April 18th Conference Call

Attending: Suzi, Casey, Gail, Julie, Pam, Shannon

1) Business Plan Task Force

a. If you have proposed additions to the Business Plan Task force, please send suggestions to Gail and Casey

2) Plan Meeting Subcommittee

a. If you have proposed additions to the Plan Meeting SubCommitteee force, please send suggestions to Gail and Casey

3) Farm Bill September Meeting Strategy:

There is a September meeting of American Hort. How can our group participate/collaborate

a. at the upcoming Cultivate meeting, NICH has a panel ~ Suzi and Pam will be there

b. Tom Demaline from Ohio (President of the Board of American Hort), is focusing on horticulture from an environmental and economic perspective ~ very resonant with what NICH is doing.

i. Pam can contact Tom to see how much he is aware of, with regard to our effort?

c. If we start moving into the advocacy realm, how do we work with American Hort, rather than competing with what they do?

i. Can we set up a meeting with American Hort, so that we can emphasize how we are supportive of American Hort’s efforts?

ii. American Hort is participatory with NICH (i.e. efforts on the ‘Plants Do That’ infographic, American Hort Board members who are on NICH committees)

d. How are folks engaging with their state senators? If you have senators who are doing listening sessions on the Farm Bill, specifically, folks can engage, locally.

i. Local Land grants or farmer’s unions might have a calendar of farm bill sessions

e. Conversations with the Pollinator Partnership, and they wanted to know why pollinators were not highlighted more in our materials

i. pollinators are part of our efforts: in environmental committee, SCRI grant ~ but perhaps not on our front page materials. This may emerge from forthcoming products / infographics.

f. Larger conversation is how to position NICH so that potential partners and supporters grasp what NICH is and support our efforts.

g. Next step re NICH and American Hort ~ To Do: Casey will reach out to Craig, invite him (and other Board members) to an Exec Committee Call, see what NICH’s role might be in September.

h. All of this points to the importance of having a clear and resonant outward message to potential partners, supporters

4) Marketing and Communications

(see addendum for full MarCom strategy, with edits)

a. MarCom efforts should focus on increased support for end-use horticulture from the Farm Bill

5) Website Reorganization Status: changes are in progress

a. Join us link still needs to be updated

6) Reports/Updates from Committees and Councils (Chairs or Designates)

a. Community and Health Benefits Committee (Pam): at the National Extension Volunteerism conference, Pam updated the extension educators on NICH. Many folks were not aware of NICH, but were very supportive.

i. One person commented that if they were to come across infographic, they would not know where to go for more information . . . so please put a link to our website on the infographic.

ii. Working on literature review.

b. Environmental Committee (Julie)

i. Have added a few folks to the committee (Kelly White from NMSU)

ii. Meeting first week in May

iii. Have asked folks to step up for various NICH task force/subcommittee assignments

iv. Working on literature review

v. What is the end products that the committee produces? Short term end goal is to identify gaps associated with consumer horticulture that can help guide the conversation at the national meeting ~ generate consensus and enthusiasm around particular research and extension projects that can be focus of future work.

7) Items from the floor:

To Do: Shannon is still seeking a co-chair for the non-profit council ~ optimally someone affiliated with a national, rather than local or regional organization.

Addendum to 0418207 Minutes: Marketing Committee Strategy, DRAFT 4/5/17

(suggested edits in red or in strikethrough)


Establish the foundation to position NICH as the united front to stimulate economic growth in consumer horticultural and communicate this message to industry leaders, influencers & decision makers


Our strategy is simple: to get buy in from all aspects of the consumer horticultural industry.

Our plan is to lay the foundation for our movement by helping industry leaders understand the need for and benefits of an economic stimulus package to increase the demand for gardening across all segments.

We will achieve this by communicating via our list serve, email, personal connections, speaking engagements, and media outreach with everyone in consumer horticulture. We will target horticultural industry leaders; the top 100 growers, nurseries and retailers; national and state nursery and landscape association leadership; horticultural department heads at universities; extension agents; horticultural non-profit leaders; public garden leaders; industry influencers; government policy makers, and affiliated groups such the League of Municipalities.

We will emphasis emphasize to stakeholder partners our mission to grow a healthy world using plants, landscapes and gardens, indoors and out. We will drive home our vision to increase the percentage of U.S. households participating in consumer horticulture to 90% by 2025.

We will build a case as to why we are seeking support from for the 2018 USDA Farm Bill and increased funding from for the specialty crop program. We will develop and implement this economic stimulus program to increase interest in all aspects of consumer horticulture, from research grants and extension outreach to breeding plants and driving foot traffic at garden centers.

We will communicate that this effort will be funded through multiple government and private sources and demonstrate the importance of consumer horticulture to multiple domains, which contributes $XXX to the industry, yet is chronically under-funded. We will how collaborate with different Horticultural organizations with similar visions to grow the industry. it is different from and complimentary to Seed the Future.

We will implement this strategy across all committees and councils to develop a “sales pitch” and make a case to get industry targets involved.

Key Target Markets:

  • Influencers
  • Hort Industry Leaders
  • Top 100 retailers
  • Government policy makers – Ag Committee
  • National and state nursery and landscape associations
  • Extensions
  • Non-profits
  • Public gardens
  • Affiliated groups


  1. Define The Brand & Messaging
  2. Identify & Reach Key Influencers in Target Markets
  3. Promote & Drive Message in the Horticultural Industry
  4. Leverage Strategy Across All Committees/ Councils