collect data from 6,300 floriculture operations in 15 states for the 2011 Commercial Floriculture Survey. This survey is the only comprehensive annual measure of U.S. floriculture production. “The Commercial Floriculture Survey provides growers the opportunity to serve as the

frontline source of data on floriculture production,” said Barbara Rater, director of the NASS Maryland Field Office. “This vital information will help identify state and national trends in areas such as new product development and changing production practices so that growers can make vital business decisions and evaluate the results of the growing season,” Rater added. All commercial floriculture growers that

produced and sold at least $10,000 of target floriculture crops at retail or wholesale in 2011 will be asked to provide information on production, sales of floriculture commodities and the number of agricultural workers in their operation. Growers’ participation in this survey helps ensure that NASS will be able to provide timely, accurate and unbiased information on floriculture production. “The

data supplied by Maryland growers will serve as the foundation for measuring the economic contribution of the industry to U.S. agriculture and the country,” Rater explained. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is

confidential by law. Facts about an individual’s operation are used only in summation with reports from other producers in order to generate statistics for Maryland, other states and the nation. NASS safeguards the privacy of all survey responses

and no individual operation or producer can be identified. Survey responses will be complied and published in NASS’s Floriculture Crops Summary on May 24. This and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

www. cfgrower.com


Washington State Horticultural Association opposes bill to provide additional water for organic and biofuel crops support from legislators is because the bills provide some additional irrigation water to help meet the increasing need to produce more biofuel crops and organic crops as a result of the following new laws, rules and policies that have been enacted or implemented by the Washington State Legislature and various Washington State agencies over the past few years that have created significant increases in demand for biofuel crops and organic crops in the state. • A policy supported by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) expressing broad support for organic farming to increase production and economic growth of the organic industry; • WSDA’s Organic Certification Program, which helps farmers in

Washington State to grow and sell organic products or organic foods to consumers; • Washington State University’s Organic Farming Program, which promotes the production of economically viable organic crops to help Washington growers meet the increasing public demand for organic crops; • “Washington’s Biofuels Initiative” — a significant law that was passed in 2006 and 2007 to increase biofuel consumption and usage in Washington State. Additionally, many legislators like HB 2192 and SB 6028 because the bills would help to alleviate some of the competition between biofuel crops and food crops by providing the opportunity for farmers to receive a little new or additional water to irri-

gate dry land or new ground to grow biofuel crops. Furthermore, a considerable amount of the biofuel feedstock currently processed in Washington State is imported from other countries and other states, so many legislators strongly believe the bills would help to reduce imports of biofuel feedstock such as palm oil from critical habitats in Southeast Asia. Given the many benefits of the proposed legislation to help increase the production of organic crops (as well as biofuel crops) and how it complements and supports “Washington’s Biofuels Initiative” and Washington State’s Organic Crops Programs, many organic tree fruit growers and biofuel crop growers across Washington State are very surprised by the Wash-

ington State Horticultural Association’s unilateral opposition of this widely supported legislation that would allow farmers to obtain a small amount of new water from the Columbia River and the Snake River to help increase production of high-value organic tree fruit and other organic (and biofuel) crops in Washington State. Specifically, in his testimony opposing HB 2192, lobbyist Jim Halstrom, on behalf of the Washington State Horticultural Association, indicated that “this bill provides for a special preferred status of water right and ... will lead to subsequent legislation establishing other preferred status water rights ... the provisions could effectively result in impairment of senior water rights.”

According to various water resource experts, the comments by Halstrom at the recent public legislative hearing contradict existing water law (RCW 90.90) and ignore the specific provisions and conditions attached to all water right permits in Washington State. In particular, water permits that are issued under the existing water law (RCW 90.90) already receive separate or preferred designations or purposes in the mitigation provisions of water rights. Furthermore, the legislation is additive and does not impair senior water rights. For more information, contact David Wilson, Organic Tree Fruit Growers Alliance, at 509-542-7893 or organic.tree.fruit.growers@gmail.com.

Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 9

OLYMPIA, WA — At a recent legislative hearing in Olympia, the Washington State Horticultural Association and its lobbyist, Jim Halstrom, publicly opposed legislation that would provide a relatively small amount of new water to allow apple and tree fruit growers to grow additional acreage of organic tree fruit. House Bill 2192 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 6028, would promote increased production of organic crops and biofuel crops along the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington State. The bills have received enormous support with 21 cosponsors in the House and 15 co-sponsors in the Senate. The reason that HB 2192 and SB 6028 have received widespread


Page 10 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

The marketing mix – The four Ps of successful marketing by Jenny Carleo, Stephen Komar and Brian Schilling A common misconception is that marketing is the same as advertising. In fact, advertising is only one component of successful marketing. While approaches to marketing vary, most experts agree that successful marketing is built around addressing the Four P’s: product, price, placement and promotion. Often known as the marketing mix, these are four factors that an agritourism operator needs to manage in order to successfully reach a target market and attract customers. Product Product refers to the product, service, or — relevant in the context of agritourism — experience that you are providing for your customers. In thinking about your product, it is useful to keep two things in mind. First, be able to identify what a marketer would call your unique selling proposition. In the eyes of potential customers, what makes you different from similar businesses? Why should someone visit your farm? Second, understand that your agritourism product is multifaceted. You may define the core elements of your business as pick-your-own apples, a farm market, or a corn maze. Indeed, these can be important aspects of your agritourism product, but view your operation from the eyes of your customers. What experiences will they encounter on your farm, either intentionally or unintentionally? For example: • Will they be greeted by courteous, friendly, and informed employees? • Is your farm clean and visually appealing? • Is parking convenient? • Do you provide recipes or helpful hints on how to select, store, and prepare fresh products from your farm?

• Do you have attractive and functional packaging for products purchased or prepared at your farm? • Are you willing to speak with visitors, sharing stories and experiences about the farm and farming life? • How do you respond to customer concerns or dissatisfaction? Also think about the entire range of services or amenities you offer. • Do you accept credit cards? • Do you have clean and easily accessible restroom facilities? • How able are you to accommodate visitors who may have special needs (for example, elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, parents with baby strollers)? • Do you have a play area for children or tables for picnicking? The important role that you and your farm staff play in providing a quality visitor experience cannot be overstated. Agritourism is a hospitality business and its success will be based upon customer satisfaction. Here are some helpful hints on how your farm staff can create happy and satisfied visitors: • Ensure that your employees are readily visible and identifiable. For example, consider apparel with a farm name or logo and name badges. • Instruct employees to approach and welcome customers in a friendly and sincerely helpful manner. • Make sure employees are knowledgeable about all aspects of the farm, its history, and its products. Have them become well-versed in a list of frequently-askedquestions. Such as: Are there any other attractions I should visit while in this area? What accommodations are available nearby? Are there any good places to eat? Where is the nearest gas station? What is it like living in

this community? Are there any special events happening in town? Are there any retail stores near here? An informed, knowledgeable employee will enhance the visitor experience! The bottom line is that you want to create a unique impression of your products, and of your entire agritourism operation, within the minds of your customers. Some marketing professionals call this positioning. To best illustrate this idea, ask yourself: “How will my customers describe my agritourism operation to their friends?” Or, even more importantly, “How do I want my customers to describe my farm?” Price Setting an appropriate price for each product or service is critical, although potentially challenging. As a farm entrepreneur, you will want to offer a price that is competitive in the market for your product, acceptable to your customers, and able to generate sales consistent with your financial goals. A common goal of pricing would be to generate revenues from product sales that allow for full cost recovery plus a pre-determined level of profit (a cost plus pricing strategy). However, in some instances, an agritourism activity may be viewed as successful if it were cost-neutral (revenues only cover costs) but attracted additional visitors to the profit center of your operation. For example, breaking even on a corn maze may be acceptable if it increases business at your farm market. The first piece of advice for developing pricing strategies is to know your market. What will customers pay for your product? What comparable products do other farms offer in your market area, and what do they charge? Visiting other agritourism operations, reviewing trade publications, joining di-

DIRECT MARKETING rect marketing associations, and attending state or regional direct marketing conventions will help you better understand your market and consumer trends. Another strategy is to ask existing or potential customers directly about their willingness to pay for your product(s). A simple postcard-sized survey provided to visitors at your farm is one alternative for gathering information on likely customer acceptance of various pricing options. Understanding your costs and expectations for financial returns on investments in new agritourism products is also vital. Break-even analysis is a useful tool for determining the price point needed to cover all fixed and variable costs associated with offering a product. Such analysis can be based on detailed accounting of expenses or, for preliminary assessment purposes, “back of the napkin” estimates. A break-even production point (how much

would I need to sell?) is calculated as: Breakeven Point = Total Fixed Costs/(Price – Variable Costs) Alternatively, a breakeven price can also be calculated for a specific number of products sales as: Break-even Price = (Total Fixed Costs/Number of Units to be Sold) + Variable Costs Equipped with an understanding of your costs, market, competition, and personal financial goals, it is time to develop a pricing strategy. As a broad rule of thumb, when you begin an agritourism business or introduce a new agritourism activity, you will need to increase customer awareness and excitement around the destination, which may mean higher advertising and promotion costs. You may offer lower introductory prices as a strategy to quickly attract new customers (known as market penetration pricing). While profit margins on a per-unit basis may

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Washington State Farmers Market Association Awards Farmers markets, managers and farmers from around Washington State were honored by the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA) at its annual conference for contributions to their communities. Each year WSFMA recognizes markets, managers and farmers who demonstrate the highest quali-

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Farmer of the Year: Jason Salvo and Siri Erickson-Brown, Local Roots Farm in Carnation Farmers Market Manager of the Year: Jennifer Wiecking, Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market Farmers Market of the Year - Small: Chewelah Farmers Market Farmers Market of the Year - Medium: Port Angeles Farmers Market Farmers Market of the Year - Large: Ballard Farmers Market, Seattle About the WSFMA: For over 20 years,

the Washington State Farmers Market Association has provided education and advocacy services for member farmers markets. Located in all corners of the state, WSFMA’s 118 member markets provide sales opportunities for Washington’s farmers, local food and artisan businesses. WSFMA’s vision is a network of thriving and sustainable farmers markets that offer strong sales to Washington family farms. WSFMA’s priorities are to expand critical business services and educational and networking opportunities to

draw visitors? • Will you offer discounts to strategic partners (e.g., other businesses that can help expand your distribution network or assist with promoting your brand name)? Placement Placement refers to distribution. How will you provide access to your products? The goal of agritourism is to bring customers onto your farm. Your farm is therefore your primary distribution channel and it must be safe, clean, and inviting to

the public. Here are some tips to consider: • Make it easy for customers to find driving directions to your farm, days and hours of operation, and product availability for seasonal items. This information can be conveniently posted on a farm website or telephone recording, as well as promotional materials. • Ensure that risks of injury to farm visitors are minimized. Designate and secure areas that are not open to the public, such as pesticide or equipment stor-

Kirk Robinson, Assistant Director, WSDA Food Safety and Consumer Services; Teri Wheeler, Pike Place Market Master and WSFMA President; and Terry Carkner of Terry's Berries. Photo by Zachary D. Lyons farmers markets, work member markets and with partners on learn more about the orvisit: statewide issues and ganization, policy that impact w w w . w a f a r m e r s m a r or at markets and farmers, kets.com research and promo- www.facebook.com/WS tions. To find WSFMA FMA.

Mix from 10 to your products. Creating an overall pricing strategy may also require you to think creatively about price discounts to introduce new products or re-energize sales of an established product. Consider the following: • Will you offer bulk purchase discounts (e.g., charge a lower price per unit if the customer buys a higher volume or offer a “buy 5, get 1 free” offer)? • Will you offer seasonal discounts or special price promotions to

age areas and the farmhouse. Also consult with an insurance provider to determine adjustments in existing policies necessary to cover added liability. • Carefully plan and prepare for the safe movement of all farm visitors. Most traditional farms have been organized for production efficiency, for example easy movement of farm equipment. As an agritourism destination, you will need to consider the safe movement of visitors on the farm. Design paths and other directional features that

move visitors to where you want them to go, while avoiding unsafe or non-public areas. • Maintain a high level of aesthetic appeal. Consider decorations and create an overall appearance that is welcoming to visitors and reflects seasonal or special events. • Recognize that many visitors may not be familiar with all products you offer. Clearly mark items in retail displays and offer tips for product selection (for example, what apples are best for

Mix 12

Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 11

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ties in adding value to their communities, connecting farmers and consumers through fresh, locally grown foods, and promoting the value Washington’s small farmers bring to our economy. Distributing the awards this year was Kirk Robinson, Assistant Director of WSDA’s Food Safety and Consumer Services Division. Awards went to: Advocate of the Year: Chris Curtis, Director, Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, Seattle. Lifetime Achievement: Terry and Dick Carkner, Terry’s Berries Farm in Puyallup


Page 12 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Mix from 11 cooking?) and preparation. If you offer pickyour -own alternatives, identify and direct visitors to appropriate fields and provide signage identifying each crop. Also provide clear guidance on product quantity and pricing. Visitors may not be able to readily translate a basket of apples into pounds or cost. Promotion John D. Rockefeller once said that “next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” These are wise words to live by as you attempt to make your farm an agritourism destination. To be successful, an agritourism operator needs to constantly think

of creative ideas for directing customer traffic to the farm and encouraging repeat visitation. The challenge lies in finding the most effective and cost efficient strategies for reaching your desired market. • Developing the appropriate mix of advertising and promotion may require some degree of trial and error. Evaluate the effectiveness of various advertising options to see which work best for your farm. • Strive to establish brand recognition of your farm by displaying your farm name or logo on apparel, bags, giveaways (e.g., reusable bags, pens, refrigerator magnets, etc.). • Have a presence in the communities from

which you seek to draw customers. Strategically participate in off-farm events to raise awareness of your agritourism operation (for example, community farmers’ markets, local festivals, county fairs, etc.). • Get online! There is a well-placed belief in the conventional wisdom that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. While personal testimonies are invaluable for expanding awareness and appreciation of your business, a study in Pennsylvania found that word of mouth ranked only fifth among agritourism visitors in terms of resources used in trip planning. Welcome to the new age of marketing: websites were identified as the most fre-

quently used resource for identifying potential farm destinations. • Consider using social media (examples include Facebook and Twitter), which are increasingly popular tools being used effectively to promote agritourism.

Also, maintain e-mail lists of customers to inexpensively announce product availability or special events and promotions. This article is an excerpt from Marketing 101 for your Agritourism Business from

Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension. The view the article in its entirety, visit http://njaes.rutgers.ed u/pubs/publication.as p?pid=E337 Source: Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension

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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 13

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Page 14 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Idaho Horticulture Expo, Boise, ID, Jan. 18-20

The trade show featured some attractive displays like the one pictured here. Photos courtesy of Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association

The INLA booth at the Idaho Horticulture Expo trade show.

Rex Andersen of Town & Country Gardens, Idaho Fall, ID, presents a $750 Scholastic Award to Micah Wood of Rigby. Wood is a student at BYU-Idaho.

Nancy Hash, Hash Tree Co., Princeton, ID, presents a $750 scholastic award to Ashley Barkow, from Idaho Falls, who currently attends BYU-Idaho.

Ismael Ruelas, from Shelly, currently attending BYU-Idaho, is presented his scholastic award by Rex Andersen, Town & Country Gardens, of Idaho Falls, ID.

College of Western Idaho student Rachel Gerlach of Boise receives a scholastic award from Rex Andersen of Town & Country Gardens in Idaho Falls.


Why do farmers engage in agritourism? Farmers develop and offer agritourism activities for many reasons. For many, particularly owners of small and mediumsized farms, the primary reason is to increase farm income. Revenue can be generated from agritourism activities or the sale of products grown on the farm. For farmers who sell directly to consumers, agritourism offers an opportunity to identify new customers and build a relationship with those customers. By marketing farm products directly to the customers, they are able to lose the middleman and reduce costs.

Although agritourism offers the potential for financial gain for farmers, actual results may vary widely from farm to farm. In some instances, an agritourism enterprise begins as a secondary business generating minimal revenue and evolves into the primary source of farm family income. In many instances, additional revenue generated is relatively small. Some farmers may engage in agritourism to raise awareness of and appreciation for the agricultural com munity. This can be particularly important in areas where

urban sprawl has created more direct inter action between agricultural and nonagricultural residents. As businesses and individuals with no prior exposure to agricultural production learn more about farms and agricultural activity, they gain a better under standing of why farmers do the things they do. This increased understanding can help to establish and improve relationships between farmers and other community residents and businesses. Farmers may also start an agritourism enterprise to meet new people, to socialize and to

share the rural experience with outsiders. Farmers considering agritourism should become thoroughly educated about the risks and costs involved. Financial risks may range from loss of investments made in the business to costs associated with legal issues such as violation of laws and regulations or liability for injuries occurring at the enterprise. Other risks that can negatively impact an agritourism enterprise include business interruptions, production problems, marketing difficulties and human resource issues.

Potential benefits for rural communities Agritourism also has the potential to benefit rural communities. From an economic development perspective, agritourism may help to increase the local tax base by drawing more visitors to the area. In addition to spending money at agritourism venues, these visitors may also shop at other local businesses, generating additional revenue to individual businesses and additional sales tax revenue for the provision of local services. Data from the 2005 Farm Market Annual Survey showed that farms en-

gaged in agritourism tend to have higher numbers of employees, which may mean more job opportunities for local residents. This article is part of the Agritourism Series, Agricultural Diversification Through Agritourism, by Stacey McCullough Instructor Community and Economic Development, Sheila Brandt County Extension Agent Staff Chair, Shaun Rhoades County Extension Agent Staff Chair. For more information or to view the article in its entirety, visit www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FS Source: University of Arkansas

In February, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced almost 300 Value Added Producer Grant recipients across the Nation. Each one of those recipients has a story, and a dream that, with help from USDA,

will become reality. From producing pumpkin puree and gourmet cheese to expanding a caviar production operation in Idaho (Yes, Idaho), Rural Americans are using these matching grants to grow their businesses and bring

high quality products to market. One recipient, Living Water Farms, Inc., is a three-year -old familyowned company that focuses on the production of hydroponic greens for specialty markets in the Mid-

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west. Located in Strawn, two hours south of Chicago’s Loop, three generations of the Kilgus family are part of a group called Stewards of the Land which was organized to market produce from small farms. The hydroponic complex was developed to consider year-round sales. Liv-

ing Water Farms applied for a VAPG to expand the market for their greens. Their current market includes Illinois supermarkets, high-end restaurants in Chicago and St. Louis and a Midwest college food service program. The grant will help them evaluate their brand and expand their

distribution to other restaurants, specialty retail and institutional outlets. USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant program is available to eligible applicants. To learn more about how to apply, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAP G_Grants.html.

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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 15

USDA Value Added Producer Grants: turning great ideas into sustainable business


USDA announces CRP general sign-up

Page 16 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

Landowners and producers will have 4-week window beginning in March to enroll WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) Michael Scuse announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a four -week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup, beginning on March 12 and ending on April 6. CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation’s natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. “It is USDA’s goal to ensure that we use CRP to address our most critical resource issues,” said Scuse. “CRP is an important program for protecting our most environmentally sensitive lands from erosion and sedimentation, and for ensuring the sustainability of our groundwater, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. As always, we expect strong competition to enroll acres into CRP, and we urge interested producers to maximize their environmental

benefits and to make costeffective offers.” CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant longterm, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and costshare assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Producers with expiring contracts and producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP. Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, signup basis. Currently, about 30 million acres are enrolled in CRP; and contracts on an estimated 6.5 million acres will expire on Sept. 30, 2012. Offers for CRP contracts are ranked according to the Environmental Benefits In-

dex (EBI). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. Each eligible offer is ranked in comparison to all other offers and selections made from that ranking. FSA uses the following EBI factors to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered: • Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage; • Water quality benefits from reduced erosion, runoff and leaching; • On-farm benefits from reduced erosion; • Benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period; • Air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion; and • Cost. Over the past 25 years, farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts have made CRP the largest and one of the most important in USDA’s conservation portfolio. CRP continues to make major contributions to national efforts to improve water and

air quality, prevent soil erosion by protecting the most sensitive areas including those prone to flash flooding and runoff. At the same time, CRP has helped increase populations of pheasants, quail, ducks, and other rare species, like the sage grouse, the lesser prairie chicken, and others. Highlights of CRP include: • CRP has restored more than two million acres of wetlands and two million acres of riparian buffers; • Each year, CRP keeps more than 600 million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100 million pounds of phosphorous from flowing into our nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes. • CRP provides $1.8 billion annually to landowners — dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating jobs; and • CRP is the largest private lands carbon sequestration program in the country. By placing vulnerable cropland into conservation, CRP sequesters carbon in plants and soil, and reduces both fuel and fertil-

izer usage. In 2010, CRP resulted in carbon sequestration equal to taking almost 10 million cars off the road. In 2011, USDA enrolled a record number of acres of private working lands in conservation programs, working with more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and prevent soil erosion. Moreover, the Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado announces 2012 state board members DENVER, CO — The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC), the professional trade association for Colorado’s landscape contracting industry, has announced its 2012 state board of directors. With more than 600 members statewide, ALCC promotes the responsible use of water and other natural resources and provides educa-

tional and industry certification opportunities to Colorado’s landscape professionals. ALCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. “ALCC is comprised of members who want to be held to a higher standard of professionalism. They also want to stay current with issues that affect Colorado and their businesses, including responsible water/environmental

practices and labor and employment issues,” said ALCC President Barry Wagner. Members of ALCC’s 2012 board are President Barry Wagner, Outdoor Craftsmen; Vice President Mark Pribramsky, Earths c a p e s ; Secretary/T reasurer Kevin Overley, Landtech Contractors Inc.; and Past President Judd Bryarly, Timber-

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Biogas plant to let us run on rotten tomatoes Mushy tomatoes, brown bananas and overripe cherries — to date, waste from wholesale markets has ended up on the compost heap at best. In future it will be put to better use: Researchers have developed a new facility that ferments this waste to make methane, which can be used to power vehicles. Drivers who fill up with natural gas in-

stead of gasoline or diesel spend less on fuel and are more environmentally friendly. Natural gas is kinder on the wallet, and the exhaust emissions it produces contain less carbon dioxide and almost no soot particles. As a result, more and more motorists are converting their gasoline engines to run on natural gas. But just like oil, natural gas is also a fossil fuel, and

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still presents a challenge, because its precise composition varies every day. Sometimes it has a high proportion of citrus fruits, while other times there are more cherries, plums and lettuce. On days with a higher citrus fruit content, the researchers have to adjust the pH value through substrate management, because these fruits are very acidic. “We hold the waste in several storage tanks, where a number of parameters are automatically calculated — including the pH value. The specially designed management system determines exactly how many liters of waste from which containers should be mixed together and fed to the microorganisms,” explains Schließmann. It is vital that a correct balance be maintained in the plant at all times, because the various microorganisms require constant environmental conditions to do their job. Another advantage of the new plant lies in the fact that absolutely everything it generates can be utilized; the

biogas, the liquid filtrate, and even the sludgy residue that cannot be broken down any further. A second sub-project in Reutlingen comes into its own here, involving the cultivation of algae. When the algae in question are provided with an adequate culture medium, as well as carbon dioxide and sunlight, they produce oil in their cells that can be used to power diesel engines. The filtrate water from the biogas plant in Stuttgart contains sufficient nitrogen and phosphorus to be used as a culture medium for these algae, and the reactor facility also provides the researchers with the carbon dioxide that the algae need in order to grow; while the desired methane makes up around two thirds of the biogas produced there, some 30 percent of it is carbon dioxide. With these products put to good use, all that is left of the original market waste is the sludgy fermentation residue, which is itself converted into methane by colleagues at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzer-

land and at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Others involved in this network project, which goes by the name of ETAMAX, include energy company EnBW Energie BadenWürttemberg and Daimler AG. The former uses membranes to process the biogas generated in the market-place plant, while the latter supplies a number of experimental vehicles designed to run on natural gas. The five-year project is funded to the tune of six million euros by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). If all the different components mesh together as intended, it is possible that similar plants could in future spring up wherever large quantities of organic waste are to be found. Other project partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising, FairEnergie GmbH, Netzsch Mohnopumpen GmbH, Stulz Wasser und Prozesstechnik GmbH, Subitec GmbH und the town Stuttgart.

NCTA 2012 Convention and Trade Show set for Aug. 8-11 Discover innovative ways to enhance your business, learn management and marketing

best practices and compete for national recognition at the National Christmas Tree Association Convention and Trade Show. Set for Aug. 8-11 at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, CA, the Convention and Trade Show will attract more than 350 Christmas tree growers, wholesalers, retailers, choose and cut farmers and related industry members from around the world. Convention highlights include:

• Learn innovative ideas to enhance your business at the educational sessions; • Gain firsthand knowledge of management/marketing practices from peers on the farm tours; • Compete in the national tree and wreath contests; • Network with new and old friends at the Theme Night and celebrate with industry honorees at the Awards Banquet; and • Explore new products and services at the

trade show. The newly renovated Hyatt Regency Sacramento is located across from the State Capitol and adjacent to the Sacramento Convention Center, where all Convention events will be held. To reserve your room, call 888-4211442 and ask for the NCTA group rate of $112 per night. Watch www.christmastr ee.org/convention2012.cfm for the latest updates, information and registration materials.

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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 17

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reserves are limited. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart have now developed an alternative: They have found a way to obtain this fuel not from the Earth’s precious reserves of raw materials, but from fruit and vegetable waste generated by wholesale markets, university cafeterias and canteens. Fermenting this food waste produces methane, also known as biogas, which can be compressed into high-pressure cylinders and used as fuel. In early 2012, the researchers will begin operating a pilot plant adjacent to Stuttgart’s wholesale market. The facility uses various microorganisms to generate sought-after methane from the food waste in a two-stage digestion process that lasts just a few days. “The waste contains a lot of water and has a very low lignocellulose content, so it’s highly suitable for rapid fermentation,” says Dr.Ing. Ursula Schließmann, head of department at the IGB. But it


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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 19

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Calendar of Events E-mail announcements of your regional event(s) to: jkarkwren@leepub.com We must receive your information, plus a contact phone number, prior to the deadline that’s noted under the Announcements heading on the 1st page of these Grower Classifieds. MAR 4-6 California Small Farm Conference Hyatt Regency Valencia, Santa Clarita Convention Center. The state’s premier gathering of small farmers, agricultural students, farmers’ market managers and others involved in the small farm industry. The three day educational conference includes day long short courses and on farm tours; (one of the short courses is an agritourism tour.) focused workshops; engaging keynote addresses and numerous networking opportunities. On Internet at www.californiafarm conference.com APR 17-19 International Blueberry Organization Meeting Fresno, CA. Meetings will begin April 17-18, followed by a blueberry field trip on April 19. On Internet at www.internationalblueberry. org JUN 13 California Grown Show Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach, CA. Call 916-9283900 or e-mail info@ cangc.org. On Internet at

www.cangc.org AUG 8-11 National Christmas Tree Association Convention & Trade Show Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA. More than 350 Christmas Tree growers, wholesalers, retailers, Choose & Cut farmers and related industry members from around the world. On Internet at www.christmastree.org/ convention2012.cfm AUG 8-12 NCTA Convention & Trade Show Sacramento, CA. Contact NCTA, 636-449-5070 or email info@realchristmas trees.org. On Internet at www.christmastree.org/ convention2012.cfm SEP 6-7 Montana Nursery & Landscape Association Fall Tour Bozeman Area. Call 406755-3079 or e-mail ED@ plantingmontana.com. JAN 9-10 2013 MT Green Expo Holiday Inn Grand Montana, Billings MT. Call 406-7553079 or e-mail ED@planting montana.com.

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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 21


Fifteen Washington counties designated primary natural disaster areas

Page 22 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 15 counties in Washington as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by the combined effects of excessive rain, flooding, below normal temperatures, high winds, frosts and freezes that occurred during the period Jan. 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011. Those counties are: Clallam, King, Snohomish, Clark, Kitsap, Stevens, Franklin, Klickitat, Wahkiakum, Island, San Juan, Whatcom, Jefferson, Skagit, and Yakima. “Farmers and ranchers in Washington have suffered production losses to a wide variety of crops as the result of adverse weather conditions that lasted seven months,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to using the resources at our disposal to reduce the impact of these disasters on Washington producers and help to get those af-

fected back on their feet.” Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Washington also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are: Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pierce, Benton, Grant, Mason, Skamania, Chelan, Grays Harbor, Okanogan, Spokane, Columbia, Kittitas, Pacific, Walla Walla, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pend Oreille, and Whitman. Farmers and ranchers in Clatsop, Columbia, Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Multnomah, Sherman and Wasco counties in Oregon also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Jan. 27, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are

met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements

and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. Vilsack also reminds producers that the department’s authority to operate the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2011. This includes SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses in the counties listed above are covered because the event triggering the loss occurred prior to the expiration of these programs; however, production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on record U.S. farm exports for calendar year 2011 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement regarding data released Feb. 10 showing U.S. farm exports reached a record $136.3 billion in calendar year 2011: “The data released today by USDA represents a record-breaking calendar year for farm exports, demonstrating — once again — that American agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy. We saw a rise in both the value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports worldwide in 2011, as international sales rose $20.5 billion over the previous record set in calendar year 2010. Total agricultural exports for calendar year 2011 were a robust $136.3 billion. “These figures indicate how demand for the American brand of agriculture continues to soar worldwide, supporting good jobs for Americans across a variety of industries such as transportation, renewable energy, manufacturing, food services, and on-farm employment. During the past three years, the U.S. farm sector has continued to support and create jobs on a consistent basis, strengthening an American economy that’s built to last. Every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 8,400 American jobs, meaning that U.S. farm exports

helped support more than 1 million U.S. jobs in 2011. “And that gets to the innovation of our American farmers, ranchers and growers. American agriculture continues to apply the latest in technology and achieve a nearly unparalleled level of productivity. In fact, U.S. agriculture is the second-most productive sector of our economy in the past few decades outside of information technology. “Exports of almost all major U.S. commodities rose in calendar year 201l, helping us to reach President Obama’s goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Grains were the biggest contributor to the overall record, reaching an all-time high of $37.7 billion, a $9.2 billion increase over 2010. Cotton experienced the biggest year -to-year increase,

up 44 percent from 2010, reaching a record $8.5 billion. Dairy and pork exports also set records in 2011, reaching $4.8 billion and $6 billion respectively. “Another success story is U.S. beef exports. Last year, the United States exported an alltime high of $5.4 billion worth of beef and beef products, surpassing the previous record by more than $1.6 billion. The volume of shipments also surpassed the 2003 levels, the last year before a detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Washington State disrupted U.S. trade. The return to pre-2003 levels marks an important milestone in USDA’s steadfast efforts to open and expand international markets. Despite this progress, restrictions continue to constrain exports to many of our key markets and we re-

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main fully committed to breaking down those trade barriers. “There was more good news for U.S. beef exporters when United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials issued a decree on Jan. 24, liberalizing imports of U.S. beef by eliminating age restrictions. The expansion of U.S. beef access to UAE — one of the largest markets for U.S. beef in the Middle East — underscores the tenacity of the Obama Administration to improve our trade relationships, expand export opportunities and strengthen an American economy that’s built to last.” The latest export data is available via the Global Agricultural Trade System at www.fas.usda.gov/data. asp.

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Vinca ‘Jams ’N Jellies Blackberry’ AAS flower award winner ‘Jams ’N Jellies Blackberry’ vinca was bred by Kirin Agribio/PanAm Seed Co. As with all AAS Winners, this new, never-before-sold entry was trialed by the esteemed AAS Trial Judges who are trained and experienced horticulture professionals. A complete list of judges and trial sites can be found on the AAS website, www.aaswinners.com. This newest AAS Winner is available for immediate sale. Commercial growers should inquire with their favorite seed supplier. AAS Winner tags are available from supporting tag suppliers. Consumers will find these seeds as supply becomes available in the coming months with catalog companies, in seed packets, from mail order companies and various websites. AAS Winners will also be available as young plants in lawn and garden retail stores in the spring.

What is the future of the ANLA Clinic? by Jonathan Bardzik WASHINGTON, D.C.— The conclusion of ANLA’s successful 2012 Clinic has been surrounded by industry buzz asking, “What’s next?” Rumors ranging from a new location to the end of the Clinic’s four decade-long run as the industry’s premier education event have circulated at tradeshows and in the trade press. According to Skip Shorb, ANLA Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board of American Plant garden centers, “Clinic was, by most measures, a resounding success. It remains the top event where our industry’s owners, top managers and future leaders gather to learn, strategize and share the ideas that make our businesses successful. Clinic remains relevant and important to the future of our company and those of my peers.” Shorb clarifies that Clinic cannot move forward exactly the way it is today. “The Clinic we know and love, at the Galt House in Kentucky, is built for 750 - 1100 attendees. Our industry is not supporting that right now and the meeting has to change, just as we

have changed our garden center to reflect the current economy.” ANLA President, Bob Lyons, owner of Sunleaf Nursery, adds, “ANLA also has a new partner in OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals. Clinic 2013 needs to reflect that partnership and serve the educational needs of our joint memberships.” During Clinic’s closing general session in Louisville, ANLA executive vice president Bob Dolibois stated, “Clinic today looks very different from Clinic two years ago. We have radically changed the format to meet the rapidly changing needs of our attendees. Clinic 2013 will again differ from Clinic 2012. What will not change is the creativity, innovative education and community - the strong sense of family that makes Clinic so unique, and so special to our industry.” What is next for ANLA’s Clinic? ANLA and OFA’s boards of directors are meeting jointly, later this month. Their goal is to come out of that meeting with a framework for a new meeting that allows the organizations to

engage their memberships in building a new event for 2013. Stay tuned. ‘Jams ’N Jellies Blackberry’ vinca

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Month 2009 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Section A - Page 23

DOWNERS GROVE, IL — At its annual winter meeting, the AllAmerica Selections (AAS) Board of Directors met and approved another trial entry as an exclusive AAS Winner for 2012. The new winner is the ‘Jams ’N Jellies Blackberry’ vinca. “A most unique and exciting color,” is one judge’s comment about this stunning vinca that can appear almost black in some settings. The novel color drew many positive comments from both judges and trial visitors. The velvety deep-purple flowers are an excellent accent plant and work beautifully in combination with other flowers that are powder blue, bright pink, white and/or lavender. Mature plants are 12 to 16 inches tall, making them perfect as a medium height divider. The 1 to 2 inch dark purple flowers are offset by shiny, deep green foliage creating a striking color combination.


Country Folks

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Page 24 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER WEST • Month 2009

SWEEPSTAKES

John Deere Gator 825: 4x4

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1

Buy a subscription to Country Folks

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Name ______________________________________________ Business/Farm Name ____________________________________ Address _____________________________________________ City ___________________State _______________Zip Code ___________ PHONE (  NEW

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$24.00  2ËYEARS 2 Years $40.00  CANADIAN Ë  11Year YEAR

Payment Method  Check (#







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 Exp. Date __________

Acct. # Signature ___________________ Date _____________ Please fill out the optional questionnaire below. All information is confidential. A. Do you grow vegetables? Acres:  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Beets  Onions  Tomatoes  Broccoli  Cabbage  Celery  Cauliflower  Pumpkins  Beans  Potatoes  Sweet Corn  Cucumbers B. Do you grow fruit? Acres:  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Grapes  Cherries  Strawberries  Peaches  Apples  Pears  Cranberries  Blueberries  Melons  Brambles C. Do you operate a greenhouse? Sq. Ft.  Up to 5,000  5-10,000  over 10,000  Bedding Plants  Vegetables  Foliage Plants  Cut Flowers  Potted Flower Plants  Other D. Do you operate a nursery? Acres  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Wholesale  Retail  Christmas Trees  Shade Trees  Fruit Trees  Mums  Shrubs  Perennials  Herbs, Drieds, Cuts E. Other Crops F. Is there any aspect of horticulture that you would like to see more of in Country Folks Grower?

PAYMENT RECEIVED BY: _____________________DATE ____________

Place a Classified Ad in Country Folks 5 EASY Y WAYS S TO O PLACE EA Y FOLKS S GROWER COUNTRY D AD CLASSIFIED

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Cost per edition: $8.00 for the first 14 words, 30¢ each additional word. (Phone #’s count as one word) # of issues to run______ Total Cost $___________

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Signature_______________________Date________ Payment Method     Acct#________________________Exp. Date______ Name:______________________________________ (Print)______________________________________ Address:____________________________________ City:_____________________St.:______Zip:_______

This Sweepstakes 3 Mail in Entry Form

Name Co./Farm Name

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Entries must be dated before June 1st, 2012. Employees & relatives of employees of Lee Publications Inc., John Deere, Zahn & Matson are not eligible. Must be 18 years of age.

Mail to Country Folks Grower, PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge NY 13428


Grower Northwest 3.12