Washington, DC – Want to make a difference in the horticulture industry and help cultivate a gardening culture in the U.S.? Then plan on attending the Third National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) Conference in Atlanta, Ga., June 27-29.
Everyone in every aspect of consumer horticulture – from university researchers and extension agents, breeders, growers and garden center retailers to landscape design, maintenance, tree care and interiorscape professionals – is invited to attend and help create a unified, strategic plan around industry-wide priorities.
Using these priorities, NICH plans to promote the value of horticulture and ensure federal and state funding for consumer horticulture research and education, including its alignment with Specialty Crop Research Initiative priorities in the USDA Farm Bill.
“The goal of the meeting is to create a new value proposition for horticulture,” says Dr. Casey Sclar, inaugural chair of NICH and executive director of the American Public Gardens Association.
“We want to get more people gardening, to be recognized for contributing $200B and 2 million jobs to the US economy, and to drive research and education priorities toward our growing sector. We are the form of agriculture 85 percent of US residents, particularly in urban areas, see every day,” he adds.
Listen: Goal: 90 percent of households gardening by 2025 [podcast] - Dr. Ellen Bauske, co-chair of the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture, explains how the organization will use USDA funds to increase consumer interest in and knowledge of gardening.
At the NICH annual meeting, attendees will help shape the national agenda and create a strategic plan to get 90 percent of the U.S. gardening by 2025. A kick off reception will be held Wednesday night at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
On Thursday and Friday morning a professional facilitator will lead the group through several listening sessions and strategic planning exercises to explore the goals for the organization and craft the strategic plan.
“More people gardening means more sales, more jobs, and more research grants and funding,” says Sclar. “We need everyone’s input to create a unified voice to make ourselves heard, increase our profile, and enhance the value of our work.”
Plan to be part of this grassroots movement and come to the NICH national meeting. Travel grants are available.
For more information, visit www.consumerhort.org/conference.