MSU hosts floriculture executive, fall plant sale

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> MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will host two major horticultural activities for the public on Oct. 4.
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> Scott Kitayama, president of Greenleaf Wholesale Florist, will explain where retail flowers come from during a 3 p.m. seminar in the greenhouse classroom behind Dorman Hall. Then at 4 p.m., he will offer his vision for the future of the floral industry.
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> Lynette McDougald, an instructor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and manager of The University Florist at MSU, said the lectures by Kitayama offer a great opportunity for students, teachers and professionals to learn about the floral industry.
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> “We rarely get to hear from industry professionals and certainly not from someone with Scott Kitayama’s credentials,” McDougald said. “As a wholesaler, he knows exactly where the flowers and related products come from, whether foreign or domestic. He can also address issues facing growers, such as labor, regulations, foreign currency and political unrest.”
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> McDougald said Kitayama will have unique insights into the industry’s future.
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> “In addition to explaining the current industry, he can project trends and help students understand what will be waiting for them after graduation and in their early careers,” she said. “We think anyone with an interest in the floral industry will appreciate his insights.”
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> On the day of Kitayama’s visit, MSU’s Horticulture Club and the Student chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers will host their fall plant and wreath sales at the greenhouse area behind Dorman Hall.
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> Richard Harkess, adviser for the Horticulture Club, said gardeners can add fresh color to their landscapes with plants purchased at the MSU Horticulture Club’s annual fall plant sale from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
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> “Popular flowering plants, such as chrysanthemums and pansies, will be available for purchase. Ornamental pumpkins and a few other plants will also be for sale,” he said.
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> Proceeds from the sale support Horticulture Club service projects. Contact the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at 662-325-2311 for more information.