January 21, 2013 at 3:00 am

Sometimes we take those things in our own backyard for granted, even those things that are truly impressive.  The Central Environmental and Nursery Trade Show, better known as CENTS, hosted by the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) falls in that category for me.  And shame on me.

CENTS, held in conjunction with The Ohio State University Nursery Short Course, is the largest green industry trade and education expo in the Midwest.  Over 425 exhibitors cover the better part of 5 acres of the Columbus Convention Center floor space.  The nearly 8000 landscapers and nurserymen attending can find everything from garden gnomes to track hoes on display.

The OSU Nursery Short Course celebrated its 85th addition.  Over 100 sessions were offered in 14 educational tracks all highlighted by keynote presenter, Dr. Michal Dirr.  I asked several people that stopped by the booth, “What has been your favorite part of the show?”  Virtually all said “Dr. Dirr”.  Dr. Dirr is the authority on woody plants and has authored 12 books and over 300 papers and journals.  It should be noted that Dr. Dirr received his bachelors and masters degrees from The Ohio State University, setting him on the right path for his illustrious career.  A close second was Tuesday’s appearance of Advanced Turf Solutions salesman of the year, Aaron Bucci (pictured below).  Aaron graciously autographed ATS catalogs until the supply was exhausted. 

But seriously, ONLA and OSU should be commended for bringing so many people in our industry together every year.  They have created a giant platform for the exchange of new ideas and products as well as the continuing education of thousands of green industry professionals.  If you have never been to CENTS, put it on your calendar.  If you have been there multiple times, go again, and don’t take it for granted.  Save the dates!  January 13-15, 2014.

Best Regards,
Doug Dawson
ATS Sales Representative