Montana Nursery & Landscape Association
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Synopses of Board Meetings

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  • February 24, 2022 5:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Matt Watts called the meeting to order, with all Board members present at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman. Welcome to new board member James Hoiland of Greenup Lawn and Sprinklers. The finance committee reported that we are offering a Community Beautification Fund in addition to scholarship this year. Gina attended the INLA conference in Idaho. It was a good comparison conference to gain ideas to bring to the Green Expo. The mission statement was reviewed, “The Montana Nursery and Landscape Association is a leader in the outdoor living industry to help members succeed and adapt through advocacy, community interaction, events, education and professional development.” with discussion following on ways to further support members. Kristi reported for the Education Committee, noting that scholarship applications are due March 31st. Please let any student know about this opportunity if they are interested or enrolled in any field related to the industry. Gina’s contract was reviewed, with a Board vote to extend her contract for another year. None opposed. Motion passed. Peter Hiel is putting together the Spring Leaflet. Please see him for article submissions. See Gina for advertising. If you have some interesting ideas to submit for the Leaflet, we are looking for additional interesting content. Matt and Darin attended the AMTOPP conference this year, and reported on the educational seminars. A review of the 2022 Montana Green Expo was discussed. We had some last-minute speaker cancellations due to weather and sickness, but other speakers stepped up and filled those gaps. We are very grateful for that leadership and feel that the conference overall was a great turnout. The MNLA will be expanding member benefits, with member surveys on potential benefits discussed. Continue to watch for updates. Kristi motioned to adjourn. Peter seconded. Motion carried.

  • January 04, 2022 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the meeting to order with all Board members present at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. The finance committee reported that revenue was lower from this Expo compared to last. We have fewer vendors this year from previous years. Frank Etzler with the MT Dept of Ag reported they plan to continue the Japanese Beetle program into 2022. Please watch for signs of these beetles and get product to control them at Good Earth Works and Gainan’s in Billings. Expo details were discussed, including last minute changes due to speaker illness and flight changes. There are several continuing education credits available at the workshops and seminars. Ryan motioned to adjourn. Kristi seconded. Motion carried.

  • December 16, 2021 5:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Steve brought the video meeting to order with all Board members present. Frank Etzler with the Montana Dept. Of Ag compared nursery license registration for the past several years. There are three tiered levels of nurseries, a landscaper and sod farmer license types. Pet stores that sell aquatic plants are required to have a license, as well as farmers markets where seedlings are sold or vegetables that are susceptible to diseases that spread. Education Committee: Kristi led a discussion on revising the scholarship application to include a FAQ section so there is more info for people who apply.  Steve moved to accept the guidelines on the scholarship. Ryan 2nd. Motion carried. Kristi reported there are four registered to take the CPP exam at Expo. Further Expo discussion followed, with an overview of the CEU credits available from ISA, IPM, and MDA reviewed. Tim reported that the Billings Chapter would be holding its last meeting of the year, with the MT Dept of Labor presenting. Steve motioned to adjourn. Matt seconded. Motion carried.

  • November 11, 2021 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Steve brought meeting to order. Present are Gina, Laura, Frank, Tim, Darin, Kristi, Peter and Matt. Frank with the Montana Dept. of Ag. reported nursery license numbers and that there were no insects of concern collected at any sites throughout the state. Financial report - Steve reviewed the balance sheet. It looks good and is holding comparatively. We need to get a new insurance policy to cover events. This new policy will be a general liability to cover the group as a whole and events. It will cost more than previous policies that are no longer available. Education Committee - We have 3 applicants for scholarships. Kristi moved to award all three applicants. Steve seconded. Motion carried.
    Gina reported as Executive Director that membership in MNLA is up. She is working to secure our next venue for Expo 2023 in Missoula. We also went over the daily schedule for the upcoming Expo. Matt and Darin will attend the AMTOPP conference where we will have a booth.  Expo is January 4-6th, 2022. Looking forward to this event to be held at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. There are a few booth spaces available yet. Brochures will be out soon.
    Billings MNLA chapter meetings will be the December 9th.   Steve moved to adjourn, and Matt seconded. Motion carried. 

  • October 14, 2021 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Steve called the meeting to order. Also present were Gina, Tim, Matt, Peter, and Laura. Darin joined in later. We reviewed the minutes from the September 9 Board meeting, with no changes noted. Tim motioned to pass them, Peter seconded, and it carried. Frank with the Montana Dept. of Ag. sent an email with the numbers of state registered nurseries from last year and this year. He also reported on Japanese beetle traps. Financial report - Steve reviewed the balance sheet comparing last year to this year. We are up with income due to planning for Expo and Grant money when we did not have that last year. Education Committee -We have changed the scholarship deadline to November 1 so there is
    time to get more interest. Kristi will be rewriting the wording so it is less confusing. Also the Montana Dept of Ag did a checks and balances review for the Specialty Crop Block Grant. Gina reported as Executive Director that membership in MNLA is up. We will have a booth at the 2M trade show in November. She has created several Survey Monkey surveys that she will be sending out and we hope to have as many members participate as possible. Fall Tour was in Billings. Turnout was less this year. We hope to increase attendance at the next Fall Tour for 2022 which will be in Helena Expo 2023 with be in Missoula. We will be securing the Hilton Garden Inn for that event. Expo is January 4-6th, 2022. Looking forward to this event to be held at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. There are a few booth spaces available yet. Speaker lineup is mostly in
    place. Please make sure to register for this event as soon as you get your packets. There will be a live and silent auction to raise funds for the Community Beautification Fund. If you would like to donate to this auction, please contact Pat Appleby. Billings MNLA chapter meeting will be the 19th. Soil Diva will present.
    Steve moved to adjourn, and Ryan seconded. Motion carried.

  • September 09, 2021 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meeting was called to order by President Steve Lehenbauer. Present were Matt, Darin, Tim, Kristi, Ryan, Gina, Laura, Tom, Nicholas, Kristopher, Frank.
    Minutes June 10 meeting were reviewed. No corrections. Kristi Moved to accept minutes. Ryan seconded. Motion passed. Tom with DNRC reported that the state nursery is low on Douglas Fir. Orders open next week. Frank with the Montana Dept. of Ag. reported that the number of state registered nurseries is up for this
    fiscal year. Carson updated on Japanese beetles in Billings grant. Gina introduced Nick Hopkins from the MT state fund who talked about State Fund Work comp
    program. We have the option to form a group to reduce costs to all employers in the MNLA. Education Committee - Kristi will start sending scholarship applications out with schools starting. Need to change date to November 1 so there is time to get more interest. Grant process - Intern and Kristi will meet at Cashman nursery next week to take plant photos. Budget Committee- we are up in number of new members this year. Please spread the word about our organization so others can participate in all the MNLA has to offer. Fall Tour is in Billings. There was a golf tournament, dinner at River Ridge and a bus driving to tour locations such as Trebo, Tvetene Turf, Swanky Roots, the Arboretum at Zoo Montana and
    Canyon Creek Nursery along with several residential locations. Door prizes and awards were given out. CPP exam was at Canyon Creek Nursery with one person testing. Expo 2023 with be in Missoula. Fall Tour for 2022 will be in Helena.
    There are a few details yet to finish up Expo in January 2022. Looking forward to this event to be held at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. There are a few booth spaces available yet. Gina said the next Billings MNLA chapter meetings will be the 19th. Soil Diva will present. We have a goal to print the Leaflet in color. We would like to increase advertising for this goal. Please watch for a Survey Monkey to all members for some new information. Darin moved to adjourn, and Ryan seconded. Motion carried.

  • June 10, 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the May 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on June 10th.  Present were Gina, Steve, Ryan, Frank, Tom, Matt, Kristi, Peter, Darin and Laura.

    The April minutes were reviewed with Ryan motioning to pass them, Peter seconded.  Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. that there are 938 state registered nurseries. Traps have been placed throughout the state to monitor certain pests. Tom Perry of the DNRC shared the revisions to the mission statement and purpose.

    Steve reviewed the budget from last year at this time. We are down from last year. Darin updated us on Fall Tour in Billings. There is a golf tournament planned, many residential and business stops and a bus to take guests to the different locations. Please register for the bus. Summer Leaflet will be out soon. Matt says things are mostly lined out for Expo 2022 with more details to come. Gina updated on the Billings MNLA chapter. Meetings are being recorded. There is a baseball night planned in July at Dehler Park. Fall golf tournament will need hole sponsors.

    Kristi reported on the intern hired named Nathan will be visiting nurseries and taking notes for the web site plant list. Kristi is preparing for the next CPP exam at Canyon Creek Nursery. Gina asks you to please remember to submit your dues for renewal. And if you would like to have a booth at Expo next year, please contact Gina.

    Darin moved to adjourn, and Ryan seconded. Motion carried.

  • May 13, 2021 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the May 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on May 13th.  Present were: Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Peter Hiel, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Laura Lambrecht, Gina Albaugh, Carson Thomas, Frank Etzler, and Tom Perry.

    The April minutes were read by Gina with a motion from Kristi to accept them and second by Matt. Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. On the number of state registered nurseries. Carson updated on the Japanese beetle spray in Billings Heights. Pesticide available at Good Earth Works and Gainans. See signage on instructions.

    Tom Perry of the DNRC talked about deer damage to the bare root stock at the state nursery. Steve reviewed the financial statements from Last year at this time. Once again profits are low due to not having Expo this year.  Darin talked about Fall Tour 2021 in Billings and the golf tournament planned.

    Summer Leaflet submissions due May 15. Matt has booked a keynote speaker for Expo 2021. Gina continues on vendor booths for Expo and bus options. Tim gave updates on the Billings MNLA chapter. We will plan to video the next meeting, but we are not sure if live streaming will be an option.

    Kristi reported on the intern hired to work on the web site as part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant. Also Kristi told us that Canyon Creek Nursery has generously volunteered to host the next CPP exam.  Gina has been Executive Director for one year now. Matt moved to extend Gina’s contract for another year to the position with a bonus for all her hard work. Peter 2nd. Kristi moved to adjourn, and Darin seconded. Motion carried.

  • April 08, 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the April 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on April 8th.  Present were:  Ryan Forde, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Laura Lambrecht, Gina Albaugh, Frank Etzler, Carson Thomas, Peter Hiel, and Tom Perry. The March minutes we unanimously approved with a motion from Ryan and Kristi second. 

    Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. The number of state registered nurseries. Carson reported on the Japanese beetle issue in Billings Heights. Pesticide available at Good Earth Works and Gainans. Steve reported the balance sheet from last year to this. Not much change. Steve was on the Montana Ag Live TV show.

    Darin is coordinating Fall Tour 2021 in Billings as well as summer Leaflet submissions due May 15. Matt is looking for a keynote speaker for Expo 2021. Gina is working on vendor booths for Expo. Tim gave updates on the Billings MNLA chapter. Video equipment was purchased to stream the chapter meetings to others throughout the state.

    Kristi reported on scholarship awards and the block grant web site redesign. Gina gave the Executive report of filing the annual report, and the membership renewals go out May 1. Kristi moved to adjourn, and Darin seconded. Motion carried.

  • March 11, 2021 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the video conference meeting to order, with 6 Board Members present. Frank Etzler of the Montana Dept of Ag (MDA) reported on the Marimo moss ball. These balls were being sold for use in aquariums and other aquarian areas, and have been found with Zebra muscles, an invasive species, attached. Frank also reported that House Bill 361, which proposed removing sod growers from the nursery licensing program, had died out thanks to the presentation by Steve at the legislative hearing. Carson Thomas, of MDA, gave an update on the pesticide for the Japanese beetle problem. Good Earth Works and Gainans in Billings will distribute the pesticide. Application time is mid-to-late May to target the larvae. No special license is needed to distribute or apply this pesticide. The 2021 budget was reviewed, with Peter motioning to approve, and Kristi seconded. Steve moved to have Gina attend the virtual National Landscape Association Executives conference April 26-28. Kristi commented that it is important for Gina to attend as she is still fairly new for our organization. Motion carried. Upcoming events were reviewed, with Fall Tour stops suggested, and speakers for the 2022 Expo discussed. Purchase of a streaming camera for the Billings Chapter meetings was proposed, with plans to stream Billings Chapter meetings state-wide discussed. Laura moving to approve the purchase, Kristi seconded. Kristi reported that she had met with students at MSU to discuss the scholarship program. Gina reported on attending dinner with Governor Gianforte and representatives from 14 other state associations, where she reported on the survey results from our members on industry regulations, and heard from other associations on the challenges they are facing.

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