11/1/17 White House Christmas Tree Will Come From a Wisconsin Grower
A Balsam Fir Christmas tree grown by David and Jim Chapman of WCTPA member Silent Night Evergreens, located in Endeavor, Wisconsin, was awarded the title of 2017 Grand Champion at the National Christmas Tree Association's (NCTA) 2017 National Christmas Tree Contest. As growers of the Grand Champion tree, the Chapmans have earned the honor of presenting the official White House Christmas Tree this season.
The Chapman's tree was up against those of 21 other contestants from across the country, each of which had previously won a state contest to qualify. The Chapmans are in familiar territory, having been awarded Grand Champion status in 1998 and 2003, and presenting trees to President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and to President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, respectively.
11/1/17 Calling All Members! Donate to the 4th Annual WGIF Online Auction Set for March 3-17
It's time to start planning for the WGIF Online Auction--one of the most important fundraisers of the year for WGIF. We're starting earlier for our 4th annual Online Auction--beginning on March 3rd. We'll again be partnering with Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, so for every item sold in the 2018 WGIF Online Auction, WGIF will donate $5 to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. All the more reason to donate and participate in the WGIF Online Auction.
The Auction will be from March 3rd through March 17th. Your participation is critical to the success of this endeavor. Start by donating an item to be auctioned off--possibly a service, a product, a gift card. A donation from each member company of each member association of WGIF will help push this fundraiser for WGIF over the top! Go to www.BiddingForGood.com/wgif to get started. Thank you!
9/1/17 Mid-July Floods Devastate the Southern Half of the State
Governor Walker declared a state of emergency in mid-July for twenty Wisconsin counties to help deal with the aftermath of heavy rains and devastating flooding. Torrential rains and storms across the southwestern, south-central, and western Wisconsin counties have led to closed and flooded roads and trails, flooded rivers, and downed trees. Between six and eight inches of rain fell across the impacted area.
9/1/17 Melinda Myers to Receive National Hall of Fame Award
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, and WGIF member Melinda Myers was inducted into the Hall of Fame of The Association for Garden Communicators (GWA), the highest honor that can be given to a member of the GWA. She was presented with the award at the 2017 GWA Annual Awards and Honors Dinner at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, NY last month.
"It truly is an honor to be recognized by colleatues and peers that share the same vision, energy, and joy helping people have fun and be successful in their gardens," said Myers. "I am grateful that my passion for science, people, and gardening has provided me with a wonderful career and an opportunity to work with fellow garden communicators, horticulture professionals, and gardeners of all ages and abilities."
7/1/17 Jeff Epping Among 2017 Invader Crusader Award Winners
Jeff Epping, the lead horticulturist of Madison's Olbrich Gardens, was among those awarded the 2017 Invader Crusader award. Christa Schaefer, board president of the non profit association Invasive Plants of Wisconsin (IPAW) also received the award, which recognizes significant contributions to education about and the prevention and control of invasive species in Wisconsin.
7/1/17 Badgerland Financial Becomes Compeer Financial by Mark Ringhouse, Compeer
On July 1, pending regulatory approval, 1st Farm Credit Services, AgStar Financial Services, and Badgerland Financial will come together as Compeer Financial, strengthening our commitment to the agricultural community. By combining resources, knowledge, and expertise, Compeer Financial will serve agriculture and rural America in 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This includes the green industry and its nurseries, greenhouses, sod farms, garden centers, and landscapers.
5/1/17 WNLA Summer Field Day & Trade Show Heads to McKay Nursery August 3rd
This year's Summer Field Day & Trade Show, presented by the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association, will be hosted by McKay Nursery, the state's largest nursery operation. McKay Nursery, celebrating its 120th Anniversary this year, is located in Waterloo, Wisconsin--just northeast of Madison. The event is on Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 9 am until 4 pm and will include tours of the nursery, the first nursery in the U.S. to be SANC-certified.
SANC stands for Systems Approach to Nursery Certification and refers to the method of certifying the nursery to ship plants out of state as pest-free, based on how they produce the plants, rather than how the plants look to state nursery inspectors at the time of inspection. Tours of McKay Nursery at the WNLA Summer Field Day will take place in the morning and will include information about the detailed process of SANC with stops at their propagation area, the Langer Tree Farm to see their state-of-the-art drip irrigation system, and their container production area.
A trade show featuring more than eighty exhibitors will be another highlight of the day, with the newest plants, supplies, and equipment.
This year, lunch will be offered by food trucks located onsite. The admission fee is $20 for those who pre-register, $25 for those who register onsite, and $15 for students.
3/1/17 Ron Amos Awarded the 2017 WGIF Hall of Fame
The people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way can be described as leaders. The green industry in Wisconsin has many leaders, but those who reach distinction as a member of the WGIF Hall of Fame are groundbreakers. Ron Amos is the newest member of that exceptional group, and WGIF is proud to induct him into the WGIF Hall of Fame for 2017.
3/1/17 OSHA Rule to Prevent Workers from Breathing Silica Dust Will Soon Be Implemented
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule intended to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.
Both standards contained in the final rule took effect last June, and employers in Construction, which includes the landscape industry, have until June 23, 2017 to comply with the requirements.
Upon implementation, all jobsites will be required to have a written exposure control plan and a person trained on the exposure plan and silica on the jobsite. Call 1-800-947-0553 for help in Wisconsin or go to https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html for more information. For fact sheets and an overview of the rule, go to https://www.osha.gov/silica/
1/1/17 Protecting Pollinators: Not just for beekeepers anymore by Liz Meils, WI DATCP
Pollinator protection is a trending topic these days, but it's more than a passing fad. Wisconsin pollinators face real risks, including disease, parasitic mites, malnutrition, habitat loss, and pesticides. The popular press has made much of honey bee losses. Honey bees are important pollinators, it's true. But we also have about 400 species of native bees in Wisconsin, as well as many native flies, beetles, moths and butterflies that help pollinate crops. This threat to the state's crops represents an opportunity for two Wisconsin economic powerhouses--agriculture and the green industry--to work together. A landscape filled with plants flowering all season long is good for pollinators, and for the green industry. Your industry chooses the plants that people buy and use to maintain large swaths of pollinator habitat in urban and suburban areas. You can find detailed information in The Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Plan ( https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/PollinatorProtection.aspx ) about what private landowners can do.
1/1/17 The WNLA 2017 Plant of the Year Selections
The Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association would like you to know about two fantastic plants that should be on the radar of everyone in the green industry, so they've selected them as the WNLA Plants of the Year for 2017. The Woody Ornamental Plant is Gymnocladus dioicus 'Espresso' and the Intersectional (Itoh) Hybrid Peonies have been named Perennial of the Year.
1/1/17 WNLA's 2017 Winter Workshop Brings the Education
WNLA is doubling the education offerings at the 2017 Winter Workshop! Two days of speakers will provide in-depth analysis on a wide array of subjects of interest to green industry professionals. You'll have the opportunity to learn about landscaping--from the roots to the turfgrass to the plants and trees. From meadow gardens to gravel gardens, from the future of design, to sustainability. You'll learn about hardscaping--from charging for it to how to maintain it, manage it, market it, and sell it. You'll learn about the urban forests of Wisconsin, plus the crops, diseases, and invasives in our area. You'll also hear about the workplace: generational differences and what it's like at a county garden, namely Milwaukee's Boerner Botanical Gardens. Whether you can only stay for one or two presentations or you attend both days, Winter Workshop will be well worth your time.