ONLA Launches Education 2.0 Initiative

Jennifer Zurko
The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA), a nonprofit organization that facilitates the success and growth of green industry businesses, recently announced a comprehensive education calendar providing green industry education for a new era. Featuring diverse delivery methods, from face-to-face events to webinars and hands-on workshops, ONLA’s Education 2.0 Initiative provides horticulture professionals with tools and knowledge critical to sustained success and long-term business growth.

The ONLA Education 2.0 Initiative includes a series of technical webinars, diagnostic walkabouts, bus tours, trials open houses, full-day workshops, and a summer Green Industry University. Spanning from May through October, the Initiative will provide education at locations throughout Ohio.

This is the second phase of ONLA’s education programming expansion, following the successful launch in 2011 of the ONLA Business Track at CENTS Marketplace. Continued in 2012, the ONLA Business Track featured courses teaching skills needed for small business development and growth.

“ONLA understands that there are no one-size-fits-all education methods that suit all green industry businesses. The launch of the ONLA Education 2.0 Initiative responds to the industry request for access to well-planned, affordable and relevant training,” said Tim Clark, ONLA Board Member and general manager of H. J. Benken Florist & Greenhouses, Inc. “ONLA has a 100-year commitment to creating pertinent and meaningful training. This Initiative builds on that track record.”

To date, the ONLA Education 2.0 Initiative includes a mobile summer Green Industry University, single-day seminars, along with the following:

Webinars: A monthly “Get Your Green Industry Fix” series covering hot topics of that moment in time—everything from drought practices, pest/disease updates, invasive plants/species, plant physiology, growing-degree-days, phenology, pest management, etc.

Bus Tours: A grower bus tour (in conjunction with the Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio) of multiple commercial grower facilities. At each tour stop, a representative from the nursery will speak about varying topics such as sustainable water practices, pond water retention, marketing, plant health, emerging trends, technology and mechanization, plant physiology, shipping, and pest/disease management.

Open Houses: Interact at the Ohio State University’s annuals trial open house with full-day programming. Afternoon classes will focus on annuals research, management, design and trends. In addition, the morning will be devoted to tours of the annuals trail gardens and information discussions with researchers at OSU.

Diagnostic Walks: Walkabouts provide attendees with hands-on identification of plant material, pest detection and identification, disease identification, plant health study, pesticide application techniques and best management practices, integrated pest management techniques, etc.

For more information about the Initiative, individual events or to register, contact ONLA at (800) 825-5062. GT