Ireland to host IPPS global conference in September

The international conference of the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) will be held for the first time in 32 years in Ireland this September.

The event is rotated between the eight global regions of the society and this year it is the turn of the IPPS Great Britain & Ireland group. Appropriately, the 2009 theme is Combining Nations, Inspiring Ideas.

The group, in association with Bord Bia, will be welcoming delegates to the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny on 15-18 September from all over the world, including representatives from as far as the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The steering group, led by conference organiser Michael Norris, has put together a four-day programme, featuring sessions on: innovation and mechanisation; growing media; new plant and product introductions; sales and marketing; and propagation techniques.

Norris said each section had been organised to feature speakers from a variety of countries, illustrating the breadth of plant production techniques used globally.

Speakers include Charlie Parkinson from Lancaster Farms in the US, who will talk about innovation on nurseries and who, Norris says, is a "bit of an Inspector Gadget".

Malcolm Woolmore is another international speaker, from Lyndale Liners, New Zealand, and will discuss the propagation and distribution of new plant material around the world.

The end of the conference will feature a concept that is increasingly appearing at presentations in the US. "The Nuggets of Knowledge section will involve speakers giving a short speech on something they have expert knowledge of, such as a brief talk on breeding Choisya ternata 'Sundance' by Peter Catt," said Norris. There will also be visits to growers including Fitzgerald Nurseries, SAP Nurseries and Advanced Irish Liners.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for Ireland to promote its horticultural sector and a chance to meet key industry people from all over the world," added Norris.

As well as the main conference, the event also encompasses a 10-day pre-conference tour across Ireland, which 50 international delegates are already signed up for. The society's international board meeting will also take place, which current international president Pete Bingham, owner of Kingfisher Nurseries in Spalding, will chair.

Conference sponsors are Bord Bia, Bord na Mona, Jiffy Products, Klasmann-Deilmann, Certis, Frank P Matthews, Javo, HDC, ProVar, Excel Horticulture, Melcourt, Brinkman UK, Fitzgerald Nurseries, SAP Nurseries and Aeroplas.

- The provisional programme can be viewed at www.ipps.org.uk


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