CNGA Board Message: Reflecting on 2020 & Readying for 2021

By Kerri Dantino | 2020-2021 CNGA Board President

CNGA Board President
Kerri Dantino

As we inch ever closer to the end of 2020, it’s nice to pause and reflect on the year and how far we have come. 2020 has been one of the most challenging years that many of us have ever seen. We’ve had drought, raging wildfires, hailstorms, hurricanes, and a worldwide pandemic. Yet through all of this, the green industry has not only survived but we have prevailed. With a strong spring and a steady summer, many segments of our industry have had one of their best years ever.

For us at Little Valley, we feel fortunate that we had such an incredible start to our year. As many of you may know, we were hit with a super cloud storm on July 9th, which covered our nursery with hail. The impact was felt all over Brighton as our neighboring wholesalers and retailers incurred damage as well. Our field trees were devastated and our above-ground trees were hit hard, too. We immediately stopped selling all trees, began the restocking process, and have been fortunate to find some incredible container and above-ground B&B trees to bring into our yard. Luckily, most of our shrubs and perennials were covered, and therefore, not damaged in the storm. 

There is no way to stop Mother Nature. Many of our fellow green industry businesses are all too familiar with the devastation that a hailstorm can bring. We feel grateful at Little Valley that we were as prepared as we could be with an insurance plan in place and many of our crops protected by shade cloth. 

In trying to find the silver lining of this challenging year, I come up with one word: adaptation.

Certain things may look a little different this year but we adapt. Our Horticultural Leadership Retreat is coming up on November 6th, and after years of trying, we were finally able to book Charlie Hall as our speaker. Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to come together in person, but we still hope that you are able to attend virtually and gain some incredible market insight that Dr. Hall is sure to provide!

In December, your Board of Directors will have two to three board positions available. If you are interested in being on the ballot, please reach out to one of the current board members and let us know of your interest. You are sure to make lifelong connections with your peers, and I promise that you will gain so much from being a part of this incredible group!