May 6, 2005
Short Course Grower ProgramSource: OFA

The 2005 grower program at the OFA Short Course will feature a variety of workshops, sessions and tours throughout the five-day event to be held July 9-12 in Columbus, Ohio. The grower-related sessions will have three focus areas: greenhouse production, greenhouse intermediate and greenhouse advanced.

Two all-day tours are scheduled for Saturday, July 9. The Greenhouse Study Tour will include a trip to the Cincinnati area where participants will tour Diefenbacher Greenhouses, Inc. and Krueger-Maddux Greenhouses. Even though they are two of the top greenhouse wholesalers in Ohio and even the Midwest, Diefenbacher and Krueger-Maddux did not get where they are in 2005 without a few ups and downs. Tour attendees will learn about the challenges these companies overcame to ensure their existence and successfulness in 2005.

Another tour option on Saturday is presented through the lens of an extension educator. The Greenhouse Extension Reloaded Tour will lead participants through Cuthbert Greenhouse, Inc. and Dill’s Greenhouse, both in Groveport, Ohio. During this learning experience, tour leaders will guide you through the individual greenhouses, identifying the good and not so good. This tour concludes at the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science facilities at The Ohio State University.

Saturday’s grower itinerary will also feature several half-day workshops.

  • A hands-on insect and pest management workshop will teach participants how to identify and destroy insects and mites in the greenhouse environment. Part of the workshop will also focus on pesticide application. Learn about different sprayers and their respective coverage and distribution patterns.
  • In the diagnostics workshop, learn the tools and technology you need to improve plant quality. The workshop will focus on using inexpensive, handheld sensors and diagnostic procedures for determining plant conditions. Learn how to measure air temperature and humidity, light, soil moisture, pH and EC.
  • A digital camera is worth its initial investment and can ultimately save you money. In the digital photography workshop, you will learn how to effectively and efficiently make use of digital pictures as well as how to edit and manipulate pictures to improve their quality.
  • Visit the Horticulture and Crop Science greenhouse at The Ohio State University for this year’s mixed container workshop. The morning program will highlight planting demonstrations, culture and outdoor performance. Attendees will also be able to study the 350 mixed containers at OSU, which feature some recipes from the major breeding programs as well as those designed by OSU staff.
  • Selling is serving your customer, and knowing that is the key to successful business practices. At the sales training workshop, learn how to make the most of the adage “work smarter, not harder.” Be sure to bring your sales team for an empowerment boost.
  • Michigan State University will present the Floriculture College of Knowledge Tracks I and III for greenhouse growers with some expertise in greenhouse production. This certification program features a total of 12 sessions in three different tracks. At the 2005 OFA Short Course, individuals will be able to take eight of the 12 sessions on Friday and Saturday. The Track I sessions include seedling plug production, root zone management, greenhouse disease management and greenhouse insect management. Track III sessions include physiological disorders, hanging baskets and containers, potted plant production and environmental management – temperature.
  • Be sure not to miss the 2005 Town Meeting on Sunday morning titled “Surviving after 2005.” This session is guaranteed to energize you and get you thinking.

Don’t miss out on the additional sessions scheduled Saturday afternoon through Tuesday. Various speakers will share their experience and knowledge on a plethora of topics including:

  • Greenhouse technology
  • Problem crops
  • New crops
  • Ideas from Pack Trials
  • Advanced research summaries
  • Understanding plant growth
  • Lessons from abroad
  • Crop labeling requirements
  • Greenhouse innovation
  • Mixed containers

Complete descriptions of all sessions and activities are listed in the Short Course program, which is available as a pdf at

The 2005 OFA Short Course trade show will be Sunday, July 10 through Tuesday, July 12. Trade show hours are Sunday and Monday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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