July 26th Conference Call

Attending: Casey Sclar, Gail Langellotto, Shannon Spurlock, Rick Durham, Tom Bewick. Tom, Debbie Hamrick, Dave Close, Pam Bennett, Tom Underwood, Ellen Bauske

Update on Recruitment of Chairs

Casey will be talking to Clint Albin, to on-board him as the commercial council chair. Tom has been talking to potential folks to find a Land Grant University Chair. A strategy may be to look to USDA people ~ this may be a good place for Margaret Pooler to stay engaged. Margaret had a few questions related to if she were to serve as Land-Grant/Federal Research as chair ~ particularly the potential advocacy nature of this group, and any potential COI. Tom B. will follow up with Margaret to discuss. If State Departments of Ag might have good folks who could be chairs, please forward that information to Tom.

Update on One-Pager

Shannon shared one-pager earlier on Monday. She heard back from 4-5 people. Ellen and Lucy wondered if parts might be too repetitive. Tom asks ‘what is the intent’ of the 1-pager. The intent reads as if we’re trying to recruit sponsors. There is only one line about the science enterprise of our group ~ so this would not be useful for recruiting Land Grant Deans and Directors. Keeping the focus strategic planning around research, extension and education related to consumer horticulture should be retained as a core part of what this group does. Casey notes that this reflects our challenge of trying to appeal to a broad audience. One strategy is to revise the current version to appeal to all. A second strategy is to create two versions ~ one to appeal to industry and a second to appeal to researchers. Debbie shared the previous version of the one-pager with folks she was talking to about the Economic committee. One industry person noted that he questioned the part ‘what’s in it for me?’. Ellen suggested that different parts of the one-pager will appeal to different people ~ so you wait until you see what they’re interested in, and then talk about that part of NICH.

Action Items

  • Ellen will revise the one-pager, taking these comments into account ~ and will finalize on the next call.
  • Tom B. will also put together a couple of bullet points. If Ellen and Tom can get the one-pager back to Shannon within a week, she will share with her staff for refinement, if there is specific direction on changes that need to be made. The revision will be brought back to the next conference call (August 8, 2016) back for final approval.

NIFA Strategic Planning Grant Readiness

Does anyone know when the RFA becomes available? Is there an old RFA available? Tom Bewick can forward the group the 2016 RFA. The 2017 RFA for pre-applications will come out in early October. There will be 6-8 weeks to prepare pre-applications. Part of the pre-application process includes an industry-relevance review. Pre-apps are much shorter than full application. If this group knows folks who are interested in consumer horticulture, and would be interested in serving as relevance reviewers ~ please send names and emails to Tom Bewick (tbewick@nifa.usda.gov). The time commitment is ~20 hours over and 8-week period. There is a 45 minute ‘orientation’ webinar (what the process is about, how to go through the reviews). The reviewers are assigned applications via an online tool. Reviewers submit reviews online. Then there is a conference call, where decisions are made about who is invited to review.

Action Items

  • All ~ send names and emails of potential industry relevance review panelists to Tom (tbewick@nifa.usda.gov).
  • Tom B. ~ send 2016 RFA to Casey/Gail.

Update on Website Updates

Casey noted that there are many updates on the website, since our Denver meeting. Folks gave kudos to Ellen and Richie for the great look and improvements on the website.

Action Items

  • All ~ if you have comments on the website (http://consumerhort.org/), please send them to Ellen (ebauske@uga.edu).


One person may have been listed two times, as a potential member of more than one committee. If a chair speaks to someone who is not interested in your committee, but may be interested in another committee ~ please help steer them to a committee that is a good fit. Debbie talked to Craig from American Hort, as the right person to serve on the economic committee. Debbie talked about how NICH would be nothing but supportive of American Hort. Debbie will be putting three people down on her email list (Craig, Jennifer, Jill) for the economic committee, with the understanding that their engagement may change or switch out, depending upon their time availability. American Hort’s engagement is really important. Debbie suggested that Casey reach out to the new Executive Director of American Hort, to make sure that they understand that NICH is supportive of American Hort. Shannon and Tom U. have a coordinating call to talk about the NGO council recruits.

Action Item

  • Casey will reach out to Craig and the new Executive Director of American Hort in August.
  • Gail ~ will send out the Google Docs spreadsheet of potential committee chairs and members to all.
  • All ~ please update the spreadsheet with relevant notes, as you contact potential committee chairs and members.
  • All ~ when you recruit a committee chair, make sure that they have us for support, that the know about the bi-weekly conference calls, and that we align expectations.
  • All ~ We should be reporting back on committee work (first conference calls, recruitment, etc) at bi-weekly conference calls.

New Business:

  • NICH Article in the Digger: Gail will be taking lead on writing. Due in September, to be published in December. Gail will share with all on the Box site.
  • Warwick bill from Denver Meeting: Gail submitted for payment.