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OFA Short Course

From July 14 – 17, a group of Cornell faculty, grad students, and interns headed to Columbus Ohio for the nation’s largest horticulture convention. This was a new experience for me, and probably one the of best learning opportunities I’ve ever had. At the convention, there is a 7 acre trade show, not including the non-stop workshops and seminars that have various topics from greenhouse sanitation protocols to business tips and networking opportunities.

Attending the show was extremely beneficial to me, since my interest in greenhouse production is somewhat new. I had many opportunities to ask questions about the industry and was able to see the latest technologies and trends. It was hard for me to choose between attending seminars and going to into the trade show. Both were so interesting and helpful to me. Professor Bill Miller told me that the best way to engage myself in the convention was to meet people and network inside the show. I was offered many internship opportunities, along with a scholarship opportunity as well. The company owners were extremely excited to meet us and answer any questions we had.

Sam Kass, one of the keynote speakers, is a chef at the White House who works along side of Michelle Obama with her anti-obesity campaign. This was intriguing to me because I did my senior exit project on this topic. He was big into gardening with the kids and teaching them the importance of producing food and cooking it to eat. Another speaker created a gardening program for young children in a school, which emphasized the importance of Ag education. This struck me and had me thinking of ways that I could implement a program in my own former elementary and high school.

Overall, I thought that the experience was incredible and I am planning on attending next year. It is hard to recap everything I learned and experienced but what I gained will help me so much with my future studies and career. I recommend this show to anybody interested in horticulture, there is something for everybody to learn.


  1. It is great to see new students enthusiastically involved with the industry. Good luck with your future career

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