A Workshop + Inspiration Series

A career in horticulture is amazing. From having the most beautiful "offices" outside to working with some of the kindest, hardest working, creative, and funny people around, there's a lot to love about our jobs. 

But careers in horticulture also come with some unique challenges. One of the toughest ones continues to be the elusive "career ladder," and it can be tough to figure out how to grow a career once you've mastered growing the plants.

Introducing CareerUP, an AmericanHort program tailored to you and the unique situations young horticulture professionals find themselves in. CareerUP seeks to give you practice and strategy in the soft skills that can make or break many young professional and entry-level management scenarios while also seeking to inspire you with the people who know exactly what you're going through and have come out on the other side.

Which is why we're calling it a "Workshop + Inspiration Series." Be ready to for some honest conversations, sincere networking with other young professionals in the industry, and plenty of inspiration to motivate and empower you to keep growing strong. 

Your career matters to us, and it matters to the success of the industry. Let's get started.


The Schedule


Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


The Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH


First, you'll need to register for Cultivate and select your experience (All-Access, Expo Only) and then select "CareerUP" as an add-on experience. 


$125, which gets you the Workshop, Inspiration Series, Lunch, and a Happy Hour Reception (i.e., free drinks and fun). This is your career and professional growth we're dealing with, and an investment in professional development can lead to better work performance, stronger confidence and work satisfaction, salary increases, higher retention rates, and movement up the career ladder. If you or your boss still need some convincing, read this.


9:30 - 10 a.m.: Check-in and mingling
10 - 11:30 a.m.: High Stakes Communication Workshop with Nancy Fisher
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Lunch (provided)
1 - 4 p.m.: Inspiration Series

  • Kelly Norris, Director of Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Bridget Behe, PhD, Michigan State University professor
  • Tyler Baras ("Farmer Tyler"), Dallas Grown, Farm Manager; Hort Americas, Special Projects Manager; Urban Ag News, Video Contributor; Farmer Tyler LLC, Owner
  • Steve Black, Raemelton Farm, Owner
4 - 5 p.m.: Happy Hour Networking Reception & Presentation of First Annual Emergent Honors


The Workshop


You’ve been there -- whether you’re the freshly minted manager overseeing people twice your age and triple the experience or the new employee with bright ideas and excitement to spare — high stakes communication scenarios might as well be your 9-to-5. 

Young professionals today are expected to juggle it all. Knowing how to communicate effectively and powerfully in any situation helps and is an incredible advantage. 
Learn how to approach any high-stakes communication situation with confidence, credibility, and professionalism. Nancy will walk you through the basics of effective communication and then you'll practice them

These tips, tricks, strategies, and insights will fill your toolbox with the resources you need to handle complicated conversations with co-workers, employment requests, problem-solving situations, and various management scenarios. Plus, it'll help when you're trying to communicate across the generational divide so that everyone reaches a win-win situation with a smile on their face.


The Inspiration Series

Sometimes you just need some empowerment and encouragement to stick out the tough times and reap the rewards in the end. In TED-talks style storytelling, these horticulture professionals will share their career ups and downs and how they got through to build something incredible — and how you can, too. In open and friendly Q&A time, you'll also be able to ask questions and get to know the backstory of how their careers have grown and evolved over time.

Bridget Behe, PhD

Professor, Michigan State University

Kelly Norris

Director of Horticulture, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Tyler Baras

Dallas Grown, Farm Manager | Hort Americas, Special Projects Manager | Urban Ag News, Video Contributor | Farmer Tyler LLC, Owner

Steve Black

Raemelton Farm, Owner
Nursery Management Magazine Grower of the Year, 2017

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