Oct 3, 2018
Students Taking (Plant) Initiative By Tim Hodson

Have you heard of the College Plant Initiative (CPI)?

It is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create people who love plants and find the plants people love.

Made up of undergraduate students without backgrounds in plant science or related majors, these student leaders love plants and are passionate about sharing this love with as many college students as possible.

The student-run organization started at the University of Florida and is comprised of a core group of students who offer a unique perspective of the plant world.

CPI’s Plant Drop at Texas A&M University

Virginia Frazier, CPI’s executive director, says, “Our goal is to connect college students to the horticulture industry in order to foster new opportunities and build lifelong connections.”

In essence, the group hopes to grow new customers for our industry and hopefully new employees — students who previously may not have considered a horticulture-related career.

The organization does this by putting on in-person events, regular social media postings and articles.

CPI’s most noteworthy events are Plant Drops where they bring 1,000 plants to the center of a university campus to give away to students for free. While students are eagerly waiting for their new plant, CPI members share information about caring for the plant and how students can become involved in the horticulture industry.

Plant Drops have been conducted at the University of Florida, Penn State University and Texas A&M University and many more are planned for the 2018-19 academic year.

It is a great way to introduce students to the many benefits of plants and how great our industry our industry is!

You can learn more about the College Plant Initiative in the most recent issue of Big Grower where you will find Virginia Frazier’s article, “Cultivating New Customers … and Maybe Even Employees.”

The College Plant Initiative is supporting our industry and you can support CPI. Go to www.collegeplantinitiative.com to learn how.

— Tim


Home Depot Rolls Out Express Delivery in 35 Markets

Last month, the Home Depot introduced express same-day and next-day local delivery for more than 20,000 of its most popular items to 35 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. The new service is part of the company’s overall five-year expansion of its delivery offerings. Qualifying products for the new express delivery option include everything from garden supplies to décor to power tools, with delivery options starting at $8.99. “This is just the beginning of our expansion of improved delivery options, but it’s a significant milestone in the way we’re serving customers,” said Mark Holifield, executive vice president of supply chain and product development.

Walmart to Begin Tracking Leafy Greens from Farm to Table

Walmart and Sam’s Club stores have announced a new Walmart Food Traceability Initiative to increase transparency in its food system and create shared value for the entire leafy green farm to table channel. The retailers recently sent a letter to suppliers of fresh, leafy greens asking them to trace their products all the way back to the grower using blockchain technology. This means the information gathered by suppliers will be open and accessible through technology that offers real-time, end-to-end traceability. Blockchain allows for digitized sharing of data in a secure and trusted way. Suppliers are expected to have all these systems in place by this time next year.

Lowe’s, AT&T Team Up to Reduce Water Use and Carbon Emissions

Lowe’s and AT&T are working together to help the home improvement retailer reduce water use for store landscaping. Lowe’s is using AT&T’s HydroPoint smart irrigation controllers to help achieve its company-wide commitment to environmental stewardship. The AT&T HydroPoint technology was installed at more than 900 Lowe’s stores across the country and is saving about 650 million gallons of water annually. It’s also reducing carbon emissions by almost 750 metric tons a year and helping the company reach its reduced emissions goal three years early.


Tim Hodson

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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.