Montana Nursery & Landscape Association
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Synopses of Board Meetings

  • 15 Mar 2018 2:27 PM | Kevin Johnson

    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.

  • 01 Feb 2018 1:15 PM | Kevin Johnson

    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.

  • 15 Jan 2018 1:24 PM | Kevin Johnson

    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.

  • 15 Dec 2017 1:25 PM | Kevin Johnson

    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.

  • 28 Dec 2016 8:57 PM | Gina Albaugh (Administrator)

    The October Conference Call meeting was called or order by President, James Prchal.  The financial report was approved.  The September minutes will be reviewed and approved at the November meeting.  Jennifer reported that 9 students took the CPP Plant ID exam at Cashman  Nursery on September 24.  All 9 students passed and 5 of the 9 successfully completed the course and achieved their CPP designation.  In Expo discussion Shane stated he is still looking to fill two speaker slots. We plan to add a Young Professionals reception on Tuesday evening following the Rain Bird Irrigation Workshop.  A review of MNLA History will be given at the Awards Banquet.  Sarah Kleinschmidt, Mike Cashman, and Jennifer Weiss will work on that committee.  It was decided to cut back on the number of topics at the Breakfast of Champions to no more than 10 topics.  New Business discussion centered around advertising in Grown In Montana.  The Board felt the cost was too great to advertise in that publication.  Board nominations for 3rd Vice President were considered.  We will lack representation from Great Falls after Sarah terms off the board.  Some thought was given to prospects to fill vacancies in Great Falls, Missoula and Billings.  James and Jennifer reported on the Northern Rockies Tree School.  This event will be held in Billings in 2017 and James is serving on the planning committee.  Website training with Kevin Johnson of Great River Design was also discussed.  There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


  • 28 Dec 2016 8:56 PM | Gina Albaugh (Administrator)

    The Conference Call meeting was called to order at 8:00 am by President, James Prchal for the purpose of clarifying segments of the proposed nursery fee bill.  Director Ron De Yong, Cort Jensen, Donna Rise, Cam Lay, and Libbi Lovshin were in attendance from the Department of Agriculture.  MNLA Board:  James Prchal, Shane Clouse, Nathan Heinitz, Ryan Rubie, Jennifer Weiss, Jyl Story.

    The Department Attorney, Cort Jensen, opened the discussion by giving some past legislative history beginning in 2009 that included the farm to market and out of state nurseries in the fee schedule.  The inclusion of out of state nurseries was not popular and the next session that was reversed (2011).  Inspection service fees were added the next session (2013).  Inspection fees did not generate the income needed to successfully operate the program and has been unpopular with nurseries.  They took the next session off (2015) to regroup and build unity with MNLA and AMTOPP and craft legislation that could move the program forward in 2017. 

    The 2017 bill is crafted so everyone pays something and places everyone on a level playing field.  The fee structure for the box stores as proposed would require a license fee for each location of business dependent on the gross annual sales of each location.  Inspection fees have been eliminated from this bill.  The question was revisited about “what do we get for our money” ?  The question was addressed and answered satisfactorily.  The 2017 bill has gone to the Governor’s office for review and has been presented to the Economic Affairs Interim Committee.  The bill has been assigned # LC 382.  A legislative sponsor will be determined to carry the bill after the election.  Once the bill has been assigned to the House Ag Committee and a hearing date set, it will receive a House Bill number (HB).  Director de Yong expressed his appreciation for the meeting.  He stated it appears we have a consensus and everyone is comfortable with the legislation.  There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 am.


  • 28 Dec 2016 8:55 PM | Gina Albaugh (Administrator)

    The September meeting was called or order by President, James Prchal at the Red Lion Inn in Missoula.  The minutes and agenda were approved by consent agenda.  The MNLA website revisions have been completed to make it more mobile friendly and to update some pages.  Jennifer reported on the video shoot.  The first six went so well we decided we should do one about the CPP Program and shoot it during Expo when we would have a larger audience of CPP’s and Past Presidents present to contribute to the video.  Expo booths are sold out.  Shane is working on recruiting two more speakers.  He feels we are well diversified in speakers and topics to offer great education at Expo.  Mike Cashman gave an overview of articles needed for the Fall Leaflet.  Jyl would like all copy by October 1.  Letters to the newly elected legislators regarding the proposed nursery fee legislation were discussed.  Some concerns were raised regarding the fee structure.  A conference call with the Department of Ag will be set up next week for all board members to attend to have their questions and concerns addressed.  James reported he will be a presenter at the Northern Rockies Tree School next week.  This concluded the business of the Board.  The remainder of the meeting was led by Dr. Shawn Clouse as the Board continued work on the new Strategic Plan.  The meeting concluded at 11:00 am with lunch.  The Board then proceeded to Linda Vista Golf Course to begin the Fall Tour activities.


  • 28 Dec 2016 8:53 PM | Gina Albaugh (Administrator)

    The July Conference Call meeting was called or order by President, James Prchal.  The minutes and agenda were approved by consent agenda.  The nursery fee bill draft and pesticide bill draft are both in the process.  They will be reviewed by the Economic Affairs Committee in August and will be presented to the Governor’s Office on September 15.   Jyl reported on her trip to Cultivate 16 in Ohio. Membership renewals are strong. Plans are progressing for the Billings Golf Tournament and the Fall Tour in Missoula.  The Red Lion Inn will be the host hotel for the tour.  9 Hole Golf Tournament will be held at Linda Vista golf course. Jyl and Jennifer are finalizing the details for the Plant Something gardening tip videos to be shot in Bozeman on September 8.  Expo booths are almost sold out with only 8 remaining to be sold.  Still need to fill three speaker slots.  Andra Spurr will again assist with the Scholarship Silent Auction.  The Chapter Meetings are going well in Billings.


  • 01 May 2016 4:03 PM | Kevin Johnson

    The May Conference Call meeting was called or order by President, James Prchal. The minutes and agenda were approved by consent agenda. The Board reviewed additional proposed changes to the Nursery Fee License legislation. Changes recommended were: Establishing a fee range in statute that can be adjusted by administrative rule, Elimination of exemption for gross annual sales less than $1,000, Elimination of occasional sales fee, Eliminate florists and golf courses from the fee schedule, Eliminate the response fee, Maintain the flat fee for landscapers rather than based on gross annual sales, Eliminate the Small Plant Vendor language now in statute. If the statute is eliminated and, if needed in the future, it can still be created within the Department. Statute is not necessary. The Executive Committee will meet with the Department of Ag on June 2 to further discuss the changes. MNLA appreciates the Department bringing them to the table to discuss this important legislation. The first Billings Chapter meeting will be held May 25. Mike Cashman is working on articles for the Summer Leaflet. Jennifer reported MSU Professor, Bill Hoch, had conducted the Spring Written test for the CPP Exam. Nine students took the Exam with eight passing. Brigitte Simmons had previously taken the Plant ID Exam and now passed the written exam to become a CPP.

  • 01 Apr 2016 4:04 PM | Kevin Johnson

    The April Conference Call meeting was called or order by President, James Prchal. The minutes and agenda were approved by consent agenda. Five new MNLA members have joined Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) to utilize their credit card program and services. Work continues to update and refresh the MNLA website. Results of the Survey Monkey questionnaire were discussed. The comments were about 50% for a license increase and 50% against out of 18 replies. Those in favor understood that protecting agriculture from disease and pest issues comes with a cost and were in support. The Billings Golf Tournament is progressing as well as Chapter meeting plans. James Prchal moved that a line item of $1,000 be created for Chapter meeting expenses to be used for food and one drink per person attending. The meeting leader would initially cover the cost and submit a reimbursement request to MNLA to cover the cost of the meeting expense. We would continue to fund this line item by future golf tournament proceeds. Nathan Heinitz seconded the motion. MC.Executive Director Contract – Jennifer Weiss moved and Sarah Kleinschmidt seconded the motion to continue the current contract with Jyl Story as Executive Director. MC.

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