Jun 6, 2008
OFA Short Course Boasts Comprehensive Growers ProgramSource: OFA

The 2008 OFA Short Course – a must-attend event for industry professionals – is hailed for its targeted educational sessions. This year, growers can expect the same wealth of educational sessions on timely topics impacting their businesses and bottom lines. The event, taking place July 12 to 15 in Columbus, Ohio, boasts a comprehensive grower program (along with a garden center program, management and marketing program, interior plantscape program and more). From innovative strategies to curb energy costs, to in-depth crop culture sessions, to communicating effectively with your Latino workers, to surviving the drought and the journey to sustainable certification, the sweeping grower program hits on all the hot issues facing growers today and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of what the grower program has to offer:

Innovations in Energy Savings in Greenhouses. Sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, this session tackles the issue on every grower’s mind: rocketing energy costs. Growers can learn what Dutch growers are doing and the new concepts and innovative technologies they’re employing, including the “closed greenhouse” and the “energy supplying greenhouse” to conserve energy.

Crop Culture Unplugged. Jim Barrett, professor of floriculture at the University of Florida in Gainesville and consulting editor for GPN, will lead an open discussion on poinsettia production issues. This is an opportunity to ask your pressing questions and learn from your peers’ experiences with cool temperature production, whitefly control, variety selection, growth regulators and more.

Communicating Effectively With Your Latino Workers. Learning Spanish is only half the battle in effectively communicating with your Latino/a workers. Claudio Pasian, associate professor in The Ohio State University’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, will discuss the other half of the battle: understanding Latino culture, with an emphasis on Mexican cultural and personality traits, as well as an examination of the differences between typical Anglo and Latino/a management styles.

“Green” Nuts & Bolts: The Journey to Certification. This session, sponsored by Ball Horticultural Company and BioWorks, will take you through the challenging journey of becoming sustainably certified. A group of panelists will share their experiences in their effort to become certified, and hopefully dispel some of your fears.

For a complete list of all the educational sessions offered at the 2008 Short Course, visit www.ofa.org.

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