December, 2016
      The Holidays have arrived and with it seemingly constant activity.  Through the hustle and bustle of putting up decorations and  shopping for gifts, attending the many Christmas programs and parties,  looking back to what we have accomplished and forward to the goals we have for next year,  we hardly have a chance to enjoy one event before heading off to another.  But that is what Christmas is about.  Sharing the Spirit of Christmas with others cornered_presents.jpg through generosity, time and gifts, while remembering the reason for the Season makes this a favorite time of year.  Enjoy the season and share the love.

As we look toward 2017, there are many activities, projects and events that need attention.  Please look over this list and make every effort to address those that pertain to you. 
  1. December 1st Business Meeting.  This is a very important meeting where we will be electing new officers for 2017.  For our Association to remain a vital and active part of the Green Industry, we need good leadership and active participation.  Please attend this meeting at 5:30pm at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Van.
  2. Membership Dues.  The dues for 2017 have been consistently coming in and we thank you for that.  If you have not sent them in yet, please do so as soon as possible.  The 2017 Buyer's Guide will go to print at the end of this month and we want to make sure we don't miss anyone.
  3. Our Website and Plant Search Page.  As an Association we voted to maintain a website with plant search capabilities.  I consistently direct people to our site when they are looking for specific plants.  The plant search is only as good as you make it.  If you are a new member, please go online to PlantAnt.com  and register and link to our Association so you will show up on the member map.  If you have product listed with PlantAnt, please remember to keep your list updated.  With outdated lists, our search site is not helpful.
  4. Trade Show 2017.  Things are moving well with the Trade Show.  We have educational speakers for both days, and we will be doing multiple email invitations during the next two months so we are expecting good attendance.  If you haven't paid for your booth yet, please do.  If you haven't reserved a booth, we would love to see you as an exhibitor.  Don't forget to pick up an item for the Scholarship Auction that will be held Thursday night.  And if you haven't looked at the Trade show's sponsorship opportunities   please check them out.  They are a great way to promote your brand and expand your business. 
Thanks again,  for all your help, interest, and support of the NTNGA!

In This Issue

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Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here's What It Means For Greenhouse Growers

              According to widespread news reports, a Texas judge has halted a federal rule that would have expanded overtime pay to millions of workers.
              One article from the Washington Post says the rule from the Department of Labor that was supposed to take effect on Dec. 1 would have made overtime pay available to full-time salaried employees earning up to $47,476 a year, more than doubling the current threshold of $23,660 a year.
              The injunction from U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant buys the court more time to come to a final decision on the overtime rule, which was challenged by many business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, as well as 21 states. The states and the businesses are disputing the salary component of the rule, arguing that the Labor Department does not have the authority to require that employers offer overtime to workers who earn below a certain amount.
              The Labor Department says that it is considering all of its legal options.
"We strongly disagree with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day's pay for a long day's work for millions of hardworking Americans," the department said in a statement. "The department's overtime rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule."

What It Means For Greenhouse Growers
              Greenhouse Grower magazine reached out to Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President for industry advocacy and research at AmericanHort, to find out what the injunction means for the horticulture industry. In short, he says it's welcome news.
              "The court's intervention really was the only practical way to buy time without the drama of it taking effect," Regelbrugge says. "The question now is, will the rule simply die as a result of the new administration walking away from its legal defense, or will Congress act? Presuming Congress adjourns by December 9, it appears that the Congressional Review Act (CRA) provides a mechanism for striking the rule down.
             "The House will be easy, and since the CRA requires only a simple majority, passage in the Senate is also a realistic prospect. In a meeting with AmericanHort earlier this week, a House Republican Conference staffer signaled that this would be a preferred path forward.
            "While greenhouse and nursery crop growers would still have the agricultural exemption from overtime to rely upon, many landscape firms, garden retailers, suppliers, and even our industry associations themselves were struggling with compliance challenges. The prevalence of diversified businesses, and seasonality, add to the complexity."

by Brian Sparks.  article taken from Greenhouse Grower Magazine  
Did you know there are multiple ways to advertise in the newsletter? 
Call 903-272-0145 for pricing

 News and Articles from the Green Industry                 

Hit 'em where they ain't.  Take a marketing lesson from one of the best in baseball.  by Marty Grunder  
         One of the smallest men ever to play Major League Baseball, "Wee Willie" Keeler, racked up 2,947 career hits and secured himself a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He did this using one of the shortest bats in baseball history. His secret? His ability to "place" his hits - to direct the ball with a crack of his bat to where there was no one nearby to field it. We can learn from Wee Willie when it comes to marketing our companies.
         Consider the way most landscapers market their businesses. For each of these tactics, the questions remain the same: Is it effective? Does it increase sales? Is it money well spent? read more  

How We Can Inspire Millennials To Get Involved In Horticulture by Jen Calhoun
          My daughter Erin is an outspoken millennial who at 21 is just the age we want to entice into our garden centers, and ultimately, our check-out lines. In other words, she is our future. It would be optimistic to think that millennials have learned as much or more about plants than we did in school. Erin's elementary school, like so many others in the country, experienced budget cuts. The luxury of having a dedicated growing space in the classroom was not possible. How will the next generation get excited about plants if they aren't exposed to it when they are young?   read more  
The Missing Gardener: How To Rebuild Our Customer Base
by Carol Miller  
           You want to attract those elusive new customers. You want growing plants to become more entrenched in modern lifestyles.  That seems like too large a goal to achieve, doesn't it? But that's exactly what the 10% Project set out to do three years ago in 2013 and has been working on ever since.
           The main lesson? Michigan State University's Dr. Bridget Behe and I have learned that if you break down what potential customers think about plants, their fears and their hopes, then you can make a difference. You can help them reach their own goals, offer solutions to their challenges, and calm their fears.
            So we invite you to see the challenges we've identified over the past few years, the ones you face in winning new customers to the passion and lifestyle of growing plants. read more   

State of the Industry Report - Dig In by Nursery Management Magazine
            Facing uncertainties in this mature market, growers must be ready to be bold and innovative.
            The demographic shift that's playing out in America has a dramatic effect on the economy. The 78 million people who make up the baby boomer generation will continue to retire, allowing some 67 million gen Xers to take over. That's a deficit of 11 million people. Perhaps the 83 million representatives of the millennials will fill in the gaps. We're facing uncertain times. Who will buy our products? How must we change our marketing messages? But economist Charlie Hall says with uncertainty comes opportunity. read more 
 Events around the area                
Thursday, December 1, 2016    
NTNGA Officer Election Meeting.
Program by Charlie Wood of Delta Plastics Recycling  
Farmhouse Restaurant, Van, TX  5:30pm. 
Thursday and Friday, February 2-3, 2017
 NTNGA 23rd Annual Trade Show, 

Mesquite, TX

If you know of any events in  your area, or if you are hosting an event, please let me know and we can post it here.

 Classified Ads
For Sale:  Successful, well-established Garden Center with Real Estate for Sale.  Popular Lake Location 45 minutes southeast of Dallas, TX.   Prequalified for SBA Loan.   For details contact Dwayne at 972-458-8989 ext. 204 or Dwayne@TheVantGroup.com

If you would like to place a classified ad, or job posting, please call me for information.  903-272-0145
I hope everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season, and I look forward to continuing to "grow" with you in 2017. 

Merry Christmas,

Charlotte Yorkson 
Executive Director 
Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association