February Newsletter Print

WNLA Newsletter

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Passing of David J. Frank

All, It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that David J. Frank, has passed away. David has been a member and supporter of WNLA for many years.  Services are pending and will pass more information as it becomes available. 

Please keep Jane and the Frank family in your thoughts and prayers.

David will be greatly missed by all!


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WNLA 2019 Winter Workshop

  • Please be sure to support your Association and donate to the raffle!


Click here for registration!


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Female Forum

February 12th, 2019

9:00AM - 3:00PM

The Woman's Club of Wisconsin

813 E. Kilbourne Ave

Milwaukee, WI


Cost: $100 first participant & $85 each additional.

(Includes lunch and valet parking)


CLICK HERE to view the Female Forum Invitation

CLICK HERE to register for the Female Forum

CLICK HERE for more about the Woman's Club of Wisconsin


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WNLA Milwaukee Admirals Game

Click here for registration!


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Spring Spectacular

Western Lakes Golf Club

Saturday, Marh 16th, 2019


Fee - $35.00 per person

This event is to honor our award winners.  Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Award Winners.  Please click here to find the nomination forms!

Again please support your Association by donating raffle or auction items!

Please check back for more information and registration for the event!


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Allen Centennial Garden's Resilient Landscapes Symposium

Tickets are now on sale!  Early Bird Pricing ends february 18th!

Click here to register!


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Rising Fuel Costs

Funds for fuel
Information from Lawn & Landscape's 2018 State of the Industry Report

Funds for fuel

Rising gasoline costs have some contractors rethinking how to handle the cost.

The national average cost of fuel has steadily increased over the past three years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association. And for landscape contractors, that means it costs more each morning the trucks roll out.

Stefan Shoemaker, owner of Shoemaker Bros in Baltimore, Maryland, learned early on to cushion the company’s bottom line in case fuel costs were to skyrocket. “We haven’t had any issues this year,” he says. “But when fuel costs rise, you pay more for everything.”

In order to give the company some leeway, Shoemaker built into contracts that the company may have to surcharge service costs to compensate for added fuel expenses. Right now, the contract states that if fuel rises above $3.50 per gallon, the service costs will increase a percentage.

Saving where possible.

In the south, Corey Handley, vice president of WAC Landscapes in Greenville, North Carolina, says he’s also had to approach rising fuel costs with an increase in service costs.

“We have had to raise prices to deal with the costs,” he says. “A lot of clients went along with it.” WAC tackles the increase at renewal time, rather than including a clause in all contracts. They won’t raise prices in the middle of their service term.

With 16 mowing crews, four installation crews and four enhancement crews, it made sense to stop fueling up at gas stations and start bringing the fuel to the trucks.

“When we got to about five or six crews, it just made no sense to go fuel at the pump,” Handley says. “We just buy in bulk and have it brought in.” But his efforts to keep fuel costs low don’t stop at the pump.

“We got away from diesel,” he says. “And we have a fleet mower that uses propane.” Handley also took supervisors out of the larger trucks that are less fuel-efficient. He makes a point to convey the impact that fuel use has on the company, too.

“The guys see the gauge when they fill up,” he says. “So in staff meetings I’m able to stress to them about where we are at (with fuel use).”

Turning to GPS and fleet management has also helped Handley monitor use and keep costs low. His software can alert him when a truck has been idling for a while. “When I see that, I can ask the crew what’s going on and tell them to shut the truck off.”

Increase versus absorb.

In Alabama, Mike Skelton, owner of Tuskaloosa Lawn & Sprinkler, says he knows his customers well enough to approach them when fuel costs start to rise.

“The ones who are 30 minutes away for instance, we might have to go to them and raise some prices a little bit,” he says. He hasn’t had anyone cancel service on him because of it, and he credits that to being able to pick out those he knows will be understanding of the increase.

And, he says in his area of Alabama, contracts aren’t worth much, so he doesn’t feel the need to include anything about potential price increases.

Some contractors, however, have been able to ride it out with the changing prices of fuel. Molly John, owner of MJ Design in Ohio, says that while fuel costs are a direct hit to their bottom line, budgeting strategies have helped the business prepare for fluctuation.

“We look at the price of fuel every year,” she says. “And we just budget off prior years.” The company hasn’t had to charge more for their services, and Johns says she thinks that’s something she won’t really ever consider.

“We basically eat the costs,” she says. Although the company does a lot of design work, John says they run four maintenance crews who travel a wide range of distances. “Basically, it’s our own interpersonal information we use to figure that budget,” she says.


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Renewal process for DATCP

If you have a nursery grower, nursery dealer and/or Christmas tree grower license with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, this week you should be receiving in the mail an Expiration Notice to renew your license.  On the notice are instructions to access our new online licensing system, MyDATCP.

This renewal process is different than in past years. Pre-populated paper applications are no longer available.  All your information that was printed on the paper applications can now be accessed online by registering your MyDATCP account--as outlined in the notice.  Check out the short video tutorial to walk you through the renewal process. You only need to register for MyDATCP once; after that, you'll be able to access all your online licenses with the department.

As in past years, your current license expires February 20, 2019.  One difference you may notice is the license year is now aligned with the year in which it expires--so you will be renewing for license year 2020.  If you have multiple nursery licenses, they each need to be renewed individually, but you can pay for them all at once by accessing your invoices from the My Invoices tab of MyDATCP.

If you sell more than $250 worth of woody or herbaceous perennial nursery stock per year, or grow and sell at least $250 in Christmas trees, and don’t yet have a license, you can apply online any time at https://mydatcp.wi.gov/. Any questions can be sent to DATCPnursery@wisconsin.gov. For more information, visit the Nursery & Christmas tree licensing webpage


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The leaves have fallen, so should your credit card processing fees.....


Congratulations on another successful growing season! This season has been filled with many days of sunshine and warmth. Now as winter begins to knock on the door, you may have some time to review what worked well for you, what didn't, and take a look at where you can save some money this year.  That is where Cornerstone Processing Solutions Inc. would appreciate the opportunity to help you out! 

Cornerstone is a long time supporter of the WNLA. Cornerstone can not only save you money on your credit card processing fees, but will also donate proceeds to the WNLA via the Processing with a Purpose Program. The Processing with a Purpose Program was developed to share a portion of proceeds generated by WNLA members to assist and support efforts which are most valuable to the WNLA and members. 

Cornerstone can also show you how they can save you up to 90% on your credit card processing fees! This is a true win-win-win program for WNLA members, the WNLA, and Cornerstone.
Some of the other benefits include month-to-month agreements, FREE credit card terminals, Low Cost POS systems, and even FREE cash registers for WNLA members. Contact Cornerstone today at 888-878-2615 or sales@cornerstoneps.net.  


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Green Capital!

2019 Eastern Regional Annual Conference
Madison, WI
October 16th-19th
Come to the U.S. Heartland to learn the latest on propagation, production, and new plant breeding from industry leaders. IPPS Eastern Region conference tours will visit major propagation and production nurseries, botanical gardens, and corporate landscape designs across southern Wisconsin.The educational program as well as the tours will demonstrate the diversity and resilience of the plants and people that live and work in what can be a challenging climate. Save the dates now and plan to join us!

Pre-Conference Tour:

Johnson's Nursery

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

Boemer Botanical Gardens

Agrecol Native Seed & Plant Nursery


Two Days of Afternoon Conference Tours:

McKay Nursery

J.W. Jung Seed Company

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

University of Wisconsin Arboretum

Epic Systems

The Allen Centennial Garden


Our host hotel is the newly renovated Park Hotel, the only hotel on Madison’s Capitol Square in downtown Madison.  There are dozens of unique local restaurants within a 5 minute walk of the hotel - always a perk for attendees.  The hotel also features complimentary 24/7 airport shuttle.  Our IPPS group room rate is $159 for a traditional room with one or two beds, $169 for a deluxe room with one or two beds and $239 for a suite.  

Interested in sponsoring this event?  Click HERE. 


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Like us on Facebook!

Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association


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Christopher Ruditys, Executive Director

11801 W. Silver Spring Dr.
Suite 200
Milwaukee, WI  53225
Phone: 414.488.1691
FAX: 888.776.1877

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