HERNDON, Va. – To ensure a healthy lawn care industry in the midst of shifting social, economic and environmental trends, PLANET is partnering with Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, to launch a multiyear initiative to help shape the future of the lawn care industry.

The inaugural FutureScape meeting, held Jan. 13-15 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida, brought together top lawn care industry professionals in a strategic forum to discuss emerging trends and issues that could affect the industry, study the implications of those trends and issues on their ability to run a healthy business and identify strategies to help ensure a prosperous future.

In addition to interactive sessions, networking and team presentations, the three-day meeting was facilitated by Glen Hiemstra, founder and CEO of Futurist.com and recognized expert in preferred future planning. Hiemstra guided the group through five lawn care industry trend categories, including energy/environment, science/technology, regulation/politics, social/demographic and economy/markets. Hiemstra oversaw breakout discussions that generated many ideas and insights. Some key outputs the team identified include the need to educate homeowners on the benefits of the industry, proactively recruit talent from different generations, combat regulatory pressures through public/private partnerships with universities and embrace new technologies that could transform turf management.

Of the trends and implications discussed, the group identified one top priority: the need to promote among customers and communities why lawn care is an important industry. To help achieve this goal, the group suggested sharing positive environmental and economic data, which would also help attract qualified talent.