Stay at the Top of Your Profession by Tapping ProGreen EXPO Education

If there is part of the year when you have both the time and the interest to advance your horticulture knowledge, it’s probably now. That’s good because ProGreen EXPO is just around the corner and it will offer nearly one hundred educational sessions to choose from—where you can learn how to run your operations more efficiently, where your staff can improve their technical skills and where you can hatch new ideas for improving your business strategies.

ProGreen EXPO takes place January 31–February 2 at the Colorado Convention Center and will offer a more compact timeframe than in previous years, providing outstanding education, an expansive trade show, and many valuable networking opportunities in just three days.

ProGreen is one of the best opportunities of the entire year to train your staff. You want smart people working for you, right? Then invest in their education—it’s a great employee perk, a powerful retention tool and something that can set your customer service apart from your competitors.

Education comes in many forms, and learning from casual conversations that take place in the Exhibit Hall or at a social function can be just as valuable as classroom learning. It’s efficient learning, too, at ProGreen. With a diverse selection of topics to choose from, your employees can pack in a lot of education in a short amount of time.

Another benefit from this rich educational environment is inspiration. It’s difficult to put a value on an employee who suddenly wants to elevate his or her performance. But an inspired employee is a productive one.

Below are selected educational highlights awaiting you and your staff at ProGreen EXPO 2023.

Sessions for In-Depth Training for Greenhouse Growing

If you’re looking to start a greenhouse operation, educate your key staff, seek certification or just refresh your own knowledge, these greenhouse focused sessions will be particularly valuable. Though anyone can attend these sessions, they are required for the Certified Greenhouse Grower designation.

  • How Does a Plant Grow? An Introduction to Botany and Plant Physiology
  • Fundamentals of Propagating Plants in Greenhouses
  • How to Provide the Best Environment for Greenhouse Growing
  • Understanding Three Factors that are Essential for Growing Healthy Greenhouse Plants
  • How to Identify and Manage Common Greenhouse Diseases
  • How to Identify and Manage Common Greenhouse Pests

Sessions for Everyone

With 95 sessions to choose from, there is plenty of education for your top executives as well as your managers and operational staff. Here is just a sample of the range of topics and outstanding expertise that you’ll find at ProGreen EXPO. You can view the entire schedule of presenters at

Dr. Bridget K. Behe

More Effective Marketing Strategies to Reach Less Traditional and New Customers – Dr. Bridget K. Behe

The face of the American population is changing and so are people who buy plants. Dr. Bridget Behe and her team have researched these newer, less traditional customers and can show you how to better connect with them to keep them returning to buy, time and time again. Bridget is a professor of Horticultural Marketing at Michigan State University. She has conducted over 100 consumer and market research projects on horticultural products and has written more than 500 publications in the trade press and peer-reviewed journals.

Johnathan Pedersen

Lessons Learned from Nursery Automation – Jonathan Pedersen

As the CEO of Monrovia, Jonathan has decades of nursery experience. In this session he will address the question: Is automation the next big innovation in our industry? If used in forward-thinking ways, it can be. He will highlight lessons Monrovia has learned in its many years of automation integration, sharing tips and ideas growers can use to improve their business.

Grave Consequences – Solving Crimes with Botany – Crystal Strouse and Pam Smith

If you missed this highly acclaimed presentation at CNGA’s 2021 Women in Horticulture luncheon, here’s your chance to hear this duo present a most unique, entertaining and fascinating talk on forensic botany. Pam and Crystal will describe the world of forensic botany and how plants have been used to solve some high-profile cold cases. Besides working for the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department for 29 years, Crystal has been a member of NecroSearch International since 2010, where she volunteers her time assisting law enforcement on criminal cases that include botanical evidence. She has worked on cases in the U.S. and Russia and taught a forensic botany training attended by law enforcement agencies and the F.B.I. Pam is a field botanist and ecologist with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and is also a forensic botanist for NecroSearch International, an organization that assists law enforcement with cold murder investigations. She is a current member and past President of the Colorado Native Plant Society, Northern Chapter.

Pest Identification – Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

This is a good session for staff members. Many newer pesticides and biological control agents target specific groups or species of greenhouse pests. They can work really well, but only if the pest they target is your problem. This class will use images and grower-friendly tools to teach how to ID the most common insects and mites in many growing situations. Suzanne is a horticultural entomologist specializing in integrated pest management. She has been involved in the green Industry for more than 30 years with a primary focus on biological control and using pesticides properly. 

Climate, Climate Change, and the Future of Water in Colorado – Dr. Russ Schumacher

Dr. Russ Schumacher

This presentation will provide an overview of the historical climate of Colorado and the western U.S., and what changes to the climate are being observed. It is sometimes stated that “climate change is water change,” and the presentation will look at what that may mean for those who rely on Colorado’s water, using weather and climate data, and projections of the future. Russ Schumacher is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and serves as the Colorado State Climatologist and Director of the Colorado Climate Center.

Why Is Scouting Important in Managing Insect and Mite Pests in Greenhouse Production Systems – Dr. Raymond Cloyd

Raymond will discuss the scouting methods that should be implemented in greenhouse production systems to assess the trends/patterns associated with insect and mite pest populations. He will address how scouting can help time applications of insecticides and miticides and assess the effectiveness of plant protection programs. Dr. Cloyd is a professor and Extension Specialist at Kansas State University. Raymond has published over 90 scientific refereed publications, as well as over 900 trade journal articles, and over 60 extension publications on topics related to pest management/plant protection.

Dr. Raymond Cloyd
Dr. Thomas Yeager

Effective Container Plant Irrigation – Dr. Thomas Yeager

The amount of irrigation applied is something we can control. Yet we often do not know if we are fulfilling the plant’s need. So, come and learn how to be effective at matching irrigation applications with container plant need. Dr. Yeager has been the Nursery Crops Extension Specialist at University of Florida for 40 years. He is the lead author of Water Quality/Quantity Best Management Practices for Florida Nurseries published by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Guy Meacham

The Art of Bench Grafting – Guy Meacham

This is a ‘how-to’ presentation on the art of bench grafting. Guy will share the secrets of success that start with the selection of suitable rootstocks and scion wood. He will describe which grafting method is best and why, and share what is really important and what’s not when it comes to successful results. Guy is the new Plant Development Manager at J. Frank Schmidt & Son and has worked in propagation nurseries in the UK, Holland and France before beginning his career at J. Frank Schmidt. He is interested in all aspects of propagation but is particularly interested in grafting & budding.

Low Water Use and Drought Tolerant Ornamental Grasses for Western Landscape Applications – Stephen Gillis

As the western U.S. faces increasing water scarcity and constraints, many industry professionals seek to utilize low water use and drought tolerant ornamental grasses – with a particular focus on native grasses. Ornamental grasses are resilient, require low inputs, use water very efficiently, readily uptake available water, tolerate extended dry conditions, tend to be disease and pest resistant, offer tangible stormwater management benefits, and support pollinators and wildlife. This talk will explore the distinction between low water use and drought tolerant ornamental grasses, identify grasses for each category, and the use of those grasses in landscape applications. Stephen is the Sales and Customer Service Manager for Hoffman Nursery in North Carolina.

Stephen Gillis

But Wait, There’s More!

ProGreen offers something for just about every type of green industry professional. If sitting in a classroom isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other ways to learn:

  • The Expo – Access to more than 200 companies and the latest horticulture and landscape industry products, equipment and plant material, all in one place.
  • The Potting Challenge – Back for its fifth year, you can participate to test your container designing skills or just watch the fast-paced action.
  • VIP Breakfast – Gather with your fellow business leaders to enjoy a buffet breakfast and hear the latest on business trends, forecasts and strategies
  • Women In Green Luncheon – Join other like-minded women in the green industry to network over lunch.
  • Arborist Demonstrations – Come see how arborists do their jobs with climbing demonstrations, maintenance trimming, safety procedures and more – all done on a real tree!
  • CNGA’s Industry Celebration – Nothing like a party with great food and beverages! At this annual gathering you can support the Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation through both silent and live auctions, congratulate award and scholarship winners, make new business connections and have a fabulous time with your CNGA friends! The link is here for more information and to register.
  • Young Hort Professionals Happy Hour – Come mingle with the 40 and under crowd for free adult beverages and great conversations! Here you can make valuable connections that will help your career development and build industry knowledge. Plus you can learn about the YHP’s Plant Ahead program that presents horticulture career options to high school students. Learn more and sign up here.

Don’t let the ProGreen EXPO experience pass you by! If you have not already signed up, register today at:
Discounted registration fees apply to CNGA members.