May 6, 2020
A Great Way to Learn By Tim Hodson

Are you looking for innovative, cost effective and safe training courses to educate yourself and your staff  this summer?

If you are, then you should know that the University of Florida will once again be offering its award-winning series of online training courses starting next month.

It’s a great opportunity to provide a great educational experience for your team members … while practicing social distancing.

The series kicks off June 1 with the first course Greenhouse 101. This introductory course is designed for people with no formal training in horticulture that work in the greenhouse or nursery industry. The course is  designed to help them make better crop management decisions by learning the underlying horticultural science of plant growth. It is offered in English and Spanish.

The cost is $199 per participant, with discounts if you register five or more individuals.

Over 4 weeks, there are streaming video lessons, readings and assignments, which can be accessed at any time. University instructors are available for help and discussions. To register, go to

Other topics that will be addressed throughout the year, include: nutrient management; disease management; weed management; costing and profitability; and irrigation water quality and treatment.

For more information, including discounts for registering multiple staff, send an email to [email protected].

— Tim


Walmart Hits the Accelerator on Express Delivery Program

On April 30, Walmart introduced Express Delivery, a new service that delivers more than 16,000 items from stores to customers’ doors in less than two hours. Walmart accelerated the development of the service in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, piloting Express Delivery in 100 stores since mid-April. The service will expand to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores in the following weeks.

Lowe’s Partners with Growers, Uber for Mother’s Day Flower Deliveries

To show appreciation to the moms who can’t be with their families this Mother’s Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lowe’s will donate $1 million worth of flower baskets from its network of growers and provide them to more than 500 long-term care and senior living facilities across more than 10 markets greatly impacted by the pandemic. Lowe’s sourced the flower baskets from local growers whose business operations have been impacted due to the pandemic. The initiative will also support earnings for Uber drivers who will be delivering the flowers.

Meijer ’Buy Local’ Meal Program Supports Employees, Local Restaurants

Last month, Michigan-based retailer Meijer kicked off a “Buy Local” meal program to show appreciation of its frontline team members while supporting local restaurants. Each of the retailer’s stores has partnered with an independent restaurant to purchase meals for its team members. This community-focused initiative will continue for the next few weeks. “This initiative is just one of the ways we are trying to show [team members] just how much we appreciate their dedication, while also providing an opportunity to support important small businesses in the communities we serve,” said CEO Rick Keyes.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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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.
Kait Barry
Susan Judd
Alex Kantor
Liz Hughes
Andrew Konicki
Kit Leider Pierri
Lauren Kirchner
Michelle Opela
Judson LeCompte

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