Now that the 2013 Farwest Trade Show has come to a close, we’re taking a moment to catch our collective breath and look back at some of the highlights of the 41st annual event, which took place this past week in Portland, Ore.
Two days before the show floor opened, activities kicked off on Tuesday, Aug. 20, as busloads of attendees ventured out of the city to the “Heart of the Valley” for the first of three Farwest-sponsored Nursery Tours. Participants enjoyed up-close glimpses of Oregon’s nursery industry, from resplendent show gardens to state-of-the-art propagation facilities and football field-sized Cravo greenhouses.
Read more about the Farwest Nursery Tours by following the links below to our reports from the field:
• Nursery Tour #1: Bountiful Farms (Part 1 of 4)
• Nursery Tour #1: Kraemer’s Nursery (Part 2 of 4)
• Nursery Tour #1: Weeks Berry Farm (Part 3 of 4)
• Nursery Tour #1: TSW Nursery Sales (Part 4 of 4)
• Nursery Tour #3: Garden Fever (Part 1 of 6)
• Nursery Tour #3: Rare Plant Research (Part 2 of 6)
• Nursery Tour #3: Swan Island Dahlias (Part 3 of 6)
• Nursery Tour #3: Terra Nova Nurseries (Part 4 of 6)
• Nursery Tour #3: Al’s Garden Center (Part 5 of 6)
• Nursery Tour #3: Fessler Nursery (Part 6 of 6)
Thursday morning started bright and early with the Farwest series of Professional Development Seminars covering a wide range of topics and featuring some of the industry’s brightest expert minds. Seminars were conducted in both English and Spanish, and many attendees took advantage of the ability to earn Continuing Education/Recertification Credits.
• Joe Whitworth of the Freshwater Trust on the future of conservation
• Dr. Charlie Hall: Recession offers lessons for the future
• Dr. Jennifer Davis offers advice on what eco-words sell
• Author/management strategist John Kennedy meets with Young Nursery Professionals
• Dr. Jim Ault shares keys to successful plant breeding
• “Plantufacturers” Dan Heims and Kelly Norris tell how new plants are selected and launched
Thursday was also the day when we threw open the doors to the show floor. More than 500 exhibitors representing all aspects of the green industry displayed their wares and services at the Oregon Convention Center.
Overall, attendance was up by a whopping 15 percent over last year’s event, signaling an encouraging, positive shift in the nursery industry.
“I spent three days walking the aisles talking to exhibitors and attendees. The industry has turned an important corner,” said Jeff Stone, executive director of Oregon Association of Nurseries, the trade association responsible for producing the show. “All success indicators were up. Exhibitors were writing more orders on the show floor.”