May 28th Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)

Executive Committee

Bi-Weekly Conference Call

Tuesday May 28, 2019

10am ET / 9am CT / 8am MT / 7am PT


Attendees: Casey, Ellen, Sylvia, Missy, Mary Kay, Mason, Shannon, Heather, Pam

1. Online Toolkits (Mason)

Mason shared a Google Drive folder 5.27 as follow-up to discussion about online toolkits. NICH has a ton of information that the industry is happy to have but need it in a format that is user-ready. Mason has divided the folder into tiers – tier 1 is content heavy, tier 2 is printables (bench cards, etc.), tier 3 is social media and includes hashtags. Statistics in mockups are not accurate – accurate statistics and monthly ‘themes’ need to be identified. Mason has not yet shared the folder with the Commercial Council. Goal is to create a win-win for both the industry partners and NICH. As project develops we will consider:

  • How to track downloads/usage (embed tracking link in a PDF or image).
  • Narrative around influence of academic work (e.g., how infographic content is perpetuated in bench cards and social media memes) for use in dossier.
  • Components of social media memes and bench cards provided as native files for industry folks who may want to change the look/feel of what we are providing. We will also discuss use agreement to make sure that the NICH integrity is maintained. Perhaps we want full control over the tier 1 materials and have more leniency over the tier 2 and 3 materials.

2. 5-Year Vision for NICH (Casey)

Proposing we develop a 5-year plan to outline what we’ll be doing for the next 5 years and the timeline/funding attached to each of those efforts. First step is to contact all Committee and Council chairs to help ID someone from the Committee/Council to serve on the committee. Ellen would like this group to come together by the end of June. Several NICH members have been approached to serve and have indicated willingness to do so. Casey will help to ID someone from the Economic Committee. Timeline is around end of fall (November).

3. Committee Updates (new, Emergent Info to Share)

a. Development (Ellen)

Committee is charged with taking the existing strategic tactics and framing them into a strategic business plan, complete with budgetary requirements by November 2019. See details above under ‘5-Year Vision for NICH’.

b. Economic (Casey) – tabled for next meeting

c. Marketing/Communications (Mary Kay)

Reaching out to Diane Blasek who has agreed to look at the tent list. Jennifer Gray reached out – Mary Kay inquired about the infographics currently in development. Jennifer is working on the pollinator infographic. She made some changes to the file and sent it for feedback but has not heard back. There is a disconnect somewhere as both Gail and Jennifer are waiting on one another. Mary Kay has reached out to Gail to ensure that Gail and Jennifer are in contact.

d. Environmental (Gail) – tabled for next meeting

e. Community Health Benefits (Pam)

Almost all EMG state coordinators have signed up with NICH. Committee will host a webinar in July to talk about NICH and recruit more participation. Once questions are answered Committee members will ask this group to start engaging EMG Coordinators and volunteers.

4. Council Updates (new, Emergent Info to Share)

a. Commercial (Mason) – tabled for next meeting

b. Non-Profit (Shannon) – tabled for next meeting

Shannon wondering if there is someone else who could take on this role. Jenny Evans interested in supporting the Non-Profit Council but not taking a leadership role. Please give consideration to who we could engage to step into this role. Shannon may have capacity to re-engage in 6-8 weeks.

c. Academic/LGU (Heather)

ASHS meeting on July 23 includes 3 lightening talks, one by Casey. Focus for meeting talks appears to be engagement with younger/millennial generation. Council is working on rough drafts for their publications.


  • Mason will seek feedback from Commercial Council on online toolkits.
  • Committee and Council chairs will work with Ellen to ID who to nominate for the 5-Year Vision effort.
  • Mary Kay will make sure that Jennifer Gray and Gail Langellotto are in contact.
  • Everyone: Please give consideration to who might step into Non-Profit Council leadership or membership.