OFA Bulletin September/October 2011 : Page 1

September/October 2011 • Number 929 September/October 2011 • Number 929 How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy By Dr. Charlie Hall he Great Recession had a major impact on the national floriculture industry due to job losses, home foreclosures, declining consumer confidence, lower business spending, and inflationary pressures on some of our key production inputs. Due to the cumulative impacts of these stressful economic conditions, we find that several of our friends and colleagues are no longer working in the industry. Of those that have survived, several that I have interacted with have indicated their business activity is still way down; others say they have either been “holding their own” or “doing OK.” However, there has been another (yet smaller) subset of firms that have indicated their “sales are up” or that their business has been “expanding” during the recovery. So, naturally, this prompts the question as to how have they T done it? What is it that separates the firms that are just doing “OK” from those who are doing well? As usual, there is no easy answer, but there are a couple of major underlying reasons. First, the severity of the economic downturn (and the subsequent recovery) has not been equal in all areas of the country. Some regions experienced more of an economic downturn than others and are recovering much more slowly. Firms that operate and market in regions that are fairing better economically find themselves in a more favorable market position. Also, firms who sell directly to end consumers have perhaps benefitted Continued on page 8 OFA Scholars Program: Transforming Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s Leaders By Alicia Wells A ny idea why today’s horticulture students have chosen horticulture or what they plan to do after graduation? Based on visits with horticulture students in programs throughout the Midwest I can offer some insight. The top two responses I get from “What do you want to do after graduation?” are: own a greenhouse and work at a greenhouse. While most students do not have a family background that includes horticulture, what they all have in common is a deep passion and respect for plants – their beauty and the intricacies of growing them. So what does that mean to the industry? Well, if you own a greenhouse it’s good and bad news. You could potentially have more competition or you could see an increase in qualified employees. To the rest of the industry it means today’s students are completely unaware of all the fun, interesting, and challenging jobs the industry has to offer. The fact that most of today’s students do not have a family background in horticulture means they’re in love with plants but not Continued on page 10 Inside this Edition ... How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy 1 OFA Scholars Program: Transforming Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s Leaders Fall Mums: A Guide to Higher Profitability Chlorination for Irrigation Systems Organic Substrates & Fertilizers 1 2 4 13 “Clean” Cutting, Plugs & Propagation: A Good Start for Any Solid Pest Management Program Million-Dollar Question: How to Get Employees to Follow Safety Rules? s-ABA: A New PGR to Extend Shelf Life & Increase Sell-Through 16 19 20 OFA Members in the News Welcome New OFA Members & Subscribers OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference 22 23 24 32 OFA News This is a member benefit of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals. OF A Bulletin 1

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