Southeast Department of Agriculture Hosting 2017 MoGIA Tour and Conference

The Missouri Green Industry Alliance (MoGIA) will hold its 2017 MoGIA Summer Professional Tour and Conference June 20-22 on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. Sven Svenson, Southeast associate professor of agriculture, says the conference will offer inspiration and networking opportunities with the green industry leaders of Missouri and Illinois. “Southeast Missouri and southern Illinois professionals usually have to travel to St. Louis, Memphis or further to attend such an excellent conference concerning horticulture and landcare issues,” Svenson said. “Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Agriculture and MoGIA are happy to bring the summer conference to the southeast Missouri and southern Illinois region this year.” The conference also will celebrate National Pollinator Week with a keynote presentation by Heather Holm, an environmental educator and landscape designer who is a passionate advocate for the use of native plants to attract and support pollinators. She will speak at 9:45 a.m. June 21. The conference, to be held in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center at Southeast’s River Campus, is hosted by Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Agriculture, Charles Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse and the Charles Nemanick Alternative Agriculture Garden. This year’s conference will begin with a barbecue at the Charles Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse at 5 p.m. June 20. The conference also will feature presentations by Guy Sternberg, a certified arborist and retired landscape architect, and tours of Longshadow Gardens and Planters in Pomona, Illinois; Anna Evergreen in Cobden, Illinois; DeWitt Company in Sikeston, Missouri; Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and JoAnn’s Greenhouse in Biehle, Missouri. The conference will offer supplier exhibits, and Continuing Education Units are available. Heather Holm Holm’s keynote presentation is titled “The Native Pollinator – Native Plant Connection.”  Holm is a biologist, landscape designer and consultant specializing in native plant landscapes and landscape restorations. She is the author of “Pollinators of Native Plants” and her recently published book “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.” In additional to taking part in native bee research projects, Holm informs and educates audiences in the Midwest and Northeast through her writing and many presentations about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them. Guy Sternberg Sternberg will give presentations titled “Chinkapin Oak: Our Most Versatile Oak and its Friends” at 8:45 a.m. June 21 and “Believe In Miracles: Maclura Pomifera” at 11:15 a.m. June 21.  Sternberg served on the staff of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for 32 years and currently is the owner and manager of Starhill Forest Arboretum which holds the most extensive oak genus (Quercus) living reference collection in North America.  He has worked with the National Famous and Historic Tree Program to promote awareness and appreciation of special historic trees and is the tree consultant and propagator for Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, the setting of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb. He is the principal author of the reference books “Landscaping with Native Trees” and “Native Trees for North American Landscapes.”  Sternberg is a tree consultant, writer, lecturer and photographer.  He and his wife, Edie, have propagated and grown thousands of species of trees, both native and non-native, at Starhill Forest. He was the first president of the International Oak Society and is a life member of the International Dendrology Society, International Society of Arboriculture and American Forest. Conference Registration The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 14.  Registration rates are $60 for MoGIA members, $100 for non-members and $25 for students.  Online registration is available at