September 4th Conference Call

Bi-Weekly Tuesday Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)

Executive Committee

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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

Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Mason, Rick, Debbie, Missy, Pam, Casey, Ellen, Gail

1. New/Existing Partnerships

  1. New:
    1. Plant Conservation Alliance/Sim Johnson (Casey, Ellen, Gail)
      1. Plant Conservation Alliance is part of the Bureau of Land Management. Sim Johnson attended June NICH meeting and has since become very involved in his desire to see a national database for native plants. He is dedicating the November 14th Plant Conservation Alliance quarterly meeting to this topic.
        1. What will NICH do to support these efforts:
          1. NICH will be supportive and will send out at least one release surrounding this topic; however it will not be included as a top research priority nor will NICH be responsible for any of the proposed work. (Suzi)
          2. NICH will support communication for the upcoming webinar. (Suzi)
          3. Encourage PCA to invite more people from agriculture into their conversation. (Casey)
        2. Opportunities for NICH:
          1. NICH will ask to present an overview at the upcoming November 14th meeting. (Casey)
          2. NICH could make recommendations or a guide sheet for landscapers who want to use native plants in their design more often.
          3. Join PCA as a non-federal cooperator.
          4. Ask PCA to join NICH (new audience/collaborators NICH is not currently working with).
    2. Existing:
      1. NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives initiative
      2. When NIFA solicits feedback, they run an algorithm on the script to ID what top priorities are. Therefore, in 2017 we made a concerted effort to say ‘consumer horticulture’ multiple times during each NICH presentation.
        1. Materials – We have Ppt slide decks from 2017 that can be shared via Box. All presenters should use consistent branding and Ppt intro/outro slides.
        2. Tactics
          1. Recruit presenters.
          2. Work with other presenters (outside of NICH) who could adopt term ‘consumer horticulture’ and our definition. Missy connected with the Western IPM Center and requested they work with their network to communicate request to reference consumer horticulture.
          3. Strategize written contributions (next meeting)
            1. Input form
            2. What are our key messages?
            3. Create a template
        3. Thursday, Oct. 11, Hartford, Connecticut (RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 4)
          1. Suggestions:
          2. Lorraine Calder / Eliot Wadsworth, White Flower Farm (Suzi)
        4. Thursday, Oct. 18, New Orleans, Louisiana (RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 11)
          1. Suggestions:
          2. Jeff Kuehny, LSU Ag Center (Suzi)
          3. Gary Bachman, Mississippi State Extension Service (Suzi)
        5. Thursday, Oct. 25, Minneapolis, Minnesota (RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 18)
          1. Suggestions:
          2. Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota (Gail)
          3. Ryan McEnaney, Bailey’s Nursery (Mason)
        6. Thursday, Nov. 1, Albuquerque, New Mexico (RSVP by Wednesday, Oct. 25)
          1. Suggestions:
          2. Kelly White, State Master Gardener Coordinator (Missy)
          3. Hunter Ten Broeck, Waterwise Landscapes (Debbie)
        7. Opportunity to provide feedback on these questions:
          1. “In your field, what is the most-needed breakthrough in science/technology that would advance your agricultural enterprise?”
          2. “When considering all of agriculture, what is the greatest challenge that should be addressed through NIFA’s research, education, and extension?”
          3. “What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension, or education that NIFA should address?”
      3. NIFA: SCRI Relevancy Reviewers
        2. Focus on recruiting nonprofit and industry personnel to serve as relevancy reviewers (academics can’t typically serve in this capacity). Time commitment is between 10-15 hours. In addition to reviewers, need people to write letters of support. To recruit participation we will:
          1. Mason will schedule a call with Casey to get to know more about this commitment/what the pitch is.
          2. Suzi will email introduce Mason to a former relevancy reviewer for more information.
          3. Missy will review recruitment materials compiled in Box for 2017. If anything is missing/needed Casey will go to Lauren. Current need is an email template to send to potential relevancy reviewers that we can all customize. Unsure if we already have this. Will review these materials at next call.

2. Strategic Tactics continued (Casey, Ellen)

  1. Tabled until next meeting.

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

  1. Economic (Debbie)
    1. No meeting since June/no new information to share. Preparing for upcoming September Committee meeting.
    2. Community Health Benefits (Pam)
    3. Presented NICH in Turkey and in Wisconsin (ag agents, Master Gardener coordinators). Feedback: no concept of consumer horticulture within international community.
    4. Question was raised about logos on NICH website – see action item under ‘Marketing’.
    5. Environmental (Gail)
    6. Committee meets for the first time tomorrow.
    7. Marketing (Suzi)
    8. Productive meeting last week, second meeting this afternoon. Divided group into 4 sub-committees, have an action plan and are using Google Drive to coordinate efforts. Sub-committees are working on developing a target list, identifying low hanging fruit, crafting a simple message, talking points, revamping the 1 pager, crafting a clearer ask, visual branding (inc. website), guidelines for how we present NICH in all forms of communication, and revisiting/revising the NICH website definition of ‘consumer horticulture’.
    9. Regarding website: Exec Committee asks that Marketing Committee please reviewcreate requirements for the list of collaborators on the NICH website. Will we continue to include logos? How will they be monitoredvetted? Should it be ‘everyone’ or confined to committee/council members? Should we move to an alphabetical list of collaborators?

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

  1. Academic/LGU (Rick)
    1. No new information to share.
    2. Commercial (Mason)
    3. Great calls over the past week, reaching out to numerous people and getting new contacts. Mason is currently at the Garden Center Group meetings and making new NICH connections. Updated council roster should be available in the near future. Expecting to have a call in the coming weeks to catalyze and kick off the Council.
    4. Non-Profit (Shannon)
    5. Tabled until next meeting.

5. New Business

  1. New meeting day/time
    1. Please participate in the Doodle poll by COB Friday September 7th.
    2. Ellen/Rich working to update the organizational info on the NICH website.

6. Meeting adjourned 11:08 AM (ET).


  1. Suzi – support PCA with one communication about upcoming November meeting and native plant database project.
    1. Casey – encourage PCA to connect with more folks from agriculture, ask for opportunity to give NICH overview at November 14th meeting.
    2. ALL – suggest speakers for NIFA listening sessions.
    3. Mason – schedule a call with Casey to get to know more about relevancy reviewers.
    4. Suzi – email introduce Mason to a former relevancy reviewer for more information.
    5. MissyCasey – review compiled NIFA listening session recruitment materials, identify anything newmissing.
    6. Marketing Committee – please review/create requirements for the list of collaborators on the NICH website.
    7. ALL – participate in Doodle Poll by Friday September 7th.