May 5, 2014
Seeley Summit Slated for Next MonthSource: Cornell University

The 2104 Seeley Summit — "Water: Horticulture’s Next Game Changer?" — provides an opportunity to learn and develop a multi-faceted approach to tackling this issue. The Summit will take place June 22-24, 2014 in Lisle, Illinois.

This year’s drought in California highlights a national trend affecting many in the green industry — the increasing frequency and magnitude of water scarcity.

The 2104 Seeley Summit — “Water: Horticulture’s Next Game Changer?” — provides an opportunity to learn and develop a multi-faceted approach to tackling this issue.

The Summit will take place June 22-24, 2014 in Lisle, Illinois.

Among the topics that will be addressed are:

  • The Colorado River is destined to become the most litigated and contentious stream on the planet. Already, there is a long history of legal action surrounding this river and billions of state and federal dollars have been spent to control and divert its waters to agricultural and urban areas. The states bordering the water account for a large proportion of the U.S. population and also of U.S. agriculture. There are difficult questions to be addressed including: allocation of water for urban vs. agricultural as well as the type agriculture activity (water efficient crops vs. less efficient animal agriculture). Lyn Clancy and Nora Mullarkey of Lower Colorado River Association will discuss water policy and how it will continue to impact businesses.
  • California leads the nation in agriculture and horticulture production. Clearly, the state’s infrastructure for water storage and distribution has enabled its vast agricultural development over the past hundred years. Water scarcity, exacerbated by the current drought, is forcing agricultural producers to make tough decisions. Bill Phillimore, Executive Vice President of California-based Paramount Farms, the state’s largest agricultural water user, will present on their experience addressing water scarcity by attempting to secure long-term water availability as well as more than $25 million in investments in modern technology to reduce orchard water consumption.
  • Nationally, our customers live in areas subject to periodic extreme drought, leading municipalities to impose severe water rationing with devastating consequences for greenhouses, nurseries, home landscapes and plant purchases. The industry has much to gain by responding to these trends in the products we offer and in working to inform water policy. The Denver area is the home of “Xeriscape”, a landscape movement begun in the early 1980s to promote water efficient landscapes in urban areas. Al Gerace, CEO of Welby Gardens Co. in Colorado, was instrumental in the development of the X-Rated Garden Centers of Colorado program during the 2002-2003 drought in Colorado and New Mexico. Al will address: How do we make changes in our business to accommodate an ever increasing water cost? In drought conditions, how do we convince legislators (and consumers) to factor the environmental, social, economic, and health/wellness benefits of plants, trees and flowers into any restriction guidelines they’re considering?

The Seeley Summit is intended to promote discussion of issues important to the future of commercial floriculture. The meetings are structured to foster discussion by industry leaders and increase the level of understanding of topics through presentations by speakers with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The goal of the Summit is to better prepare attendees to make decisions on issues that have a great impact on their businesses and the industry as a whole.

For the complete schedule and to reserve your spot for the Seeley Summit visit, or Facebook users can refer to the Seeley Conference fan page.

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