November 15, 2011
Keith Osborne: From the ground up
Over the past few years, the sales representative for Gro-Bark (Ontario) has served on LO’s Environmental Stewardship Committee, the Trial Gardens Committee at LO home office and the Growers Sector Group.
He says he was inspired to join Landscape Ontario because everyone on the committees and LO staff were so friendly. “I thought it would be great to be part of that atmosphere,” he said.
“I was right then, and it gets better with time.” Working to help improve the trial gardens with in-kind donations of soil from Gro- Bark is one of Osborne’s favourite volunteer activities.
He has also been a guest speaker at the August trial gardens open houses the past two years.
The annual growers’ group bus tours to nurseries are always special events for Keith Osborne. “It is such a good time seeing everyone together, meeting new friends and renewing with past friends.” He says he has become much better known within the industry from his volunteering work at LO. “Another benefit from volunteer for the association is the real satisfaction that results from helping others and promoting the entire industry.” Asked if he had any suggestions to improve the association, Osborne said, “We need to practice what we preach.
Let’s plant more material at our own offices and sites; including Landscape Ontario’s home office site.” Along with his volunteer work at Landscape Ontario, Keith Osborne is also involved with the Canadian Greenhouse Conference and International Plant Propagator’s Society.
Helps with research projectsOsborne has also worked with Dr. Youbin Zheng and his research team at the University of Guelph on a project entitled Development of Sustainable Growing Systems for Nursery, Greenhouse Ornamental and Vegetable Production.
Landscape Ontario’s Growers Group and Gro-Bark (Ontario) helped fund this three-year project. The project tested the performance of newly developed growing substrates in producing some of the common and important nursery and greenhouse species. Keith Osborne was a contact person for the project.