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Experience horticulture globally!

Experience horticulture globally!

A New Perspective

Brie Arthur

IPPS hosts an exchange program allowing members to experience horticulture globally.

Professional development is paramount for creating a workforce that is competent, forward-thinking and capable of meeting the changing demands of the nursery industry. Research shows that individuals who access continued professional development are more engaged and committed to meeting the challenges of working at a dynamic organization. When supported by the employer, young professionals are more likely to be loyal and apply all their newly developed skills and knowledge to the success of the company they work for.

Cultivating an environment of continued professional development comes in many forms, including active membership in industry-related associations. The International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS) is an association of plant production professionals providing a forum for sharing knowledge with the aim to improve the professionalism and skills of its more than 1,600 worldwide members. True to its mission, to seek and share plant knowledge globally, the IPPS exchange program is a unique opportunity offered to members 35 years old and younger. This collaboration between the IPPS European Region and Southern Region occurs yearly and involves traveling to Europe to attend the annual meeting and tour nurseries and gardens. The IPPS Southern Region provides $2,000 for travel expenses. The exchange delegate represents the Southern Region by giving a presentation at the European meeting. Participants will also give a presentation at the southern region annual meeting the following year to share the experience with the membership.

In 2016 I had the pleasure of hosting the IPPS European Region delegate, Lance Russell from Fleurie Nursery in southwest England. During his two-week stay we toured 25 horticulture facilities with leading professionals such as Dr. Tom Ranney of the North Carolina State University Mountain Research Crops Station and Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery. We spent time at the JC Raulston Arboretum and learned of the diversity of ornamental grasses at Hoffman Nursery. This was an enriching experience for both Lance and me as we discussed the differences and similarities of the American and British green industries.

During this 1,600-mile journey, I developed a greater appreciation for all that the nursery industry offers. As horticultural production continues to diversify globally, I am grateful to have the network of IPPS members to learn from.

The international exchange program is an ideal platform for continued professional development. IPPS offers valuable resources for its membership to develop their careers with collaborative influences including planting strategies that fulfill ecological needs, food production and urban infrastructure. We all have so much to learn from enterprises around the globe to make our own businesses more efficient and successful.

Read the full article by Brie Arthur here as it appeared in Nursery Management, December 27, 2016.
Brie is a green industry communicator, IPPS Southern Region board member and author of The Foodscape Revolution