A Growing Industry Grows By Tim Hodson

If last month's OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio, is any kind of an indicator, the future of the horticulutre industry is definitely pointed in the right direction. Attendance was up as the trade show aisles and classrooms in the Greater Columbus Convention Center were buzzing with activity.

As this issue was going to press, the official attendance numbers had not yet been released, but unofficially, you could tell this was one of the busiest Short Courses in recent memory.

During Short Course, OFA — The Association for Horticulture Professionals announced its plans to grow the event next year (see news story on page 10) with expanded retail offerings. Stay tuned for more details as OFA adds more than 50,000 square feet of exhibit space as well as additional educational opportunities aimed at garden center retailers.

After a few tough years, it looks like the growing industry is growing again!

A Bright Future Indeed

As I mentioned in the May issue of GPN, the future of the industry is bright, especially after you have had a chance to meetGPN's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013 in person. This year's Class is a special group.

During a special reception at OFA Short Course we paid tribute to the Class of 2013 and then during a Mix 'N Mingle session, Short Course attendees also had a chance to meet, greet and pick the brains of this year's Class in an informal, but informative, session.

It was incredibly rewarding and refreshing to get the majority of this year's honorees in one room, along with members of the Class of 2012 and several previous GPN/Nexus Interns of the Year. These individuals are the trailblazers who are helping to determine the future of the industry. It's going to be a lot of fun watching them.

We also had the opportunity to recognize Lauren Tuski, the 2013 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year who I am sure will be a member of one of our future 40 Under 40 classes.
Just think 2014 OFA Short Course will be here in 11 more months!

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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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