Ukrainian greenhouse owners visit Penn State

Sixteen members of the Ukrainian Greenhouse Association visited Penn State in late October to learn about the greenhouse industry in the United States and new horticultural technologies being developed. 

The visit featured a tour of greenhouses and other horticultural facilities on the University Park campus, as well as discussions with faculty. The stop at Penn State was part of a larger Pennsylvania tour organized by the Ukrainian Federation of America, based in Philadelphia.
The group learned about management strategies employed in the United States. "What we need to see and learn in the states is how to 'feel' the market and provide what the customer wants and understand the whole chain," said Oleksander Tomliak, president of the Ukrainian Greenhouse Association.
The Ukrainians had an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research involving greenhouse-grown vegetables and flowers, according to Anatoliy Tmanov, program coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe in the College of Agricultural Sciences' Office of International Programs.
One highlight of the tour was a demonstration of "plastofuel" technology, which is being developed by the Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The technology enables the creation and burning of plastic pellets made from waste plastic to provide heat for greenhouses.
"This is of special interest to us because we are looking to decrease our dependence on fossil fuel," said Bogdan Zelinshyy, director of a Ukrainian agricultural company.
Ukrainian Greenhouse Association members participated in a roundtable discussion with faculty members, including Kathleen Kelley, associate professor of horticultural marketing and business. "She provided excellent examples of how to introduce new products in a way that would make customers trust the brand," said Tmanov.
George and Nina Woskob of State College hosted the Ukrainian delegation for a dinner. The visit was supported by the Woskob New Century Fund.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009