Starting a new greenhouse?

September 29, 2009
Next month’s Saskatchewan Green Trades Conference brings together the province’s commercial greenhouse growers, garden centre retailers, field vegetable producers, community planners, parks and recreation specialists, Communities in Bloom volunteers, florists and industry suppliers in one location. This is the largest conference and trade show of its kind in the province and is not only a chance for the industry to network but also an opportunity for professional development for these like-minded groups.

The conference will be held Nov. 12-14 at the Saskatoon Travelodge.

Workshops and sessions feature some of the industry’s leading experts, speaking on such topics as the latest growing techniques, development of community green spaces, marketing, water quality and organics. Sessions are organized into the following tracks: greenhouse vegetables, retail garden centre, bedding plants, field vegetables, Flowers Canada sessions, and common green spaces.

Rounding out the conference are two general sessions.

The Art of Client Service . . . Influence with Ease, presented by customer service strategist and award-winning speaker Jeff Mowatt, will help attendees connect with their customers and position ideas, products and services so that people select higher value options.

The other general session, entitled Keeping More . . . Secrets to Boosting the Cash in your Pocket and presented by guerilla marketing expert Bill McCurry, will be a dynamic idea exchange on dealing with the down economy, analyzing the business for maximum efficiencies, controlling cash flow and expenses, determining pricing, dealing with staff cutbacks, and handling inventory issues.

The conference also features two pre-conference workshops. 

Starting a New Greenhouse? Let Dr. Mirza Help! features industry veteran Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza presenting on all aspects of starting up a new operation. Dr. Mirza is well known in the industry and has helped many new producers get started. This will also a great refresher course for experienced growers.

Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month features bestselling business author Jeff Mowatt sharing low-cost, high-return methods to not only retain employees, but also motivate them to provide exceptional service. The result will be increased staff retention, strengthened customer loyalty, and enhanced team spirit.

Conference partners include the Saskatchewan Greenhouse Growers Association, Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers Association, Flowers Canada and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation.

Among keynote speakers this year are Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza (top), and Jeff Mowatt(bottom).

Other greenhouse session speakers, and their topics, include:
Dr. David Ehret, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), — Organic Greenhouse Crops; Oxygenation of Nutrient Solutions; and Automated Crop Monitoring.

Nabi Chaudhary, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) — the Economics of Greenhouse Crops Production, and the Challenges and Opportunities for a Profitable Greenhouse Business.

Dr. Ken Fry, Olds College — The Basics of Integrated Pest Management for Greenhouse Vegetable Production, and The Basics of Integrated Pest Management for Greenhouse Bedding Plant Production.

Bob Brad, University of Saskatchewan — Update on the Greenhouse Dehumidification Project.

Dr. Peter Johnston–Berresford, Olds College — Not the Same Old Environmental Control.

Brian Sim, Saskatchewan  industry consultant — Overview of Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Business Development Programs.

Jim Nau, Ball Horticultural — Usage of Containers (Double Session); Propagation of Perennials; and Trust in Jim: Tried and True Annuals, Perennials and Tropicals.

Heidi Doering, Syngenta — Why Sweat the Small Stuff? Bedding Plant Production That Will Make You More Money!; Taking Care of Your Vegetative Annual Crops from Sticking to Sell Date; and NEW! 2009 Brings Syngenta Flowers and Goldsmith Together.

Chet Neufeld, executive director of the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan — Grow your Business with the Voluntary Codes of Conduct Program.

For conference updates and more information, check

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