August 7th Conference Call

Attendees: Casey Sclar, Ellen Bauske, Mason Day, Gail Langellotto, Rick Durham, Pam Bennett, Suzi McCoy, Missy Gable

1. Executive Committee – new members: Missy Gable and Mason Day

All present on the call: Please tell us who you are, what you do, and why you NICH.

  • Casey Sclar – Exec Director for APGA, faculty adjunct at 2 Universities
  • Ellen Bauske – University of Georgia Center for Urban Ag program coordinator, faculty (research focus on urban water, urban trees, local food and community gardening)
  • Mason Day – Co-founder of GrowIt! (a mobile app that reaches all of consumer horticulture clientele/community)
  • Gail Langellotto – Oregon State University state MG coordinator, faculty (research focus is pollinators and urban soils)
  • Rick Durham – University of Kentucky state MG coordinator, faculty, Consumer Horticulture Specialist
  • Missy Gable – University of CA Agriculture and Natural Resources state MG coordinator
  • Pam Bennett – The Ohio State University state MG coordinator
  • Suzi McCoy – Owner of Garden Media Group

Why do we NICH? Everyone is interested in raising awareness of an industry that has incredible economic, social and environmental value!

2. National Meeting – the temperature of the group

High Points:

  • Good representation between academia and industry
  • A lot of cross-talk between sectors of consumer horticulture
  • Industry interest in crafting partnerships with folks in extension/academia
  • Left meeting with a lot of momentum
  • Defined what a lot of the challenges are
  • Important to be physically present/face-to-face time
  • Attendees learned what NICH is
  • Great refresh/revitalization
  • The concept of not trying to compete but rather support and enhance one another
  • Common ground – like-minded goals

Area for Improvement:

  • Messaging/have to continuously define ourselves (what is NICH and how do we define consumer hort?)
  • Some attendees didn’t know why they were there/could have prepared attendees better
  • Need to better communicate established mission and vision
  • People arrived thinking we were immediately going to go after the consumers

Next Steps:

  • Prioritize the challenges
  • Act quickly to capture momentum
  • Keep up engagement with meeting participants (Suzie sent out a follow-up email; sent out a story)

3. Executive Summary from June meeting

Consider including mission and vision at the top of an executive summary. At next meeting will discuss how we want to put specific ideas listed under each of the three tactics to galvanize our forward movement.

4. Mission/Vision discussion

Committee agrees that as NICH goals are met there will be a need to revisit the vision. Discussion about getting behind a mission/vision and focusing on taking action towards goals.

a. Mission:

i. Consider switching with vision

ii. Consider adding ‘beauty’ to the existing statement (Grow a beautiful and healthy world)

b. Vision:

i. Consider switching with the mission

ii. Concern that we cannot determine progress towards 90% goal because we don’t have a clear understanding of our baseline.

c. Motion (Suzi) to switch mission and vision and add ‘beauty’ to what is the existing mission. No second, motion did not pass. Discussion tabled.

5. Thoughts on the inclusion of ‘new’ members (meeting email list)

Suzi will share the meeting attendee list with the Executive Committee. Council and Committee leads, please reach out to meeting attendees to invite them to participate on a council/committee.

6. Council updates (if new/recent info to share)

a. Academic/LGU: Rick Also called the SCC (‘Southern Coordinating Committee’). Before coming to NICH had an idea to do fact sheets on what is consumer hort. At the Atlanta meeting circulated first publication ‘What is Consumer horticulture?’, a 4-page white paper. Five additional papers getting started. Running titles are personal and family, housing and residential areas, schools and communities, jobs and workplaces, environmental education and society.

b. Commercial: Mason

Actively reaching out to industry to join the committee. Trying to define which commercial entities we should engage. Working to get 4 to 5 people committed in addition to Mason. Will have first call in the coming weeks and committee will work on defining the industry, identifying gaps on committee, recruitment, prioritizing industry consumer horticulture needs.

c. Non-Profit: Shannon

7. Committee updates

a. Community and Health Benefits: Pam

Working on internal and external engagement; survey on what people know about consumer horticulture and what their engagement is in consumer hort; presentations on NICH at ASHS meeting and MG Coordinator Conference. Will post presentations in Box (‘presentations’ folder) that include who/where/date delivered in the description. Gail will re-send instructions on how to get to Box. Presentation by Suzi in the website section called ‘press release’ that people can download.

b. Economic: Debbie

c. Environmental: Gail

Taking action on plants and the role of NICH for native plant enthusiasts; best practices for MGs and other nonprofit plant sales to cut down or eliminate the introduction of invasive plants; go for big money with an SCRI proposal; possibly outreach to Audubon and other like-minded groups.


  • Suzi will share the meeting attendee list with councils and committees.
  • Committee/Council will follow up with meeting attendees who showed interest in joining.
  • Gail will re-send instructions on how to get to Box.
  • Casey will talk to Gail and Missy about transitioning Box.
  • Mason will send updated committee list to Ellen once he has identified 4-5 folks in addition to himself.
  • Everyone is getting behind mission and vision.


  • Take up discussion about how to catalyze meeting energy/meeting follow up at next call.