Future Leaders Program

New England GROWS is a great place for students to explore all the possibilities and potential available to them in our burgeoning green industry. Involvement with GROWS allows students an exclusive opportunity to gain cutting-edge horticultural knowledge, engage with industry leaders, explore the latest equipment and services, and become familiar with many career options.

The goal of this new program is to introduce new students to all the green industry has to offer while providing an improved framework for their experience at GROWS. We encourage high school groups and individual college students to fully participate in this exciting new program.

The deadline to submit essays from 2016 has passed. We will be announcing the 2016 Future Leader soon! You can read about the success of the Future Leaders Program from New England Grows December 2015 here.

For more information about the Future Leaders Program contact Anne Franks at 508-653-3009.

December 2015 GROWS Future Leader Award

Angelo Butera with his mother Lisa,
his brother Vinny, and his father, Leo.

Congratulations to Angelo Butera, Minuteman High School

Angelo made High Honors his 1st and 2nd term, and honor roll this past term. He served as the Minuteman Chapter FFA Vice President. He has competed at the Massachusetts FFA State Convention his sophomore and junior year in team demonstration and the Nursery Landscape Career Development Event. This past year he worked with the chapter to collect donations for homeless veterans in Massachusetts to help fill ditty bags and helped make up laundry baskets with supplies for newly housed veterans. He also participated in the FFA Winter Leadership Camp this past January. He currently participates in the Minuteman's Cooperative Education Program, working with industry professionals at Newton Cemetery Corporation under the supervision of arborist and Superintendent Rob Reardon. We are so proud that Angelo is going to be pursuing further education in the Horticulture field with plans to take over the family landscape business.

 

My Great Learning Experience at New England Grows, 12/7/15

At the 2015 New England Grows there were new tools, new equipment, and new technology that really intrigued me. One technology that really got my attention was the Gator Base over at the Alliance Booth. The Gator Base is meant to replace the traditional stone dust or mixed aggregate for the base of a patio, walkway, or driveway. What makes the Gator Base so unique is what it's made of, and that is lightweight high-density polypropylene that that has a floor mat look.

The Gator Base is costly, but at the same time you would save a ton of money on labor costs since the Gator Base weighs nearly nothing per square foot. Also the Gator Base will save you on digging 6 inches deep because with the Gator Base all you would do is rent or purchase a sod cutter and set the machine to the depth of 4 inches.

"I was beyond surprised when I heard that I won this contest and still can't believe it," Mr. Butera said, expressing his gratitude to the horticulture instructors at Minuteman and to the people at New England GROWS who helped make it possible. Modestly, he added, "I guess I would consider myself a leader of tomorrow but more so a hard worker who won't quit until the job gets done."

After you scrape down 4 inches you would compact the native soil. The second step would be to lay down the geotextile fabric. Then the third step would be to lay down the leveling sand and get everything level enough for the final base. The final base would be put down and that would be the Gator Base, and after that you would lay down your choice of paver or brick, or any type of stone. After you lay down your choice of brick or paver you would put down the polymeric sand, and that is meant to be put down in the cracks of the pavers to ensure that the pavers will never in a million years shift or move.

Something else that really caught my interest was all the new and improved equipment that will really help improve productivity and profit margins. Case in point: the new mowers are designed to make the operator more productive and comfortable. For instance over at the Walker booth the mowers they had were very comfortable and seemed very productive. In addition to the Walker being comfortable and productive you can also run different implements off the front of the machine, from a simple mowing deck to a fifty foot throwing two stage snow blower, or you could even run a perforator attachment, so you could say that the Walker mower is the Swiss Anny Knife of the lawn care industry.

The seminars were really awesome. For instance, I went to a seminar where the speaker was talking about choosing the right plants for 100% customer satisfaction, such as choosing plants for deer infested areas and areas that have poor soil conditions. This knowledge will affect me professionally because this will help me choose the proper plant life for different jobs, so this will guarantee flourishing plants no matter what the soil conditions are. Also if the property were to have a deer issue I will know what plants to plant in those areas to ensure the deer don't disturb the surrounding plants in the area.

Now with that said you could say that I'm wicked interested in getting my hands dirty with soil, and setting my roots in an industry that is always going to be there even when a bad economic depression happens. Another reason why I am so passionate and interested in the landscape and horticulture field is because I'm a third generation landscaper who plans on taking over my small family business and turning it into a force to be reckoned with in the green industry.

I definitely plan on using all the advice and technology I learned from vendors and business leaders in the future to help better profit margins and productivity for my family business. In the future I plan to continue going to New England Grows every year it comes around to see all the new and improved equipment, and I would like to continue going to the great seminars to better my customers' satisfaction. Also I plan on keeping tabs on my applicator's license by attending seminars that will get me credits to keep that certification. In addition I hope to one day exhibit at the New England Grows, mainly to get the word out about my business and attempt to create more connections throughout the industry.

February 2015 Essay Contest - Excerpts

What I Learned from My Experience at New England GROWS
Excerpts from all student essay submissions

"I listened to real people's stories via the Future Leaders Ambassadors at New England GROWS, and was deeply inspired to pursue my dreams and be successful, just like these people."

"When I was one of the few lucky students to attend the Future Leaders [orientation session at GROWS], I was skeptical about how interested I would be. As soon as the first speaker started to convey his vast knowledge of the industry, I was hooked…I realized just how lucky I was to be in that room."

"New England GROWS was a wonderland of horticultural opportunities full of interesting people, products, and businesses, which I hope to become involved with during my life."

"I wanted to learn how the industry worked, how to talk to people, and how to be a good employee. Some people had a lot to say, other had a few words, but with each person I learned something new. I learned that you can't just sit back and expect things to come to you. You have to go out and make them happen, so that is that I am going to do."

"As a young woman trying to get into this industry, it is hard too find role models. This convention helped to give me new connections to women in horticulture and increase my understanding of the profession as it applies to me."

"New England GROWS was a valuable resource in learning about future careers in this industry as I could talk to real horticulturists, arborists, and landscape professionals. It expanded my knowledge of the field, the problems that it faces, and the innovative solutions implemented by these professionals."

"New England GROWS to me means opportunity: opportunity to discover and learn and to be inspired by the passionate people in the green industry."

"My experience at New England GROWS was educational, thought provoking, and encouraged me to explore my potential career opportunities."

"All of the vendors at New England GROWS were excited and eager to explain their product and the science behind them. For example, as students we study aquaponics, so I was excited to see the hydroponics booth."

"I learned that there are always new inventions for horticulturists being developed and that the green industry will continue to expand because of these new products."

"I learned that after completing high school, I don't have to go directly into the field but that I can attend a college and build my knowledge even further."

"New England GROWS taught me that the green industry is forever expanding and that the future holds endless opportunities for me."

"As I walked around the aisles of the New England GROWS convention, I became completely enveloped with knowledge, experience, and opportunities. So many people, so many careers, so many opportunities for me to become just like one of them."

"I took some of the papers, books, and informational items I collected at the convention and hung them up on a wall in my room. They give me daily inspiration and determination to continue to follow my passion and dreams."

"At the end of the day when we all got back to school, we were all talking about the new things we have learned and the cool things we had seen. Not only did my peers and I learn about awesome job opportunities, we also got to talk to people in the industry. From what I learned from the people I talked to, the green industry is a very rewarding career choice."

"I will use the knowledge that I gained from this experience in my future and I can look back on this and thank New England GROWS for giving me my jump start in an amazing career."

"Looking back on New England GROWS, I can safely say that not only did I learn a lot about the green industry, but I had a blast doing it!"

For more information about this program please call Anne Franks, 508-653-3009.

Expo & Seminar Hours

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Expo 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Expo 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1
Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Expo 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Expo & Seminar Hours

Wednesday, November 29
Seminars
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Expo
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 30
Seminars
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Expo
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday, December 1
Seminars
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Expo
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.