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VGIC Meeting Minutes November 4, 2003

Minutes Virginia Green Industry Council
Tuesday, November 4,2003 State Fair Office, Richmond, Virginia

Welcome: Jeri LeMay, President

Present were: Jeff Miller, Gwyn Hubbard, Lorene Blackwood, Mary Williams, Lin Diacont, Rick Baker, Cary Gouldin, Bill Bonwell, Greg Eaton, Tom Driscoll, Jeri LeMay, Linda Anson, Tom Driscoll, Joyce Latimer.

Secretary’s Report: Minutes approved-emailed to everyone

Treasurer’s Report: Approved See attachment (contact: )

Agribusiness Food Festival: The following contributed to the Landscaping for the Food Festival: Colesville Hanover Farms, Ingleside, Great Big Green House, Strange’s, Lancaster Farms, State Fair of Virginia, VSLD. Mary noted everyone was disappointed with the parking for the Festival which blocked the landscaping by the Council. Lin will check into that for 2004 to ensure that this will not happen again.

Agribusiness Banquet, January 15 Cary will spearhead the effort for the Council to provide centerpieces for the 100 tables at the banquet. Lin will continue, as in the past, to create a Green entrance into the Center. Over 1,000 guests attend this banquet, which supports agriculture in Virginia. This is an outstanding opportunity for the Green Industry to highly visible to our legislators.

Support from the Council is essential to ensure this is a successful venture. All segments of the industry will need to participate. Donations for plant material

In order to be recognized in the Banquet Program, please contact Cary prior to January 5 if you will be providing plant material or labor.

Donna Pugh Johnson, AgriBusiness President, briefly addressed legislative issues. It was requested that Arbor Day be changed back to the National Arbor Day to heighten awareness of the event. Donna noted that we should contact John Watkins, the sponsor of the original bill to make it a separate day from the National Arbor Day (reasoning was that by moving the date back on the calendar, it ensures the success of tree survival).

Recognition of Jeri LeMay The Virginia Flowers Growers Association and the VGIC held a luncheon honoring Jeri Lemay for her vision, service and dedication to the Virginia Green Industry. Under her leadership the entire green industry has come under one umbrella. A plaque and framed photo was presented to Jeri as a token of our true appreciation and gratitude for her unwavering efforts. We wish her well in her new life in Wyoming. Remember, she is only an email away.

State Fair Update State Fair had slow start due to Hurricane Isabel but was very successful. Master Gardeners conducted the Green Industry Council Survey*, the “Pea Brain Contest” and distributed materials for the VNLA and Lewis Ginter. They also helped with garden set up and the plant sale.

Karen Kelly designed and installed an exceptional educational “Rain Garden”. Donations from the following made this exhibit possible: Colesville Mr Fixit Shipp and Wilson VGIC VNLA

Seven schools registered to participate in the State Fair Student Garden Competition. Due to Isabel, only three schools were able to attend. We’re receiving positive response from teachers regarding this program and interest continues to grow in this program. The following schools presented terrific gardens: “ Wildlife Garden with a Twist” Louisa High School, Chris Whitlow teacher Lee David High School, Lisa Sanderson, teacher Richmond Technical Center, Harris Wheeler, teacher

Susan Westfall from Charter House Schools class presented an Alphabet Garden geared for elementary school children. This garden is done independently from the competitions.

The State Fair Gardens were once again exceptional. Many thanks to the following who donated plant materials, labor and time, The fair guests look forward to visiting the crown jewel of the State Fair.

Battlefield Farms
Brookmeade Sod Farm
Colesville Nursery
Hanover Master Gardeners
Natural Art Landscaping
Mr. Fixit
Piedmont Growers
Robertson and Son Inc.
Shipp and Wilson
Stony Mountain Nursery
Willow Run

The plant sale, October 6, conducted by Gwynn Hubbard, State Fair staff and the Master Gardeners, netted $2, 690.60 for the Green Industry.

FSMIP Grant Update: Survey results from the Family Farm and Family Showcase and the State Fair were tabulated by Greg Eaton. See attachment for results.

Two more venues for surveys are needed to complete the first phase of the survey. Gwynn will contact Cricket O’Connor at Maymont and Tom Driscoll will check into Lewis Ginter for possible survey locations.

Jeff submitted six press releases for newspaper column and the web: top Ten Tannenbaum Tips, Care of Holiday Greens, Decorating With Holiday Greens, Repotting Your Houseplant, Caring for Living Christmas Tree. Jeff will imbed the green logo on all releases. More articles are needed.

Website Upgrade Jeff once again asked that everyone look at the site and submit suggestions and articles to keep it fresh and informative. Article “How to bring your plants inside for the winter” Greg Eaton Article on Poinsettia Article needed for January on Forcing Bulbs Article needed for February on Forcing Branches and Pruning Crape Myrtles Article needed for March on Mulching Article needed for April /May Container Gardening Article for summer featuring “Hardscaping and Garden Art” Fall Turf Grass information Web site

Lorene will be responsible for contacting industry members for these articles. Volunteers please come forward.

Green Industry Promotional materials Funding from grant was intended for printing and distribution of the GoGreen brochure. Jeff will check into the number needed for future use. Mary reviewed suggestions for future promotional materials: Plastic bags with logo on it Refrigerator Magnets Refrigerator Magnets/Coaster Go Green Plant Stakes Trading Cards

Speakers Bureau Michelle Fletcher is working on it. Greg Eaton will produce a seven to ten minute minute power point presentation to be used to identify the Green Industry and its purpose. This will be a tool that can be used by our speakers.

Cary made the motion to register statewide the following slogans and logo: "GoGreen", "Champions of the Environment" and "Keep Virginia Green and Growing". Motion was seconded by Lorene and passed unanimously.

Sponsorships Guidelines need to be developed. Jeff will email the current structure for Council to evaluate at next meeting.

Future Business Cary presented the slate of officers for 2004. There were no nominations from the floor.

President Lin Diacont
Vice President Cary Gouldin
Secretary Lorene Blackwood
Treasurer Jeff Miller
Executive Director Jeff Miller

This slate will be mailed to members and voted on at the January 12 meeting at 1:00 p.m. at the State Fair Office.

Attachments Treasurer’s Report and Survey analysis (contact )

Respectively submitted, Lorene Blackwood, Secretary


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