Good Times in Ohio By Tim Hodson

The GPN staff just returned from a very successful OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio.

The overall mood at the show was upbeat. This has been a pretty crazy year, with unpredictable weather and a struggling economy having some kind of an impact on everyone in our industry. So heading in to Ohio, no one really knew what to expect.

But by and large, no one was complaining too much. Instead, it seemed everyone at the 2008 Short Course was there simply to check out the latest products, participate in the educational sessions and network with peers!

Sustainability Progress Awards

At the opening ceremonies at Short Course, we announced the winners of the 2008 GPN/OFA Sustainability Progress Awards.

This year we are recognizing Pork & Plants, Altura, Minn., and Floral Plant Growers, Denmark, Wis., for their efforts to make their businesses more sustainable.

Maria Kreidermacher of Pork & Plants and Scott Lueder of Floral Plant Growers were on hand at a special ceremony to receive the award for their respective companies.

Our September issue will feature an article profiling these two innovative growers so you can learn more about their sustainability efforts, but here are just a few of the things they have done:

  • Cut annual energy costs by more than $40,000
  • Installed biomass boilers and radiant heat systems
  • Recycled nearly 60,000 pounds of non- reusable plastics
  • Converted to renewable growing inputs

GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year

Also, during the opening ceremonies, Mike Porter of Nexus Greenhouses and I had the opportunity to recognize the GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year, Eric Pitzen.

We profiled Eric in our January issue. He also received a $3,000 check from Nexus and a full Short Course registration, compliments of OFA — an Association of Floriculture Professionals.

Pitzen, along with his advising professor at Iowa State, Dr. Richard Gladon, also were honored at the GPN awards reception in Columbus. Pitzen graduated from Iowa State in May and will begin his professional career this month with Syngenta Flowers in Boulder, Colo.

Nexus and GPN have been recognizing outstanding interns for nearly a decade now, so Associate Editor Darhiana Mateo tracked them down to find out what they are up to today. You will find Darhiana’s intern update on page 44.

We will be calling for applicants for next year’s intern in the coming weeks.

And One More Award Goes to… GPN!

In late June, we were notified that GPN was the recipient of a 2008 Tabbie Award for Best Single Issue. The Tabbie Awards are presented by Trade, Association and Business Publications International.

Our December 2007 issue was honored for its overall editorial quality and fulfillment of our editorial mission — which is to provide growers like you with the information you need to do your job better.

The Tabbie Awards are judged by magazine editors from around the world who know what it takes to put together a superior editorial product. This is the second time in the past four years that GPN has received a Tabbie Award.

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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