SANC loses a friend and champion
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Jerry Lee on February 12th.
As a longtime manager of a large nursery in Georgia, Jerry was deeply involved with nursery best management practices (BMPs) which is a core aspect of the SANC program. Later he became a consultant for AmericanHort and worked with the SANC Pilot committee.
Jerry was involved with SANC from its inception and his knowledge of BMPs was extremely valuable in getting the SANC program developed and running.
SANC Subcommittee Workshop 2019 Report
The SANC Subcommittee Workshop was held February 12-13, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Through general meeting sessions, individual subcommittee breakouts and combined subcommittee meetings, considerable interaction took place amongst the 36 attendees.
For this report, the subcommittees provided information on work performed in the three or more months prior to the workshop, activities and issues discussed at the workshop, and goals identified for future work.
Attendees represented individual State Departments of Agriculture (SDA), AmericanHort (AMH), USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), Land Grant Extension (EXT) and the National Plant Board (NPB).
Attendees: Susan Ehlenbeck-MO, Sarika Negi-PPQ, Mike Brown-PPQ, Darrell Maddox-AMH, John Caravetta-AZ, Wayne Dixon-NPB
Loma Vista’s SANC certification was featured in Greenhouse Grower on-line magazine. Reprinted with permission
Loma Vista Nursery Gains Certification from National Plant Board
Loma Vista Nursery has received Systems Approach to Nursery Certification (SANC) from the National Plant Board. Photo credit: Loma Vista Nursery.
Loma Vista Nursery, an Ottawa, KS-based container production facility that produces pot-in-pot trees, shrubs, grasses, roses, perennials, and groundcovers, recently received Systems Approach to Nursery Certification (SANC). Administered by the National Plant Board (a non-profit organization of the plant pest regulatory agencies of each U.S. state and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Guam), SANC is a voluntary, audit-based program for production nurseries and grower greenhouses and is designed to reduce pest risks associated with the movement of nursery stock.
“We treat our inventory like gold bricks,” says Lyndsi Oestmann, Vice President of Loma Vista Nursery. “Every plant in our nursery has a purpose. Participating in SANC was a logical step for us as we continuously strive to improve our company through self improvement.”
Through SANC, a systems approach to nursery production can lead to healthier plants and facilitate commerce for all sizes and types of nurseries. An outcome of rigorous risk assessment, qualifying production facilities identify potential pest pathways and strategies to assess them.
Working with their state qualifying agency, growers then create a customized plan that addresses identified pest risks and maintains records of what is done. A subsequent audit by industry and state regulatory agencies assesses the grower’s plan and provides checks to identify if the plan is working.
According to the National Plant Board, the certification reflects an attention to detail at Loma Vista.
“The SANC committee is happy to have Loma Vista as the newest certified participant in the SANC program,” note Dana Rhodes and Joe Collins, co-chairs of NPB’s SANC Committee. “Loma Vista demonstrates dedication to the program in the effort to raise their facility to a higher level of awareness and actions to provide clean healthy nursery stock to their customers.”
The work toward certification was a collaborative effort, Oestmann says.
“I am proud of each of our team members at Loma Vista Nursery for embracing SANC in order to help better our company. The process of certifying our nursery sites demanded a high level of attention to detail and collaboration from our entire staff.”
Due to the procedures already in place at the nursery and the thoroughness of its team, Loma Vista became certified in less than a year.
“Accountability to following the best management practices outlined in our SANC manual is one of the best benefits to Loma Vista Nursery participating in the certification process,” Oestmann says. “The outcome will serve our company, employees, and customers for years to come, and this certification will help us continue to create better products for end users, due to the high standards that we will follow to obtain and maintain our SANC certification.”
At its farm in Willow Springs, KS, Loma Vista Nursery produces field-grown shade and ornamental trees, upright junipers, and spruce on 650 acres. The company ships to retail and wholesale customers in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.
Pilot Nursery Updates (3/24/2019)
* Phase 1 nursery
** Phase 2 nursery
*** Transition nursery (state is able to go through all SANC steps on their own because the state already has a
fully certified SANC nursery)
Type of facility N=nursery; GH=Greenhouse
wip = work in progress
wip+ = near completion
PILOT Subcommittee (Cont’d)
- The priority goal is for the remaining Pilot facilities to finish SANC certification. With current information, Wayne and Darrell suggested this was feasible by third quarter of this year.
(1) Facilities should be informed at the preliminary meeting that entire SANC certification process should be completed in 1 yr. or less;
(2) After the first external audit of a facility, signing of the SANC Agreement and Logo Agreement should occur in 60 days or less.
- The engagement of SPRO, Inspector and facility is important for successful SANC certification. If this doesn’t occur, our Pilot nursery experience indicates that the certification process will be slowed significantly.
- More templates or generic versions of documents, such as SANC facility manuals, will be available soon and will expedite the certification process.
- There is a need to revisit the previous pool of potential facilities to see if they are still interested. These would be good candidates to further the SANC program concepts into the green industry.
- Even though the Pilot program will end in the near future, there will be some developmental work that will need completion.
- The Pilot Subcommittee may be in a position, as its other tasks are completed, to assist in the reviewing of new documents (e.g., Inspector Manual, Website Redesign, Risk Assessment Tool) to proofread and look for inconsistencies.
- Several questions on possible future activities were formulated: Will there be an advisory group or a SANC shadowing program to help new states or nurseries? Will Pilot SPRO/inspector calls continue and if so, through what mechanism and for how long? Can facility operators participate in future training events?
- There is a need to spell out the Policy of Resolution for SANC-certified facilities and SDAs to follow if there are pest interceptions or non-conformances that could jeopardize the program- not only during audit, but more so if intercepted by a receiving state.
Attendees: John Wraspir-WA (co-chair), Morgan Dube-NH (co-chair), Jeremy Maples-KS, Marcia Wensing-WI, Zach Starr-MO
Summary of Activities
- FAQs for States review and refinement
- Review of SANC Inspector Manual
- Clarification on:
– Certifying authority requirements and credentials
– Protocol for SANC-product receiving state’s needs, concerns and evaluation of SANC material
– Previously created Training Sub-committee modules and training materials for use at HIS meetings
- New website utilization:
– Photo upload portal (mobile and PC)
– Material requests
Action Items and Goals for 2019 (deadlines where applicable)
- Create HIS chapter comparisons table/lists (send to Dana by March 6, 2019)
- Respective HIS chapter communications (continuous):
– Mobile device photo upload simplicity
– Use of previously created training videos, PowerPoints and exercises for regional HIS meetings
– Utilizing aspects of a systems approach outside of SANC model
- Get list of pilot SANC facility contacts for Piera Siegert (March 6, 2019)
- Improve communication between HIS chapter executive committee members or other designee (continuous)
- Help facilitate National HIS meeting (continuous)
- Review and update SANC Inspector Sub-committee member list (continuous)
Attendees: Joe Collins-KY (co-chair), Joy Goforth-NC, Gary McAninch-OR, Ruben Arias-CA, Ann Gibbs-ME, Mike Masiuk (PA EXT)
The committee determined that it would develop an “Accredited SANC Inspector” list that would be composed of inspectors who had completed the following steps:
- USDA’s Understanding Audit Training course
- SANC training
- A facility in their area of responsibility has completed SANC certification
The objective of the Accredited SANC Inspector list is to have a resource where other inspectors could call or email them with questions as they arise. Before the list is published, verification is necessary to be sure the inspector approves of being his/her name being published on a list. It was determined that an Excel spreadsheet would be the easiest way to maintain the list and this list would be maintained by the SANC Governing Board. The list will be published on the SANC website.
The training committee generated a list of questions that will be emailed to anyone who has gone through a SANC training in the past. The idea is to generate some understanding of how well the inspectors are grasping the SANC principles and if they have been able to incorporate what they have learned in a SANC training class into a nursery they inspect.
The training committee developed a list of open-ended questions that will be utilized during the training events to help with attendee participation. These questions are aimed at finding out how the inspectors are currently doing their work and will help the class members understand the similarities and difference between SANC and how they are currently inspecting nurseries.
Prior to the workshop, a short survey was emailed to the NPB to help the Training subcommittee better determine where future trainings should occur. From this we determined that trainings will occur in 2019 in Charlotte in March and Denver in the fall (these were planned prior to workshop). For 2020, we will focus on northern CA and NY or MI (depending upon the greater need).
Mike Masiuk-PA State Extension showed the committee a training video that was developed for Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). The video alternated from image of a presenter talking to imagery of SLF to PowerPoint slides. The committee was in agreement that a similar format should be used for the SANC training because it better held the audience’s attention. Next steps in the process are to have discussion with FL DPI and Penn State to determine how much this would cost to produce. Further work is needed by the SANC presenters (Collins, Dixon and Wamsley) to rework their current presentations so that this format could be used.
We also discussed the need to have extension personnel across the US become more involved with SANC. Subsequently, Joy Goforth invited three NC extension specialists to the Charlotte training. There is a hope that this will be repeated at other trainings as they occur.
Lastly, the training committee reviewed the inspector manual that the DRAFT committee has prepared and offered only minor changes. Everyone thought the DRAFT committee had done an outstanding job on the project.
Attendees: Piera Siegert-NH, Joshua Kress-CA, Karen Rane-EXT, Karen Suslow-NORSUDC, Grace Dixon-NPB
A request was made to reach out to the Pilot nurseries SANC person to request from them what outreach item they would be most likely to use to advertise participation in SANC at Expos and events. Items cannot yet be purchased, but they can be designed and estimated costs determined in order to be able to purchase upon receipt of a budget. Next steps:
- Request Inspector subcommittee reach out to participating nurseries to provide at least one, preferably two email addresses for the contact persons at the pilot facilities.
- Contact pilot facilities about preferences, will provide some examples of items as discussion starters.
- Develop templates for items.
- Request estimates from StreetMarc.
- Order upon receipt of funds.
- Ship upon delivery.
No other needs for printed outreach items were identified. Current inventory of printed outreach items is sufficient at current usage levels for the upcoming year.
Reviewed Chapter 1 from the DRAFT sub-committees inspector manual to ensure consistency of language with what is on the newly re-designed SANC website. The manual was more detailed than what appears on the website, but the language and intent of the messaging was consistent.
The sub-committee spent significant time discussing and reviewing the re-designed SANC website. Craig Regelbrugge’s input from an industry perspective was greatly appreciated. There were several areas where the subcommittee focused:
- Review of developed language throughout the website.
- Review of documents attached to the website.
- Review and re-writing of FAQs for three audiences: states, industry, retailers. Industry FAQ’s were suggested by AmericanHort and then edited by the group. Outreach took input from the other subcommittees on prioritizing the FAQs for states.
It was noted that the home page of the website was very descriptive in describing what SANC is, but was somewhat silent on why SANC represents a positive development. Time was spent re-tooling the opening statement in order to make it stronger and more descriptive, particularly to the why aspect. The About pages were also reviewed to ensure that they included “why” information.
Next steps on SANC re-designed website:
- All Retailers pages removed from the website.
- The audiences will remain as SANC for States and SANC for Industry
- SANC spotlights will be removed from the home page in order to maintain a parallel design.
- Throughout the website, we will verify use of the terms “audit” and “greenhouses/nursery” in favor of “verify/verification” and “facilities”.
- The SANC team lists will be updated.
- The SANC Pilot Pioneers page will be updated to include SDAs as well as inspectors.
- Upon receiving a list of Accredited SANC Inspectors, a child page will be added below the SANC Connect page for contact information for these individuals.
- The FAQs will be updated.
- Will add language and a longer lasting message to let those requesting Outreach materials know that the request has been accurately submitted.
- Will add a revision of a figure demonstrating the differences between SANC and traditional certification activities as a link in the Benefits of SANC page.
- Place photo taken at this year’s meeting on the SANC website.
Will submit these items to Grace Dixon to modify upon approval of these changes from the Core Group. Will do a final review of the product and then submit to core group for approval. Will contact Charles Elhard about migration about the website. Will begin that process upon receipt of approval. Will also consider roll-out of new website. It is expected that there will continue to be some significant changes to the new website in the future. Finalization of the DRAFT inspector manual may mean that there are additional items added to the glossary, or areas that need support from the website. Moving the training to web-based will also require some website efforts, including a decision on whether to host training videos directly on the website, or use a YouTube account to host the videos and then embed them into the website.
The Outreach subcommittee was also tasked with developing language that states could use in order to describe SANC from their individual webpages. During this discussion, it was noted that the only place where SANC is mentioned on the NPB site is under the “links” section. As a joint NPB initiative, it seems as though SANC should be highlighted on the NPB page. The committee suggests making SANC a topic in the header. If there were other NPB initiatives, it would seem that it would fit into an initiatives section. As the only initiative, we suggest SANC stand alone in the header. The SANC NPB page would consist of the SANC logo, the link to the SANC page, a list of Accredited SANC inspectors (once available), and the home page statement about SANC. States could then copy this language to use on their own web pages. This process to add SANC to the NPB page will start with reaching out to the NPB website committee.
Attendees: Dan Kenny-OH, Duane Sinning-CO, Sarah Scally-ME, Emily Hagen-AZ, Perry Walden-GA, Terra Walber-CA, Laura Portorff-CO
Summary of Activities
- The focus of the DRAFT Subcommittee was the completion of the SANC inspector’s manual.
- Coordinated with the Inspectors Subcommittee for ideas and edits of the manual.
- Planned cross referencing with the Outreach subcommittee of the new web content and manual language.
- Developed action items needed to complete the SANC Inspectors Manual by April 2019.
Attendees: Melissa Lujan-OR), Laney Campbell-PPQ, Brian Kuhn-WI (co-chair)
Summary of Activities
- Met with each of the other SANC subcommittees and had valuable discussions that led to need assignments and the creation of new data collection tools (included below).
- Creation of a draft protocol for receiving states to use during inspections of incoming SANC certified nursery stock. This was vetted with the Inspector Subcommittee.
- Creation of the questions for a state inspector survey for Phase I nurseries, covering the Pest Management Plan through certification.
- Review and analysis of pre and post training evaluations from SANC training events.
- Discussion of evaluation approaches and techniques to be used to gather additional needed data more efficiently. We will work to develop shorter, more focused survey for future data collection efforts and will utilize “Survey Monkey” as a way to reduce the time commitment for both the nurseries and the subcommittee.