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By jlew1977, Jul 12 2016 12:43PM

Your CFGW board met on June 30 by conference call. Brian Karthauser reported that all the state fair pots had been distributed to growers who will produce finished containers to decorate this year’s Wisconsin State Fair Grounds. Brian has received free fair entry tickets which he will distribute to those growing finished planters.

Tom Hartman reported that there are over 160 plants of 2017, 16 and 15 new releases planted in the U.W. West Madison Ag. Research Station for this year’s trials. John Esser said he has visited the trial gardens in June and the plants were growing well.

Registration and Trade show booth rentals for the October 19 Fall Greenhouse Conference have been kept the same for another year. Rental for a booth will again cost $125 (although some companies are donating $300 to help bring speakers). Registrants will pay $55 for the first person from a company and $35 for any additional person. Non CFGW members will pay $70 per person and Horticulture students $30.

BFG’s Megan Lambert was invited to join the CFGW board. She will help current member Dann Handel set meeting sites and find speakers for membership meetings. Jason Wenninger who left BFG to return to Ebert’s Greenhouse Village will continue on the board

By jlew1977, Jul 12 2016 12:36PM

An interesting discussion occurred at the June 28, 2015 CFGW membership meeting when an attendee asked how others were finding employees. He said he has a stable crew but needed extra help this spring so hired several people but they did not work out well for him. Although he did not go into much detail I’m sure all of you have had the same difficulties in finding responsible, interested and industrious temporary employees.

One attendee posted job openings on his Facebook page. Green-Teks Paul Jacobson says he has been hiring high school athletes. He said they are not afraid of work, getting dirty, heat and cold but moderator John Lewandowski came up with the best solution to finding employees that I’ve heard. He hires his customers.

John says he can teach someone how to run the cash register but it is more difficult to find someone who is interested in plants, knows how to grow them, the products you sell and can help your customer with ideas and solve gardening problems is almost impossible. Your good customers know plants you just need to find one that is a “people person” then ask them if they are interested in working a few hours a week during the busy time of the year. He gives them discounts on purchasing plants so most are happy to work and are pleased to be asked. These employees will often bring in their gardening friends to work if more employees are needed.

John says the final upside to hiring your employees is that they spend most of the money they earn at his greenhouse.

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