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Educational Sessions

Conferences, Workshops and Webinars


Shackelford Webinar Series*: These webinars, designed for both consumers and green industry professions, are free with expenses defrayed due to the continued generosity of Charles and Linda Shackelford, former co-owners of TLC, Oklahoma City.


Registration Steps:

  • Review the monthly webinar topics listed below.
  • All webinars are from 1:00 - 3:00 pm CST
  • When starting your online registration, select ALL the dates of the monthly webinars you would like to attend.
  • Not sure of one or two date(s)? Go ahead and include them with your registration.
  • Complete your online registration to be signed up for those webinars you are planning to attend.

NOTE: Once registered, additional monthly webinars cannot be added unless using an alternate email address. Now you're ready to begin your online registration at 

*Traditional conferences will resume when conditions permit.

Speaker bio info click + beside each webinar.

  • January 21, 2021: So, You Want to Grow Greenhouse Tomatoes? Dr. Rick Snyder, Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist, Mississippi State University

    Watch on YouTube So, You Want to Grow Greenhouse Tomatoes? Rick Snyder has been a Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist at Mississippi State University since 1988, specializing in greenhouse vegetable Extension and research.  He has coordinated the annual Greenhouse Tomato Short Course for 28 years in Jackson, Mississippi each March, a national conference for greenhouse growers, and has written numerous publications on greenhouse tomatoes including the Greenhouse Tomato Handbook.  In addition, he has coordinated the annual Fall Flower & Garden Fest each October (attendance 5,000 adults and 3,000 school children). Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Snyder earned his B.S. degree in Horticulture at the University of Connecticut, M.S. in Greenhouse Vegetables at Ohio State University, and Ph.D. in Vegetable Crops at Cornell University.  Snyder has served as Secretary / Treasurer of the American Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Plasticulture, and coordinated Greenhouse Tomato Seminars in Montreal (1995), Denver (1996), San Juan, Puerto Rico (2003), and Trinidad (2010). He has been an invited speaker in 21 states as well as in Mexico, and has been a columnist for both Mississippi Gardener Magazine and American Vegetable Grower Magazine for many years. 

       While Rick's emphasis will be towards commercial production, he is experienced in helping people adapt his recommendations for the greenhouse hobbyist.  Dr. Snyder has graciously agreed to be "live" that day thus making him available for Q and A.  Details forthcoming regarding the registration process.

  • February 11, 2021: "The Socially Distant Nurseryman Discusses Tough Trees for the Southern Plain States" - Jim Ord, Jim Ord Sales, Inc. Horticultural Sales Representative, Greeley, Colorado

    Watch the webinar on YouTube!

    Jim Ord originally from Littleton, Colorado graduated in 1984 from Colorado State University. He worked in the family nursery business Ord Greenhouse from 1978 to 1990 before moving to Oregon and working for Carlton Plants. In 1993, Ord moved to Oklahoma as a regional sales representative for Carlton Plants covering Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Ord began working for J. Frank Schmidt in 1995 as a Southern Plains Regional Sales representative covering eleven states as well as international travel to Europe for relationship and business development. Since 2013, Ord is an Independent Sales Representative for Bizon Nursery, Pacific Nursery, Robinson Nursery, Oregon Turf and Tree Farms and Chad Sobella Nursery all out of Oregon and also Hale and Hines Nursery of Tennessee.

  • March 11, 2021: Native Plants: Connections to Insects, Wildlife and Humans - Marilyn Stewart, Wild Things Nursery, Seminole, OK

    View the webinar  with Marilyn Stewart! Marilyn’s first memory was watching skipper butterflies on her mother’s zinnias in their OKC garden. From an early age she tagged along with grandparents on spring trips to farm stores and nurseries and planted the flowers and bulbs they would buy for her. Upon realizing that the caterpillars she was squishing on the dill grown for a neighbor became beautiful butterflies she began to collect and raise as many butterfly species as possible. She has no formal horticultural training, but  more she learned about our native insects and birds, the more she understood the importance of native plants and the part they play in preserving biodiversity.


    In 2001 her husband (an accountant by trade) went way out of his comfort zone by building a greenhouse, and in 2002 they launched Wild Things Nursery. The nursery is a “traveling nursery” and sets up at farm markets and plant shows across the state and specializes in native and wildlife beneficial plants with an emphasis on larval host plants for butterflies, moths, and plants that support pollinators and other insects.  

  • April 15, 2021: The Global Role of Botanic Gardens - Sarada Krishnan, Director of Horticulture and Center for Global Initiatives, Denver Botanic Gardens

    View the webinar! Dr. Sarada Krishnan is responsible for directing the design and maintenance of the horticulture displays and collections, and for developing and leading global projects. She has several years of experience in public and commercial horticulture. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from India, where the focus was on tropical horticulture. She has a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University, with a research focus on the propagation of native Colorado flora specializing in plant tissue culture. Her doctorate research at University of Colorado, Boulder, focused on the conservation genetics of wild coffee (Coffea spp.) in Madagascar. Sarada owns coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.


    In 2016/2017, Sarada was involved in developing the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Coffee Genetic Resources in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust and World Coffee Research. The main goal of the Strategy is to ensure the conservation and use of coffee genetic resources for a positive, sustainable future of the crop and for those dependent on coffee for a livelihood.

    Sarada has served on several local, national and international boards and committees. She is a faculty affiliate with Colorado State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and a member of the Board of Directors of Plant Select®, a collaborative plant introduction program between Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and the green industry of Colorado. She serves on the USDA National Genetic Resources Advisory Council and is the chair of USDA’s Coffee and Cacao Crop Germplasm Committee. She is on the board of Women Frist International Fund, a nonprofit organization providing small grants for grassroots projects that empower women and girls in developing countries. She has published numerous papers and chapters on coffee genetic resources, botanic gardens and sustainable agriculture in peer reviewed journals and books.

  • May 13, 2021: The Role of Green Roofs in Sustainable Development - Bradley Rowe, Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing

    View the webinar! Brad Rowe received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University and joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 1997.  He has directed the MSU green roof research program since its inception in 2000, was the founding chair of the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) Research Committee, was involved in the design and implementation of the 10.4 acre green roof at Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant in Dearborn, MI, and was the recipient of  the GRHC Excellence in Research Award in 2008. 


    The MSU green roof research team is currently conducting research on plant selection, growing substrates, stormwater runoff, energy conservation, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and roof vegetable production.  He has given presentations on green roofs in numerous foreign countries and in 2020 was named in the top 2% of scientists in the world by the scientific journal PLOS Biology.  Brad also teaches a course on green roofs at MSU, has installed green roofs over his home garage and doghouse, and owns and operates a small blueberry farm.

  • June 17, 2021: Tips for Better Cutting Propagation (lecture 1.0). Are Redbuds the Next Crape Myrtle (lecture 2.0)? - Dave Creech, Director of Stephen F. Austin University Gardens and Professor Emeritus, Nacogdoches, TX

    Watch the webinar! Dr. Dave Creech, Regent's Professor and Professor Emeritus, has been at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas since September, 1978. Dr. Creech received his BS in Horticulture from Texas A and M University in 1970, the MS in Horticulture from Colorado State University in 1972, and he returned to TAMU and was awarded the PhD in 1978. After a long career teaching, Dr. Creech retired in 2007 and returned as Director of SFA Gardens, a 128-acre on campus horticultural resource managed by eight staff. His research arena is varied and includes fruit and vegetable research, ornamentals evaluation, endangered plants, and woody tree and shrub studies. He has authored numerous scholarly and trade articles and lectures widely. 


    Dr. Creech has accumulated a long list of international work since 1981 to Pakistan, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal, Israel and China. In fact, in the last fifteen years he has undertaken over twenty five short term consultancies in China working with the Blueberry Improvement Program and Taxodium Improvement Program at the Nanjing Botanical Garden. He is an advocate of increasing forest cover and smart use of land and plant resources. Dr. Creech was President, 1991-1992, of the Native Plant Society of Texas, President of the Southern Region American Society of Horticulture Science, 2012-2013, President of the Texas Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta until 2017, and President of the International Plant Propagation Society Southern Region, 2017-2018.   He signs all his correspondence "Let's keep planting."

  • July 15, 2021: Climate Change in the Built Environment: Anticipating Grower, Landscape Design and Maintenance, and Residential Client Challenges - Mike Arnold, Professor of Landscape Horticulture; Director of The Gardens at Texas A&M University, College Station

    Dr. Michael (Mike) Arnold is a Professor of. Landscape Horticulture in the Texas A&M University Department of Horticultural Sciences and serves as the Director of The Gardens at Texas A&M University through the Vice Chancellor's Office. Dr. Arnold has studied plant establishment and selection for built environments for over 30 years. He holds B.S. degrees in both Horticulture and Business Administration as well as a M.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University, in addition to a Ph.D. in Horticulture from North Carolina State University. After a couple of years teaching and working with growers through Tennessee Technological University, in December 1992 Dr. Arnold was recruited to join the faculty at Texas A&M University where he conducted landscape establishment, bioremediation, and plant breeding research in addition to teaching plant materials and landscape courses. Dr. Arnold has also served in a variety of administrative roles as Associate Head for Graduate Programs and Research, Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs, and most recently as the Director of the new 7 acre Leach Teaching Gardens. When completed The Gardens at Texas A&M University will encompass a total of over 27 acres. 


    Dr. Arnold has served as President and Chair of the Executive Committee for the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences, Chair of the Board of Directors and President of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences. Dr. Arnold has authored three plant materials textbooks, with a fourth schedule for publication in August 2021, over 90 peer reviewed journal articles and over a 100 proceedings or popular press articles. In 2019 he was named the alumni of the year for the Department of Horticulture Science at North Carolina State University.

  • August 19, 2021: From Growers to Customers: Considerations for Supporting Pollinators - Kristen Baum, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology; Associate Dean for Research, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

    Dr. Kristen Baum is the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Arts and Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University. She has been studying pollinators in the southern Great Plains for more than 20 years. Her current research focuses on the effects of land use and management practices on pollinators, including butterflies, native bees, and honey bees. She is actively involved with efforts supporting STEM education, promoting undergraduate research, and making science accessible to everyone.

  • September 16, 2021: From Zones 7A to 9B: Horticultural Pursuits from Oklahoma to Alabama - F. Todd Lasseigne, Executive Director, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore, AL

    Dr. Lasseigne serves as Executive Director Bellingrath Gardens and Home, a position he started in September 2020.  He joins a team of board members and professional staff working to bring forward the legacy of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath at their renowned estate and gardens located on the Fowl River south of Mobile. 


    Prior to coming to Bellingrath, Todd was President and CEO of Tulsa Botanic Garden (Tulsa, Oklahoma), an institution he led for over nine years, working to build it from the ground up with over $20 million raised and invested during his tenure.  Dr. Lasseigne also served as the founding Executive Director of Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (Kernersville, North Carolina) from 2005 through early 2011, and as Assistant Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum (Raleigh, North Carolina) for 5 years. 


    Todd is a highly respected plantsman, horticulturist, and public garden leader.  He is widely recognized as a leading expert among nursery professionals and in the public garden world.  He has delivered invited lectures across the U.S., in Japan, South Korea, and Mexico.  Todd has visited over 450 gardens around the world during his career.  He lives with his wife (Heather) and four cats in Grand Bay, Alabama.

  • October 14, 2021: The Wild Side, Native Plants in the Landscape - Brian Pirtle, Colonial Gardens, Blue Springs, MO


    Check back for more details.

  • November 18, 2021: Updated Methods to Improve Controlled Release Fertilizer Utilization in Containerized Ornamental Production - John L. Griffis, Jr., Professor, Bernese B. and Sidney R. Davis Chair for Horticultural Educational and Research, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Meyers

    November 18, 2021, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. CST

    Check back for more details

  • December 16, 2021: Trends in Garden Center Sales - Bob Gerdes, General Manage, TLC Garden Centers, Oklahoma City, OK.

    Bob grew up in the nursery business and worked for his family’s company, Gerdes Nursery, with locations in Shawnee & Edmond. He received a BS in Landscape Design from Oklahoma State University. He was honored as the Oklahoma Nurseryman of the Year in 2008 and received the Green Nursery Professional of the Year Award in 2019. He has served as President of the Oklahoma Nursery & Landscape Association. When his family sold their nursery locations, Bob spent a few years in the wholesale nursery and landscape business before joining Frank McDonald as an owner of TLC Garden Centers.

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