The Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo, in partnership with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo, will be held Dec. 8-10, 2020, in an exclusively online format. The floriculture and greenhouse production team from Michigan State University Extension under advisement from the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association and the Metro Detroit Flower Growers Association has developed an educational program consisting of 18 virtual sessions covering a broad range of topics. The selected schedule includes retail sales and marketing, new plant varieties and landscape performance, specialty cut flowers, and a strong set of plant production and integrated pest management (IPM) topics. These programs, featuring a healthy mix of university researchers, greenhouse growers, Extension educators and technical consultants, are designed for target audiences across the organizational spectrum from entry-level employees to operations managers.
The retail, marketing and variety sessions cover current issues as well as some classic topics that include remote sales, new varieties and strategies to boost consumer demand. The speakers this year are a fun group of Michigan greenhouse growers and industry representatives, including:
- A panel consisting of Mike Fernandez from Danziger, Nathan Sell from Dummen-Orange, Jerry Gorchels from PanAmerican Seed, Kevin Hurd from Proven Winners and Jennifer Barnes from Syngenta Flower to showcase some of the newest varieties.
- A group conversation on remote sales with Mike Ouding from Kalamazoo Specialty Plants, Dirk Jonker from Jonker's Garden and Bridget Behe from MSU.
- A grower review panel on landscape performance with Josh Miller from Four Star Greenhouses, Greg Michalak from Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, Daedre McGrath the MSU Annual Trial Garden Manager, Laura Robles from Walters Gardens and Brian Weesies from Mast Young Plants.