October 3rd Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)
Bi-Weekly Tuesday Conference Call Minutes
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
10am ET / 9am CT / 8am MT / 7am PT

Prior to the meeting, Ellen inspired everyone with stories and images of puppies and cardinal vine.

1) NICH Strategic Planning Meeting Update – Ellen and Debbie

Jeanmarie has sent a contract for Hilton Garden Inn – Atlanta Airport. Ellen and UGA team are working on finalizing it. The obligation is for 13K currently.

Committee’s upcoming work (post-contract) is finalizing the meeting agenda which will including producing and presenting a business plan, and presenting a new leadership/organizational structure.

Marketing the meeting will also be important. We will especially need to reach out to industry members and get them to see the “why” in attending.

2) SCRI listening sessions – Casey

a. https://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistenshttps://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistens

b. opportunity to provide input on NIFA priorities.

c. In-person sessions located in Sacramento, Atlanta, Greenbelt (MD), Kansas City (MO)

– We need to encourage friends and allies to attend these. Deadline follows.

d. Online Session Registration Due October 12, 2017, for in-person listening sessions: opportunity to give 5-minute presentation

– Was a suggestion made to possibly send as the next e-blast? 

Shannon and Ellen will work with Casey and team to craft and send it ASAP.

3) NICH Emails: Suzi is away. Assigning e-blast authorship duties. – Casey

a. Week 1) vision and mission: has this one been sent? If not, Gail can craft.

b. Week 3) What’s in it for me/Why join letter:  SENT

c. Week 5) economic survey

d. Week 7) community/social committee objectives ranking

e. Week 9) economic committee objectives ranking

f. Week 11) environmental committee objectives ranking

4) Discussion of refining goals – Community and Health Benefits Committee – Pam

Pam would like permission for the Committee(s) to tweak and refine the objectives. Everyone very supportive. Time to refine some of the strategic plan objectives. Ellen observed that a smaller number of objectives is generally perceived better, especially by new audiences.

Shannon offered more information that could be used in the literature review that is being conducted by the Community and Health Benefits Committee.

Casey also suggested that the literature review gets posted on the website. Pam also said an infographic is planned as an upcoming deliverable.

5) Meeting Reports

a. AmericanHort Summit: Debbie, Suzi

– While neither Suzi or Debbie were present, Suzi reported via email that there was a connection made with many PA state senators and representatives about NICH. The #plantsdothat infographic was distributed. Suzi also suggested to Jill Gray that the infographic is sent to all who attended the Washington impact summit and that they, too, send the infographic to everyone they had met. Informing the representatives of the size of our industry opened a lot of eyes. Suzi felt it was a great meeting.

b. ASHS: Pam, others?

– Pam and others enjoyed the conference. They had a large number of new people (Denver Botanic Garden and South Korea). There was a bit of good duplication in the presentations. There was no NICH meeting held due to scheduling conflicts. Very, very good workshop overall with a journal article planned by Sheri Dorn.

– Lots of interest in joining NICH. Julie reports that there was good interest throughout the conference. Julie also reports that she and Sheri placed in the Photo Contest and that Cheri and Lucy both received ASHS awards.

6) SCRI Pre-Proposal? – Ellen and Gail

a. Pre-applications due December 8th

b. https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scrihttps://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri

c. Brief mention of call for pre-applications / opportunities for our group to submit

i. Planning Project #2?


- Concern expressed about our eligibility for this since we already received the equivalent

ii. Standard Research and Extension Project?

– Large CAPS project may be off the table, but we may want to do something. Ellen and Gail to talk further and report back to all.

7) Committee and Council Update

a. Environmental Committee

Julie met with reps from the MNLA and they were interested in a presentation for their winter session. Julie is also talking to the Students (Hort Club) and for a Master Gardener article. Sarada Krishnan of Denver Botanic Garden and Marisol Mata of NC State/ American Public Gardens Association also expressed a desire to help in committees.

Dave Close will lead the next Environmental Committee Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 4th.

The next ASHS meeting scheduled for DC in 2018. Great potential there.

Next Meeting of NICH Leadership: October 17th

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