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48SEEDWORLD.COMAscompaniesinvolvedinthelowerandvegetableseedindustriesdoweacechallengesYoubetHoweverinanyeconomyatanytimetherearealwaysopportunitiesorthosewhowantthem.Astheexecutivedirectorotwogarden-orientedorganizationswithoptimisticorward-thinkingboardsodirectorsIx19mhappytoreportthatwearestrivingtouncovertheopportunitiesthatdoexistandtomakethemostothem.Overthepastyearorsotherehavebeenoccasionstomeetwithoursupporterstolearnwheretherearegapsandnichesthatneedtobex1lledwherewecanhelpmovetheindustryorwardreadsellmoreproduct.SomeindicatorsoprogressaretheNationalGardenBureaux19sgrowthinmembershipanincreaseinentriestotheAll-AmericaSelectionstrialsmoreattendeesattheAASSummerSummitrevampedwebsitesmoreusageosocialmediaandanewlogoorAAStonamejustaew.Atthistimewearereachingoutandpartneringwithothergroupsonprojectsthatachievethemissionopromotingseedsfowersvegetablesandplants.OnesuchprojecthasAASworkingwithAllanArmitageotheUniversityoGeorgiaonaNationalPlantTrialsDatabasetohelpbreedersbrokerspacketcompaniesretailersandothersviewaside-by-sideonlinecomparisonomultiplenewvarietiesatmultipletrialsites.Thatprojectwilllaunchin2012.InasimilarveinNGBnamed2012thex1cYearotheHerbsx1dandindoingsopartneredwiththeHerbSocietyoAmericaorstorycontentandpromotionaleortswhichhasbeenawin-winorbothorganizations.AnotherexampleoasuccessulpartnershipoccurredlastAugustwhenAASNGBandtheHomeGardenSeedAssociationsharedthecostsoaboothattheGardenWritersSymposiuminIndianapolis.Visibilityamonggardenwritersandbloggersisvitaltothesuccessoallthreeorganizationsandthosetwodayscertainlyresultedinnewcontactsandincreasedawarenessoallourprograms.OpportunityversusChallengeWebelievepartneringwithothercompaniesandorganizationswithmutualgoalsisapragmaticwaytomakethingshappenwhilenotexpendingvaluableandscarceresourcesonduplicatinginrastructures.Thusourobjectiveocreatingviablelong-lastingpartnershipswillremainatoppriority.HoweverthisdoesnotmeanthateitherAASorNGBiswaitingorpartnershipstojustcomeourway.Therearesomegreatupcomingprojectsthatweareproactivelydeveloping.By2014AASwillallowvegetativeentriesoornamentalsinourstandardtrialingprocess.Thiswillnotdiminishtheimportanceoseed-propagatedvarietiesbutwillallowustoadapttothecurrentstateotheindustryandembracethechangesoccurringinornamentalsbreedingandproduction.In2012NGBwilllaunchagardeningblogthatwillbewrittenbyourmembers.Thecontentothisblogwillocusonquickinnovativewaystouseourindustryx19sproduct.WewanttopiquetheinterestoGenerationXYandZ.Beyond2012whatmighttheutureholdAsweknowitx19sdix1culttopredictthecertaintiesbutbothAASandNGBhavesomeideasworthexploringAAScanpartnerwiththeAASvolunteerjudgesandbreedingcompaniestox1ndmorepublicityopportunities.AASwinnerscanenjoyafullx1fve-yearmarketingplantomaintainthevisibilityothosevarietiesormorethanjusttheinitialone-totwo-yearintroductionphase.Bothorganizationswillcontinuetopursueallsocialmediaopportunitiesandusewhatseemstoworkbesttosupportourmissions.NGBcanbroadenourmembershipbaseandcustomizebenex1tsorawidervarietyobusiness-typesaslongasthosebusinessesaresupportiveoourgoaltopromotethehobbyogardening.NGBcanlookformorepartnerswhovalueourmarketingeortsandwanttosupportthem.Bothorganizationscanx1ndsmallbutnationalprojectsthatsupportourmissiontopromotegardening.Sowiththatsaidletx19sgogardenDianeBlazekExecutiveDirectorNationalGardenBureauandAll-AmericaSelections