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Keep it Green!

Keep it Green!

Go Spartans! It seems like Michigan is all things green and we are going to keep it that way at this year’s annual conference in Grand Rapids from October 11-14, 2017. The lower peninsula of Michigan continues to have what is easily the greatest concentration of excellent horticultural enterprises in the Eastern Region of IPPS. Within a few hours of Michigan State University, Michigan’s flagship Land Grant school, are literally hundreds of nurseries, greenhouses and innovative horticulture operations.

What is green? More than a color, that’s for sure. Besides being the color of our favorite thing – plants! – green represents ecological sustainability and, of course, making a profit. Our educational conference on Friday and Saturday conveniently breaks into these three type of green we care about: the Green Environment, Green Profits, and Green Plants.

We are so fortunate to be able to draw on the wealth of horticultural knowledge at MSU, and the wealth of experience in the Michigan green industry, and I owe thanks to the Local Site Committee headed by Chuck Martin and Gail Berner for finding some of the best and most interesting speakers.

Friday morning we will hear “green environment” talks on water quality, green roofs, pollinator plants and biocontrol. Eric Runkle of MSU will finish the morning with a panel discussion on using LEDs in plant production. After lunch we will dive in to the theme of “green profits” with talks on marketing, hydroponics for propagation and production cycle efficiency. IPPS member Dale Deppe will share his depth of experience on how to grow your business, and Gary Cortes and Matt Fredrickson will lead a panel discussion on LEAN business practices in production.

Saturday morning will feel like old times with a focus on “green plants”. Stick around to learn about foliar application of auxins in production, native plant propagation, plant breeding, water and oxygen during rooting, and mycorrhizal effects on rooting. As always we will finish up with our legendary New Plants Forum coordinated by Charles Tubesing.

The tours will be awesome, and then you can enjoy the networking and learning opportunities offered by our day and a half of educational sessions. Come tour some of the premier horticulture enterprises in North America, and take home a few new ideas as well. And don’t forget to pack something green to wear – ‘cause we won’t be coloring the beer! See you in Grand Rapids! (Photo of Frederik Meijer Garden courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids.)