December 13th Conference Call

Attending: Gail, Pam, Debbie, Rick, Clint, Casey, Shannon, Ellen, Julie

1) Quick Grant Update (E. Bauske):

Relevancy review panel members have been contacted. Ellen was looking for the names of folks from the Land Grant Council, and for the affiliation of someone sent from Suzi. Clint will send Ellen names, and will follow up on the affiliation sent from Suzi.

a. To Do for All: check website for names, spelling, affiliations for your associates, committee members ~ and send corrections to Ellen.

2) Ellen provided an update on the Southern Extension Coordinating Committee:

Under the auspices of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.  In Consumer Hort, we traditionally have little to do with the Experiment Station.  For the past few years, consumer hort has had a SERA (Southern Extension Research Activity  ~ and SERA is what ‘gave birth’ to NICH.  It was an early attempt at collaboration in consumer horticulture.  Every year, we were required to renew our SERA.  Two years ago, they asked us to form a coordinating committee.  Sheri Dorn, Natalie Bumgarner and Ellen Bauske decided to make the efforts of the coordinating committee parallel to NICH.  One benefit is that folks can request funds for travel to one meeting per year from their Experiment Station.

a. Rick asked if the Coordinating Committee could be a baseline for populating the NICH Land Grant Council. Rick and Ellen to follow up, later.

3) Victory!: review of tangible results of NICH activities, outreach and communication

a. Digger Article: NICH article in the Digger is online at

b. Can the article be posted on the NICH website? Here is the note from OAN, regarding reprinting the Digger article.

Hi Gail,

Absolutely, go right ahead. Our standard policy is reprints are OK, but we ask that the other magazines give credit to all the authors and include a statement indicating that the article originally appeared in the (month and year here) issue of Digger, published by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.

Best regards,

c. Presentations

i. Clint recently gave a presentation to Duman, where a lot of big growers were in attendance. Katie and Suzi gave a similar presentation that same week, in Boston. Both presentations had slides about NICH and about Seed Your Future. Garden Media Group will take the three slides related to national initiatives (including NICH and Seed Your future), and will be making them available to our group. Clint also talked to someone from MANTS ~ who agreed to do handouts or to distribute slides through their online communication systems. Tom Underwood and Margaret Pooler will also be at MANTS. Clint, Tom and Margaret should talk in advance of MANTS to coordinate efforts on slides and one-pager distribution.

ii. Ellen will send out an email to the NICH listserv, letting them know that resources (Digger article, NICH slides) are available.

iii. Remember that there is an area on the Box site for outreach. Make sure that outreach materials live there, so that group members can grab and use materials as needed, and to be as uniform as possible.

1. Box Site, Outreach Documents Subfolder: Contact Gail for access

2. NICH Box Site: Contact Gail for access

4) Brief Reports from Committees:

a. Environmental (J. Weisenhorn): will be going through resources (starting with the ones posted on the Box site), and the goals posted on September 20th ~ cross referencing resources to goals, and then will work through their own library systems to identify additional resources. Committee meets ~1X per month. Water, nutrient management, and pollinators are preliminary items that may rise to the top as focal areas.

i. Casey pointed out that the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge might be relevant to the environmental committee’s work.

ii. Clint noted that Greenscape Gardens might be a good economic/environmental model for independent garden centers, and a good resource for the environmental committee.

b. Economic Committee (Hamrick): working on infographics and on having good committee participation. They have four economists on the committee. What the committee will come up with will be top-notch, but it is not instantaneous. Upcoming committee call will focus on supplementing information in recent Hall article with information on public gardens and property values. Second infographic will focus on passive catalytic benefits (those actions that help the economy). Working with Marvin and Penny on this second infographics, and in the process, recognized the importance of internal stakeholders within NICH ~ those working in consumer horticulture, rather than the end user

Charlie Hall has two graduate students ~ one working on environmental benefits and economic benefits of Consumer Horticulture. This work will be forthcoming over the coming year. Second graduate student will update Dix and Hall article on health and environmental benefits of consumer horticulture. Time frame for this second graduate student ~ her work will likely be finished in the summer
The economic committee decided that they would like to have annual updates (one-pager?, infographic?) to industry, based upon current research.

Question ~ where can their background data or papers ‘live’, in case someone wants to fact check the stats on the infographics? Can they have space on the NICH website? Having information posted on our website, in addition to the Charlie Hall website, might better help inform stakeholders and industry folks about the benefits of consumer horticulture.

Committee will be having monthly conference calls. They have resources housed on the NICH Box site, which all are welcome to access (Subfolder: Contact Gail for access).

c. Social Committee (Bennett): had conference call early in December. They’re going to begin literature review on social and community benefits of consumer hort. They’re working on a matrix of criteria they’re going to use, and are also looking for resources outside of peer-reviewed literature. Their committee is full at 15 folks. Will send email to folks who are interested, to let them know that they would like to bring them in for task-specific items and projects.

5) Revisit NICH Organizational Structure and Legal Formation: tabled until Tom Underwood can attend

6) Role of NICH councils (Sclar): a few thoughts when considering populating councils and the work that councils do

a. Councils work in a 2-way capacity ~ council membership should represent broad breadth of NICH, and making sure that you have broad representation will help to best inform work of the committee; committees communicate back their work, as well as proposed dissemination of that work, to the councils

i. In short: council members help to advise the work of committees, and council members will help to disseminate work of committees

b. If you have a surplus of committee members, think about how they might be able to function within the structure of a council

c. Debbie mentioned that it might be good to have council members sit in on committee conference calls in the future ~ to provide that feedback, and to strategize dissemination

7) Upcoming Deadlines and Action Items (Floor)

a. NO DECEMBER 27th CONFERENCE CALL! | Next conference call will be January 10, 2017.