Montana Nursery & Landscape Association
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Synopses of Board Meetings

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  • June 10, 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the May 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on June 10th.  Present were Gina, Steve, Ryan, Frank, Tom, Matt, Kristi, Peter, Darin and Laura.

    The April minutes were reviewed with Ryan motioning to pass them, Peter seconded.  Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. that there are 938 state registered nurseries. Traps have been placed throughout the state to monitor certain pests. Tom Perry of the DNRC shared the revisions to the mission statement and purpose.

    Steve reviewed the budget from last year at this time. We are down from last year. Darin updated us on Fall Tour in Billings. There is a golf tournament planned, many residential and business stops and a bus to take guests to the different locations. Please register for the bus. Summer Leaflet will be out soon. Matt says things are mostly lined out for Expo 2022 with more details to come. Gina updated on the Billings MNLA chapter. Meetings are being recorded. There is a baseball night planned in July at Dehler Park. Fall golf tournament will need hole sponsors.

    Kristi reported on the intern hired named Nathan will be visiting nurseries and taking notes for the web site plant list. Kristi is preparing for the next CPP exam at Canyon Creek Nursery. Gina asks you to please remember to submit your dues for renewal. And if you would like to have a booth at Expo next year, please contact Gina.

    Darin moved to adjourn, and Ryan seconded. Motion carried.

  • May 13, 2021 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the May 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on May 13th.  Present were: Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Peter Hiel, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Laura Lambrecht, Gina Albaugh, Carson Thomas, Frank Etzler, and Tom Perry.

    The April minutes were read by Gina with a motion from Kristi to accept them and second by Matt. Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. On the number of state registered nurseries. Carson updated on the Japanese beetle spray in Billings Heights. Pesticide available at Good Earth Works and Gainans. See signage on instructions.

    Tom Perry of the DNRC talked about deer damage to the bare root stock at the state nursery. Steve reviewed the financial statements from Last year at this time. Once again profits are low due to not having Expo this year.  Darin talked about Fall Tour 2021 in Billings and the golf tournament planned.

    Summer Leaflet submissions due May 15. Matt has booked a keynote speaker for Expo 2021. Gina continues on vendor booths for Expo and bus options. Tim gave updates on the Billings MNLA chapter. We will plan to video the next meeting, but we are not sure if live streaming will be an option.

    Kristi reported on the intern hired to work on the web site as part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant. Also Kristi told us that Canyon Creek Nursery has generously volunteered to host the next CPP exam.  Gina has been Executive Director for one year now. Matt moved to extend Gina’s contract for another year to the position with a bonus for all her hard work. Peter 2nd. Kristi moved to adjourn, and Darin seconded. Motion carried.

  • April 08, 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the April 2021 meeting to order via conference call at 7am. on April 8th.  Present were:  Ryan Forde, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Laura Lambrecht, Gina Albaugh, Frank Etzler, Carson Thomas, Peter Hiel, and Tom Perry. The March minutes we unanimously approved with a motion from Ryan and Kristi second. 

    Frank reported for the Montana Dept. of Ag. The number of state registered nurseries. Carson reported on the Japanese beetle issue in Billings Heights. Pesticide available at Good Earth Works and Gainans. Steve reported the balance sheet from last year to this. Not much change. Steve was on the Montana Ag Live TV show.

    Darin is coordinating Fall Tour 2021 in Billings as well as summer Leaflet submissions due May 15. Matt is looking for a keynote speaker for Expo 2021. Gina is working on vendor booths for Expo. Tim gave updates on the Billings MNLA chapter. Video equipment was purchased to stream the chapter meetings to others throughout the state.

    Kristi reported on scholarship awards and the block grant web site redesign. Gina gave the Executive report of filing the annual report, and the membership renewals go out May 1. Kristi moved to adjourn, and Darin seconded. Motion carried.

  • March 11, 2021 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Steve Lehenbauer called the video conference meeting to order, with 6 Board Members present. Frank Etzler of the Montana Dept of Ag (MDA) reported on the Marimo moss ball. These balls were being sold for use in aquariums and other aquarian areas, and have been found with Zebra muscles, an invasive species, attached. Frank also reported that House Bill 361, which proposed removing sod growers from the nursery licensing program, had died out thanks to the presentation by Steve at the legislative hearing. Carson Thomas, of MDA, gave an update on the pesticide for the Japanese beetle problem. Good Earth Works and Gainans in Billings will distribute the pesticide. Application time is mid-to-late May to target the larvae. No special license is needed to distribute or apply this pesticide. The 2021 budget was reviewed, with Peter motioning to approve, and Kristi seconded. Steve moved to have Gina attend the virtual National Landscape Association Executives conference April 26-28. Kristi commented that it is important for Gina to attend as she is still fairly new for our organization. Motion carried. Upcoming events were reviewed, with Fall Tour stops suggested, and speakers for the 2022 Expo discussed. Purchase of a streaming camera for the Billings Chapter meetings was proposed, with plans to stream Billings Chapter meetings state-wide discussed. Laura moving to approve the purchase, Kristi seconded. Kristi reported that she had met with students at MSU to discuss the scholarship program. Gina reported on attending dinner with Governor Gianforte and representatives from 14 other state associations, where she reported on the survey results from our members on industry regulations, and heard from other associations on the challenges they are facing.

  • February 11, 2021 9:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Past President Ryan Forde called the meeting to order, present were Steve Lehenbauer, Ryan Forde, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Gina Albaugh, Beth Eiring, Frank Etzler, Emily Talago, Carson Thomas, Peter Hiel, James Prchal, Tom Perry & Laura Lambrecht.

    Ryan announced the new board members Peter Hiel and Laura Lambrecht and welcomed them. Beth Eiring of the Montana Dept. of Ag and Frank Etzler reported on the Emerald Ash Borer and Japanese Beetle outbreaks. Carson Thomas told us of the 999 nursery licenses currently in Montana. As of January 100 have paid their dues.

    Beth reported on legislation for House Bill 361 introduced by Matt Regier of House District 4 Kalispell. This bill would remove sod farmers from the agriculture license requirements of Nursery Stock or Plant dealers. Currently nurseries, plant dealers and landscapers must have a license to sell or distribute nursery stock. Fee is based on gross annual sales. There are currently 10 sod growers in Montana. Steve moved to oppose this legislation. Matt seconded the motion. Discussion followed. Board voted unanimously to oppose this bill.

    Tom Perry with the DNRC joined us to talk about Urban & Community Forestry Grants. More info can be viewed on their web site: http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/forestry/forestry-assistance/urban-and-community-forestry/urban-and-community-forestry-grants.  Another program with the NRCS is the Interim Conservation Practice Standards. This allows landowners reimbursement for implementing conservation practices such as adding compost or biochar up to 800 ton/acre.

    James Prchal from Good Earth Works proposed a mask order for the local chapter meetings. The chapter will provide masks and hand sanitizer at the entrance for those wanting to have them.

    Education Committee Report: Kristi reminded us that the scholarship applications for the Fall semester of college are due March 31. Approvals will be decided in April and May and awarded in August. Matt gave a briefing on Expo 2022. A committee will be formed at the next board meeting to further discuss ideas. Committee will include Gina, Steve and Matt. Steve also brought up that the Billings chapter will do as much as needed to plan the Fall 2021 Tour. Steve Lehenbauer moved to adjourn the meetings. Matt Watts seconded. Motion carried.

  • January 05, 2021 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Ryan Forde called the meeting to order, present were Steve Lehenbauer, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Sandy Perrin, Gina Albaugh, Beth Eiring, Frank Etzler, Emily Talago, Peter Heil, & Laura Lambrecht.

    The minutes of December 10, 2020 meeting were reviewed with Tim motioning to accept, Matt second, motion carried. Beth Eiring gave the Montana Department of Ag Report introducing Frank Etzler who is the Department head overseeing the Nursery program.  New Director will be Mike Foster.

    Steve reviewed the Finance Report Statements, the change of revenue is due to canceling Expo. Gina reported on what was mailed and emailed out to members in the annual meeting packet.  The contract has been signed for Expo 2022.  MT Ag Live Show requested the MNLA president to appear on March 28th, Steve agreed to do so.

    Kristi/Emily Talago updated the board on the Specialty Crop Block Grant progress. Gina presented the slide show which we will use for the annual meeting and delegating who will present each section. Matt said he would like to attend INLA Virtual Expo  & ProGreen Virtual conferences

  • December 10, 2020 9:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Ryan Forde called the virtual meeting to order at 8AM with Steve Lehenbauer, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Sandy Perrin, Gina Albaugh, and Beth Eiring present.

    Beth Eiring with the Montana Department of Ag reported about continuing education credit opportunities available thru online presentations for pesticide licenses. Steve gave the finance committee report explaining the lower bank balance is due to no Expo sales, legal fees, and training for ED. 

    Gina reported that she has contacted the advertisers from Expo and most have rolled over their ads to the 2022 Expo. Kristi reported that there are no scholarship applicants in the Education Committee report. Kristi suggested offering a spring scholarship opportunity due on March 31st. Gina will put a nomination form in the annual meeting packet about the board member positions opening up. 

    The board has received pictures from two of the recipients of the Community Beautification Fund. The Missoula Rose Garden and Ft. Belnap.  A picture of the plaque and explanation of  how the dollars were spent were shown. Tim & Steve gave the Billings chapter update on the first virtual meeting. Advertisement for vendors who paid for Expo Brochure & Program will be included in annual packets. 

  • November 12, 2020 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Ryan Forde called the November 12, 2020 virtual meeting to order at 8 AM with Steve Lehenbauer, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Sandy Perrin, Gina Albaugh, Beth Eiring, Tom Perry, and Emily Talago present.

    The minutes of October 8, 2020 & October 29, 2020 meetings were reviewed and motion was passed on accepting the minutes. Beth Eiring with the Montana Department of Ag. reported that the nursery license numbers are comparable to last year.

    Emily Talago, Kristi, & Gina updated the board on the Specialty Crop Block Grant that was awarded to the MNLA.  It was decided to have Emily & Kristi to be independent contractors while working on the 3 year project.  The interns that they hire to help will receive a stipend, scholarship, or tuition reimbursement.

    Ways were discussed to bring in some revenue due to cancelling EXPO such as a winter leaflet on line with advertising opportunities.  Steve made a motion to raise advertising rates by 5%, Sandy second, motion carried unanimously.  A letter and email notification will be sent out to members shortly on EXPO cancellation.  Board Member positions opening up:  Secretary and Member-at-Large and 3RD Vice President.  It was agreed to send out a notification when the cancelLation letters go out about the EXPO. The hotel contract for EXPO 2021 has been cancelled, Steve made a motion to re-book in Billings for 2022, Kristi second, motion carried.  The Annual Membership Meeting will be moved to a virtual platform,  staying with the same date of Thursday, January 7th, 2021, moving the time to 2:00 pm.  The sponsors who have all ready paid will be given the choice of credit for next year, sponsoring this years virtual meeting or rebate.  The awards for Best of MT entries and Container contest will be included on the virtual meeting.  Extending the deadlines for submission to Dec. 15th

  • October 08, 2020 9:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Ryan Forde called the meeting to order at 7 AM via video conference call.  Present were: Steve Lehenbauer, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Sandy Perrin, Gina Albaugh, Beth Eiring, Sue Clark, Tom Perry

    Beth Eiring gave an update on the nursery license fees from the Montana Department of Ag. Sue Clark/Tom Perry  from the DNRC Conservation Seedling Nursery reported changes in management in the nursery, and the city tree inventory reports on their Urban Forest Website.

    The Finance Committee report was discussed, noting that the fall tour had brought in several thousand dollars in profit. The Specialty Crop Block Grant has been approved and Gina will have Emily from Cashman’s Nursery on next meeting to talk about moving forward in working on the new publications. Gina explained the results of the survey sent out to members on attending the Billings 2021 Expo. Gina and Steve will discuss this further with the Billings Convention hotel to see what accommodations might work and be cost effective, a special board meeting to be held at the end of October to make a final decision on Expo 2021.

  • September 10, 2020 9:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Ryan Forde called the meeting to order, present were Steve Lehenbauer, Matt Watts, Darin Sabers, Tim Groener, Kristi Browning, Sandy Perrin, Gina Albaugh. The minutes of the August 13, 2020 meeting were reviewed, Steve made a motion to approve with Gina seconding, motion passed. Steve lead the discussion and review of the Finance report for August 2020.  There was more money brought in on the golf tournament.  Steve made the motion to approve with Sandy second, motion carried.

    The board reviewed and discussed the Short Course Scholarship application submitted, Matt made the motion to approve with Steve second, unanimously approved. Gina reported membership renewal numbers.  We should know soon on if the  Specialty Crop Block Grant  has gotten funded. It was decided to keep with the complete board monthly meetings, using the committee structure only when needed.

    Kristi gave the Education update - A motion was made by Steve that any student signing up for a membership would get a free CPP manual, Sandy second.  Motion approved. Fall Tour registration is 38 people, board duties and schedules were discussed. It was decided to send out a poll to members, speakers and vendors on whether to hold Expo 2021 due to Covid restrictions. Tim & Steve updated the board on the Billings Chapter golf tournament and that $2,700.00 was raised to help with Darin Spooners medical expenses. 

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