Lynda Wightman was such an enjoyable speaker for seminar today. As an employee for Hunter Industries and Chairman of the Board for the Irrigation Foundation, she had a lot to say about water conservation and efficient irrigation systems.
Lynda explained that water is the #1 most valuable resource in the world. She stated that the horticulture industry is very visible and, as part of that industry, we are stewards of this most precious resource. A large percentage of water is wasted due to lack of education to the public, improper installation of irrigation systems, as well as inefficient systems. She went over the new water conservation technology such as: Weather/soil sensors-sensors that are sensitive to weather conditions like rain and wind, and monitor sprinklers accordingly, Low Precipitation/high uniformity equipment-equipment that measures precipitation vs. infiltration and monitors sprinkler accordingly, Climate-based irrigation controllers-systems that read sun radiation/evapo-transpiration rate/humidity/etc. daily, among others. She did stress, however, that equipment and technology is only as smart as the installer and maintainer.
We need to be proactive in conserving water because it is in critical supply. Ben Franklin said, "When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water." Lynda then spoke about the 'going green' measures the industry is taking. She said, "Going green is here, it's not a trend. [It's] here to stay." She spoke a lot about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and SITES, an association that deals with water conservation within LEED. It's important for people in every aspect of the horticulture industry to be familiar with these and other legislative initiatives. We need to be aware and know what's going on so we can be on top of our industry.
Lastly, she talked about being involved in the Irrigation Foundation. This foundation has two goals: Investing in Education and Advancing the Industry. They help develop materials for irrigation classes for college students and promote careers for those students. The Irrigation Foundation is also highly involved in PLANET, which involves a number of our students every winter semester.
The Winter Closing Social will be February 25-26. We will be going to West Piney, a camp located in Swan Valley. There is a lodge, outside toilets, an amphitheater, obstacle course structures, a swing set, tether ball post, soft ball backstop, and a large, long slide from the lodge to the meadow below. We will also be honoring the graduating seniors for the year 2011 with a pinning ceremony. It's going to be a lot of fun! Of course BBQ is tradition, as with previous socials. Spouces and children are welcome to come, just make sure you RSVP so we have enough food!
Mark this on your calendars and make the arrangements necessary to come and enjoy the outdoors!
Vans will be available for rides leaving Friday at 4:00 and again at 5:30 in front of the Benson Building. Students are welcome to drive up in their own vehicle but car pooling is recommended since there is limited parking. Need to Bring:Overnight clothing and tolietries
Bedding (sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, etc.)
Dinner and breakfast will be providedDirections to West Piney:
There will be a boy room, and a girl room, and then a mothers with children room. Teachers will be in separate rooms with their families.*You may leave at any time. You don't have to spend the night.
Please RSVP before Feb 11.
For inspiration for this new semester, we thought we'd highlight our interns for the past year. In the past year, BYU-Idaho's horticulture department has been represented by 35 interns in 13 states spreading across the U.S. We've been represented down the east and west coast, ranging from Hawaii to New York. Our students have been great at opening doors, finding opportunities, and keeping up our awesome intern reputation. The Horticulture department encourages you to keep an eye out and find those opportunities. They offer classes like Internship Preparation and Seminar. They go on expeditions and trips to encourage networking. Students should take advantage of these things offered by the university. Learning on the job is such a great experience!
Ben Miller was a very interesting speaker to have for seminar this week. He gave very good insight to the business side of the Horticulture industry. He spoke a lot about the differences between 'big business' and small business. While large companies may seem to have more benefits, small companies may offer more opportunity for experience and growth. He brought up the fact that, in a small company, the lines of communication are a lot smaller, allowing you to have access to the 'big guys' of the business. With those communication lines open, more opportunity and growth is available, but only if you take seek out those opportunities for yourself.
He also talked about failure being a big deterrent for entering a small company. His definition of failure was not learning from mistakes. Failure isn't really failure unless you give up. He said, "Manage your failures." Address your failures, reflect on them and turn them into success. I really liked that he said failure should build confidence rather than rattle it. If we can turn 'failure' into a learning experience, it will only lead to success. On that note, he also said he looks for interns who aren't afraid to take on more than they can chew sometimes, who more or less aren't afraid of failure, because that creates more learning opportunities and experience for themselves and shows initiative.
Northwest Landscape Services seemed like a great company to work for. They view their company as a '2nd university'. Their goal is to make their employees more valuable to the industry than they were when they started work. They achieve this by allowing their employees more experiences and opportunities than most would get with a large company.
Welcome back to a new semester at BYU-Idaho! We're excited to have the Horticulture Blog up and running again! We hope you use the blog as a reference to see what's going on in the Horticulture Department for the semester. We will keep it updated so you'll be able to find all the information you need here on the blog. We're looking forward to a great semester, working hard and playing hard!
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.