The MNLA Board of Directors met via conference call on November 15, 2018. The minutes and financial reports were approved. Layla Dunlap reported from the MDA they hoped to have a nursery inspector hired by mid-January. She has been calling on delinquent accounts and license numbers are up. Award recipients were discussed for the awards banquet. A life member award will be given to John Lawyer. Booth and speaker updates were given. Four trade show passes will be given per exhibitor this year. Breakfast of Champions topics were discussed. We will try to have just 6 of 7 topics this year. Scholarship recipients were selected and will be awarded $1500 each. Suggestions for 3rd Vice President and Secretary were discussed. Shane will continue to make contacts. It was decided to award power tools for the grand prize drawing again this year. Steve Lehenbauer will get them. Shane contacted Taylor Brown about press coverage at the Expo. Pro Green attendees were discussed and tabled until the next meeting. The next meeting will be held by conference call on December 20.
The MNLA Board of Directors met via conference call on October 19, 2018. The minutes and financial reports were approved. Beth Eiring from MDA reported there are currently 748 nursery licenses year to date in MT. They are moving toward hiring an inspector. Jyl reported there are currently 4 entries in the Best of MT Landscapes contest and one entry for the Container Plant Contest so far. Canyon Creek Nursery will sponsor the registration bags for Expo. A motion was approved to give the Billings Chapter 80% of the golf proceeds and 20% would go into the MNLA treasurer. The Mulligan Sales will still go toward the Scholarship fund which was $1,220 this year. The Scholarship application deadline was extended to November 1. Expo speakers and booth sales were updated. MNLA will sponsor the ICPI Concrete Paver Installers Course following Expo on January 11- 12 at the Red Lion Hotel. A bus trip to visit North Idaho growers was discussed for the 2019 Fall Tour. Discussion was tabled until a later date.The next meeting will be held by conference call on November 15.
The MNLA Board of Directors met at the Staybridge Inn & Suites Conference Room in Great Falls, MT on September 13. The minutes and financial reports were approved. The Board welcomed Mark Necodom, the new Administrator at the Department of Agriculture and shared questions and comments with him. Jyl reported that the Nursery & Landscape Association Executives (NLAE) conference will come to Montana this year to the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Membership numbers are down slightly compared to this time last year. Jyl has been calling those who have not renewed. Shane reported John Lawyer is retiring and closing his long time nursery business. The Billings Chapter golf tournament had 21 teams this year compared to 25 last year. There was still a good turnout and great support for the event. The new CPP manual is now in a pdf version and will be placed on the website. Exam fees will be increased to $50 each for the written and plant ID exams. Expo speakers and booth sales were updated. Best of Show awards will be given out at the Thursday luncheon rather than the Wednesday night banquet to allow more time for voting. The MNLA Leadership Handbook was reviewed and approved. The Specialty Crop Block Grant was revisited and we will submit the Tree and Shrub Guide again with some additions to the grant including an app and sortable database option. Toby Day will write the grant for us again. The 2020 Expo will be held in Missoula. The next meeting will be held by conference call on October 18.
The May Conference Call meeting was called to order by President Mike Cashman. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. Beth Eiring submitted a written report from the Montana Department of Ag. Caroline discussed the speaker plan for Expo in detail. Kelly Norris will be the Keynote speaker. There are only 2-3 slots left to fill. It was the consensus of the Board to remove the contest entry fee from the Best of Montana Landscapes contest. Jyl will revise the entry forms accordingly. The Board’s rooming list for the Fall Tour was discussed and emailed to them to confirm the dates they will need lodging.
The May Conference Call meeting was called to order by President Mike Cashman. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. Jyl will do further edits to the Leaders Handbook and bring a copy to each board member at the September meeting in Great Falls. 10 revised CPP manuals have been printed and assembled. Jyl reported she has worked on a Sponsorship Menu of Opportunities. This includes sponsorships that you want to request in one document that can be sent out to prospective donors early in the year; this would allow donors to plan their budgets accordingly rather than asking them at the time of each event. It will be mailed with Membership Dues Invoices. Fall Tour and Expo plans are progressing well. Articles for the Summer Leaflet were discussed.
The April Conference Call meeting was called to order by President Mike Cashman. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. Beth Eiring from Montana Department of Ag reported on the nursery license income. They have hired a full time and a part-time inspector. They have not had any pushback to the fee increase. They are proactively calling people to get them into the right categories and to let them know the categories are changing. Shane asked what would be done with the extra dollars; Beth stated long-term plan for program is to have two full time inspectors; also potential to hire a seasonal inspector who could be combined with Apiary Program – this person could do inspections for both programs; Beth would like to revisit this question after a full year of revenue has come in. Further discussion was had regarding the scholarship program and doing a trial competition for FFA. More research will be done on both. Arbor Day plans for Kalispell, Laurel and Billings were discussed.
The March Conference Call meeting was called to order by President Mike Cashman. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. James Prchal and Jennifer Weiss led discussion on proposed changes to the scholarship program, the possible creation of a Blue Collar University and a partnership program with FFA. Ryan Forde led discussion on the Fall Tour plans. Caroline Wallace reported on her progress with speakers for the 2019 Expo. Jyl reported on making a leaders handbook for MNLA Board Members.
The February meeting was called to order by President Mike Cashman at the Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena, MT. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. The Board reviewed and approved the 2018-2019 Operating Budget. Beth Eiring from the Montana Department of Agriculture presented an overview of the Nursery Licenses and Revenue. The quarantine on Bailey Nurseries was discussed. The board encouraged the Department to have further discussion with Bailey representatives to turn this into a positive situation. Kate Dinsmore from the Montana/Idaho ASLA joined the meeting by conference call. Discussion followed on how to partner with the ASLA group for the benefit of both organizations. The Fall Tour was discussed. Plans are to hold the tour in Great Falls in September. Jennifer Weiss reported that MNLA has been approached to offer a plant ID test for FFA students. The need for adding a Landscape Horticulture Technician program at Gallatin College was discussed. The CPP Manual Updates should be ready soon and new manuals printed. Short Course Study Scholarships were discussed. The Scholarship Committee will meet again soon to further define the process. A report was given on the Billings MNLA Chapter. The Board approved the Chapters adding their location on the logo, i.e. *Billings Chapter. This would apply to all cities that hold Chapter meetings. Bozeman was encouraged to begin Chapter meetings in 2018. Caroline and Ryan gave a report on the Idaho Hort Expo and Shane and Mike reported on the AMTOPP conference. Expo evaluations were reviewed. 2019 Vendor booth fees were raised 10%. Caroline shared speaker ideas for the 2019 Expo in Billings. She will begin contacting those on her list to learn of their availability. The desired 2020 Expo location is Bozeman if construction is completed on the Holiday Inn.
The January meeting was called to order by President Shane Clouse at the Missoula Hilton Garden Inn. The board met with the hotel staff to go over the details of the Expo. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. Expo details were reviewed and preparation for the annual meeting. Steve Lehenbauer has agreed to have his name put on the ballot for 3rd Vice President to serve on the Board. Shane purchased a DeWalt Tool Set for the grand prize drawing. Following adjournment of the meeting, the Board met for dinner with Toby Day to discuss the details of the SCBG grant application.
The December Conference Call meeting was called to order by President Shane Clouse. The minutes and financials were approved by consent agenda. A motion was made and seconded to award a $1500 scholarship to Jeffrey Korff of Montana State University. Expo details were reviewed. Toby Day has agreed to write a Specialty Crop Block Grant as a cooperative effort between MNLA and MSU. The grant will request dollars to creating a new Tree and Shrub catalog both in print form and pdf. Caroline Wallace and Ryan Forde will attend the Idaho Hort show in January and Shane Clouse and Mike Cashman will attend the AMTOPP conference at Fairmont in January.