OFA Short Course Celebrates 75th Anniversary

February 12, 2004 - 14:42

Floriculture industry professionals from around the world will celebrate "75 years of planting the seeds of knowledge" at the 2004 OFA Short Course July 10—14, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. The trade show will run July 11—13.

Professionals from all segments of floriculture — greenhouse growers, garden center operators, interior plantscapers, retail and wholesale florists and mass marketers — meet to get new ideas, research products and visit with company representatives.

This year, the trade show will host nearly 600 exhibitors and more than 1300 booths that will showcase their products, plant materials and equipment. The trade show continues to grow each year, with at least 11 countries representing all areas of the industry.

Archie Griffin, The Ohio State University alumnus and one of the top college-football running backs of all time, will be the keynote speaker at the Short Course on Sunday, July 11 at 6 p.m. Griffin will be discussing "The 3 D’s of Success" — desire, dedication, and determination. He will also include stories from his high school days and his times with Woody Hayes.

Perhaps best known as the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin was also a three-time All-American. He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. In 2002, Griffin was honored as the "Football Player of the Century" at Ohio State University. He became OSU’s Alumni Association President after many years as associate director of athletics.

The 2004 Short Course will also offer educational seminars, hands-on workshops, tours and interactive sessions from several areas of the industry:

Greenhouse growers. The sessions will be presented in three areas: greenhouse production basics, greenhouse advanced topics, and disease and pest management. The sessions will include topics such as vegetative and seeded annuals, perennials, poinsettias, potted and bedding plants, media, nutrition, irrigation, lighting, chemical growth regulation and container production.

Michigan State University’s College of Knowledge Level I and II courses will be offered on Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10. The 2004 grower study tour — "Extension Reloaded: A Diagnostic Tour" — will visit several locations in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas.

Garden centers. A one-day workshop on the future of garden retailing will be presented on Saturday, July 10. Garden center operators and employees will also be able to tour several Ohio garden centers. Other educational seminars throughout the week will focus on merchandising, marketing and customer relations. There will also be an idea exchange to discuss making a profit on woody ornamentals, controlling insects and updating the garden center.

Retail florists. A design contest sponsored by Teleflora® will be held on Sunday, July 11, as well as hands-on workshops that will focus on color, high-style looks at a low cost and gift baskets. Other sessions will include tricks of the trade, pricing issues and a history of floriculture.

Interior plantscape. A technician workshop will discuss media, insect/disease diagnostics, aglaonema varieties and color programs. An interior plantscape management workshop will feature secrets for interiorscapers, questions of growers and wholesalers, safety in the workplace and effective training.

Management and marketing. The series will feature presentations and idea exchanges on topics such as point-of-sale systems, customer relations, leadership skills and time management. There will also be educational sessions focusing on working with employees more effectively, increasing profits, marketing to and maintaining customers, and dealing with the generation gap.

Industry newcomer outreach. The sessions will include ideas on starting a new business, family business hints and being a good employee/supervisor.

OFA Short Course attendees will also be able to review new products and varieties displays, attend the OFA Short Course reception, visit the OFA showcase, participate in the FIRST fund-raising activities and shop at the OFA bookstore and apparel shop.

For more information about the 2004 OFA Short Course, visit

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