As I write this my wife is reading to our two young sons in an effort to get them to bed and asleep. A nightly occurrence in our home, we try to read them at least three books, alternating who’s doing the reading. Dr. Seuss is a standard, but now we’re on classic tales like "Treasure Island."
My father has always been an avid reader, a practice he imparted to me at a young age. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," of course, "Moby Dick," "The Hardy Boys," and many others. Now, our boys will read all the Great Illustrated Classics as I did, and hopefully take to it for their lives as well. They’ve already amassed quite a library, and I’m looking forward to growing it. We’re trying to enjoy all the moments slowly but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eager to read them sooner than later Patrick D. Smith's historical fiction novel set in old Florida, "A Land Remembered."
On the topic of books, FNGLA is ‘writing’ one, of sorts, at this moment. The Plant People Podcast, hosted by our esteemed Chief Operating Officer Linda Adams, on its third episode, with each one serving as a proverbial ‘chapter’ of the FNGLA story. Telling our association's history can help shape our future, so I’m very excited to see this tale unfold. If you have a mind to sit a spell with Linda and add your story, please reach out to myself, any other FNGLA Officer, Board Member or staff.
While perhaps not the "Guinness World Records" book, I’d have to say The Landscape Show was one for the books indeed. After last year’s uncertainty and the previous year's cancellation, it was great to see our industry folks in high spirits again during the show with bustling aisles and an audible buzz from the crowd across the expansive Orange County Convention Center show floor. The Knowledge College was a hit this year as well, clocking roughly 1,300 participants! As one of the session speakers this year, it was exciting to see the room fill up as I prepared at the podium with Tom Yeager, Ph.D., the recently retired chair of UF's Environmental Horticulture Department. The icing on the cake was seeing the huge turnout at the FNGLA Certifications booth across most of the weekend. FNGLA certification staff Merry Mott and Gary Weitermann stayed busy each day of the show with CEU support for Certified Professionals. And dozens of aspiring folks picked up their FNGLA Certified Horticultural Professional manual at a discount. These books have been flying off the shelf with FNGLA Certification at an all-time high!
Certainly, I’d be remiss if I didn't mention FNGLA’s very own Business Book Club. A new effort brought forth by some of the FNGLA staff, this series looks to build networking opportunities about specific business discussions which many of us as growers, salespeople, managers and owners will face. Stay tuned for the next installment, and reach out to the Officers, Board or staff if you wish to join.
Finally, as FNGLA President, an exhibitor and a speaker at The 2022 Landscape Show, I’d like to give a very hearty THANK YOU to The Landscape Show Committee and FNGLA staff who worked so hard to put forth an event of this magnitude with such success. Over the three days of the show, I heard many compliments, and they are a testament to you all. A tip of my Ben Bolusky commemorative Stallings ball cap to our sponsors as well! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Please support these members and their book of businesses - they are directly improving our industry’s development.
The 2022 Landscape Show Committee:
Joe Eslick, General Cordage, Inc.
Bonnie Marshall, Juniper Landscaping of Florida
Jacob Schwartz, Hunter Industries
JB Toorish, Arborjet, Inc
Pete Dunnington, Brantley Farms
Chris Holly, Sandhill Native Growers, Inc.
Shaun Brown, Shade Tree Farms
Mike Agate, SiteOne Landscape Supply
Cindy Hall, Home Builders Institute
Special Thanks to the 2022 Show Sponsors!
Eric Smith (BioSafe Systems)