October, 2016

       The cool weather is slowly starting to arrive and beckons us outside.  While you are out enjoying the fall weather, don't forget to check the mail.  Your NTNGA membership renewal invoices will be arriving in the next few weeks.   
      Your continued financial support of NTNGA is what keeps our doors open!  Thank you for your generosity and trust in us.   
      If you are not currently an NTNGA member, now may be the time to become one!  It is very easy to signup.  Click the adjacent  link to start your NTNGA membership today.       
        We are working on our 2017 Buyers Guide.  If you haven't been contacted yet to verify the info rmation in your listing please get in touch with me. While you are at it, take a minute and make sure that if you have listings on PlantAnt, they are up to date.  We get a lot of traffic on the plant search page of our website and we want to stay as current as possible.
        Work continues on our 2017 Trade Show and we will soon be sending out information and "Save the Date" emails.  We still have a few booths left if you haven't already taken advantage of exhibiting at the show.  Also, take a minute to check out the Trade show's sponsorship opportunities  as a great way to promote your brand and expand your business. 
         Thursday, October 20 we will have an NTNGA Business meeting at 6:00pm at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Van, TX. This is a very important meeting to discuss modifications to the scholarship program, nominations of officers for 2017, and a calendar of  upcoming events.  Please make every effort to attend this meeting.   
In This Issue

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   10 Insights From Charlie Hall's Green Industry Economic Outlook
       How is the short-term economic outlook for the green industry shaping up? That was the theme of the "Mid-Year Economic Outlook" webinar presented on Tuesday, Aug. 30, by Charlie Hall, an economist and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University.
      "An election year always makes things interesting," Hall noted in kicking off his presentation. "Usually the economy is at its most stable during an election year."
This year might be a little different, however, as Hall notes in the first of these 10 highlights from the presentation.

1. What is the one word that best depicts the current situation?  According to Hall, it's "uncertainty," thanks to the current leading presidential candidates. Because of this, Hall says many businesses are going status quo and holding back on investments, not just in the green industry but for others, as well.
However, the best strategy may be the opposite of this, says Hall.  "I see this as a time for opportunity," Hall says. "If we wanted certainty, we'd live in a different country."
2. Baby boomers are in the early stages of retiring over what will eventually be a 19-year time period, which equates to around 10,000 people retiring every day.
"They built our industry to where it is today," Hall says. "Generation X is taking their place buying homes and adding landscapes, but there are fewer of them, so the size of our market is naturally decreasing."
3. Just because the economy is moving along slowly doesn't mean we are performing badly, Hall notes.  "We are still producing more goods and services today than we were prior to the recession, and the statistics show we are creating more jobs while unemployment numbers are dropping."
4. So what does the rest of the year look like?  Hall points to the Confidence Board's Leading Economic Index, which is slightly increasing.  "The chances of a recession occurring in the near future are very low," Hall says. "We've had some close calls such as Brexit, but the effects weren't as bad as they could have been."
Usually big events such as Brexit will cause a recessions, but Hall also says "we've never seen something happen out of our country to cause a recession."
5. Housing trends are another important economic indicator to consider, and in this area, Hall says housing starts are indeed increasing, and many of them are single-family starts, which means more people are taking on mortgage debt.
"Of those people who are buying houses, we're seeing a lot of remodeling activity," Hall says. "The numbers for building equipment and gardening equipment are growing."
6. What about the effect of fuel prices?  "We are driving fewer miles today than we were before the recession, even with gas prices dropping," Hall says. "Millennials don't have the same need or desire to drive as their parents did. Plus, with higher urban populations, more people are working from home."
7. Going back to the election, Hall says one of the main areas of real influence for the presidential candidates is immigration.  "Immigration is especially significant because our overall population growth is slowing," Hall says. He also notes that the strongest growth in the economy is likely to take place with comprehensive immigration reform. It's simply a numbers game, as adding more people leads to more home buying.  However, Hall also notes that on a broader scale, the President only has limited power to influence things, while Congress has a big role, as well.  "Look at how long we've been debating immigration, with no results," he says.
8. If you choose to make investments in your business this year, should these investments be in improving efficiencies, or expanding the business? This was a question raised by one audience member during the webinar.
"We've seen too many businesses grow without a good strategy, including knowing whether your profit margin is generating sales," Hall says. "I would start by improving efficiency."
9. How is the green industry doing this year so far in sales? Because of weather-related concerns, Hall says it depends on the region you're in.
"The Southwest has been down, while the Northeast has been up."
10. What about the potential effects of a minimum wage increase?
"We've seen that a higher minimum wage can impact the very people you are trying to help," Hall says. "Businesses will buy less of a product if a price increases, and a minimum wage increase effect on labor reflects this."
  In California, for example, Hall says the slow increase will mean a higher tax on businesses, which will lead many companies to move more toward automation

article taken from Greenhouse Grower Magazine 
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 News and Articles from the Green Industry                 
Learn How Unconventional Plants Can Be Hidden Gems   by Kelly Norris  
         Full disclosure - I'm going to beat up on petunias again, if only en route to a bigger point. Mea culpa. As a professional plant geek, it's no surprise that the lens I use to evaluate new plants skews toward novelty, style, and interest that might differ from the prototypical consumer. Might. (I'm convinced we underestimate and misjudge the motivations our consumers bring to horticulture, and in so doing, we fail to connect with their wants and needs in a genuine way.) . read more  

Get Organized   by Marty Grunder
          Time really is money, folks. The late great management guru Peter Drucker said, "Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed." I agree completely with Drucker's thoughts. This month let's talk about three things you can do to save time that can be used to make more money. I'm going to touch on a few different areas of your companies. read more  
How The November Election Might Affect The Legalization Of Cannabis by Brian Sparks
         As the November election draws closer, the issue of legalizing cannabis has been a much-discussed topic. Earlier this month, Greenhouse Grower reported that up to five state initiatives that would legalize adult use of cannabis - and another that would approve medical uses - are likely to be on ballots this fall. Come November 9, more than half of U.S. states may allow some form of legalized cannabis.. read more  
         When you ask a green industry business owner the question, "Why are you in business?", the answer you will usually get is, "To make money." However, when you take a closer look at this assumption, you will see why this is not the correct response. Here's why this is the wrong answer.
         Self development philosopher Earl Nightingale once said, "The only person who truly makes money works in a mint. The rest of us have to earn our money." And, as management consultant Peter Drucker once stated, "The primary purpose of a business should be to acquire and retain customers." read more  
 Events around the area                
  Thursday, October 20, 2016
NTNGA Business Meeting  
Farmhouse Restaurant, Van, TX  6:00pm
Thursday, November 17, 2016 
  TNLA Region 3 Invites you to their
Annual "Christmas in November" Dinner

Rick's on the Square, Tyler, TX. 6:00pm.
 Cost $20.00 per person.
RSVP by Nov.11 to
KBW, 12601 CR 1114, Tyler, TX 75709, Attn: Sandy.
For more information, click here 
Thursday, December 15, 2016    
NTNGA Officer Election Meeting.  
Location TBD
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.
The heat of summer is finally giving way to the gentle onset of fall.  October is hayrides and bonfires, pumpkins and hot cider, Halloween and harvest.  Enjoy!

Charlotte Yorkson 
Executive Director 
Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association