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The UF/IFAS coleus program

The 2021 Independent Plant Breeders Conference

November 3-6, 2021

University of Florida

Plant Science Research & Education Unit

Citra, Florida USA



    November 3-6, 2021

    University of Florida, Gainesville

    Plant Science Research & Education Center – Citra, Florida



    WEDNESDAY 11/3: Arrivals


    THURSDAY 11/4: Talk sessions at PSREU

    • 8:00-8:30a – coffee, light breakfast and opening remarks
    • 8:30-9:15a – John Ruter, University of Georgia: Woody & Perennial Plant Breeding at UGA
    • 9:15-10:00a – Jason Jandrew, PanAmerican Seed Company: Strategies and Challenges for Breeding Garden Seed Crops
    • 10:00-10:30a BREAK (drinks, snacks, mingle)
    • 10:30-11:15a – Alfred Huo, University of Florida: Manipulating Gene Expression in Any Plant
    • 11:15-11:45p – SPEAKER PANEL DISCUSSION
    • 11:45-12:30p – CATERED LUNCH (Cowboyz BBQ)
    • 12:30-1:15p – Brent Heath, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs: 100 Years of Daffodils and More
    • 1:15-2:00p – Mark Wessel, Gardens Alive!: The Art of Photography for Cultivar Release and More!
    • 2:00-2:45p – Tamara Risken, JBerry Plants: Making Good Plants Great
    • 3:00-5:00p FARM TOURS AND TAILGATE ACTIVITIES – free time to talk with speakers, UF faculty and students; drinks and snacks
    • DINNER – on your own


    FRIDAY 11/5: Talk sessions at PSREU

    • 8:00-8:30a – coffee, light breakfast and opening remarks
    • 8:30-9:30a – Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners Company: Branding for Success
    • 9:30-10:15a – Anne Whealy & Abbey Draught, Proprietary Rights International: The Intellectual Properties Game
    • 10:15-10:30a BREAK (drinks, snacks)
    • 10:30-11:15a – Dan Heims, Terra Nova Nurseries: The Evolution of Heuchera Through Breeding
    • 11:15-12:00p – David Czarnecki, Benary Seeds: The Value of Understanding Polyploidy and Abnormal Reproduction
    • 12:00-12:30p – SPEAKER PANEL DISCUSSION
    • 12:30a-1:30p – CATERED LUNCH (Mi Apa Cuban)
    • 1:30-2:15p – Greg Goff, Le Petit Jardin: Daylily Breeding Under Extreme Pressure
    • 2:15-3:00p – David Roberts, Bailey Nurseries: Hydrangea Breeding at Bailey Nurseries
    • 3:00-3:15p BREAK (drinks, snacks)
    • 3:15-3:45p SPEAKER PANEL & CLOSING DISCUSSIONS – Who hosts next?
    • 4:00-5:00p FLEX HOUR
    • 6:00-9:00p CLOSING RECEPTION at Harn Museum of Art – 3259 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32608
    • Dinner and Drinks, arrive at 6pm and tour the museum!
    • Harn Museum:


    ** Weather permitting, afternoon/evening activities on November 4&5 will all be held outdoors. During this time, we hope to have the following tailgator activities available for attendees with open refreshments:


    -Corn hole tournament

    -Chip and putt contest

    -Farm tours


    **Alcohol is not permitted at the PSREU facility, which is why we will end the conference each day and head back to Gainesville for evening happy hours/mixers.




    Please note that the UF Plant Science Research & Education Unit is 1450+ acre farm with a conference center, located out in the country in Citra, Florida. Hotel accommodations are not available at PSREU, and it is approximately 25 miles from Gainesville and Ocala. Since we will not be running large buses back and forth to multiple locations due to costs and social distancing, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ARRANGE LOCAL TRAVEL BY CAR OR WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION’S GROUP. We have plenty of parking at no charge at PSREU.

    directions map

    UF-Plant Science Research & Education Unit

    Address2556 County Hwy 318, Citra, FL 32113

    (352) 591-2678


    Please note that there is no central hotel for this conference, so we will not be blocking rooms at any hotels.


    There are MANY hotels in the Gainesville/Ocala area, so we have compiled a list of suggested hotels in GAINESVILLE based on local knowledge, location and moderate pricing. We hope that by suggesting these hotels in one town in close proximity to each other, there will be good access to I-75 and US HWY 441 leading to the PSREU conference center. We also want to provide opportunities for private meetings and leisurely activities outside of the conference in the later evening in two central locations in Gainesville.


    Although the conference date is not during a UF home football weekend, we encourage you to book a room as soon as possible if you plan to attend.


    HOTELS West Campus to West Gainesville – to access I-75: These hotels are located close to I-75 and the west side of the University of Florida, for an easy drive down to the PSREU Conference Center.  Located within ½ mile are mainstream shopping, bars and restaurants, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, The Butterfly Rainforest Museum, The Harn Art Museum, and the Florida Museum of Natural History. There are many other comparable hotels within ½ mile not listed here:

    Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville

    1714 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32607 (352) 371-3600

    Aloft Gainesville University Area

    3743 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32607 (352) 378-1100

    Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville

    4075 SW 33rd Place, Gainesville, FL 32608  (352) 338-1466

    Comfort Inn University

    3440 SW 40th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 264-1771

    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75

    3370 SW 42nd St, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 378-1300

    Courtyard by Marriott Gainesville

    3700 SW 42nd St, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 335-9100


    HOTELS East Campus to Downtown Gainesville – to access US HWY 441: These hotels are located close to the east side of the University of Florida and Downtown, for an easy drive down to the PSREU Conference Center down US Highway 441.  Located within ½ mile are boutique shopping, specialty bars and restaurants, The Cade Museum of Creativity and Invention, live music and ample nightlife. There are a few other boutique and smaller hotels within ½ mile not listed here:

    Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville-Downtown

    101 SE 1 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 240-9300

    Holiday Inn Gainesville-University Center

    1250 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-1661

    Hotel Eleo at the University of Florida

    1514 SW 14th St, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 565-3536

    Comfort Suites Gainesville Near University

    2603 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 519-0000

    Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville

    2115 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 372-1025



Why You Should Attend

  • The demand for new crops in the American market is skyrocketing
  • Independent plant breeders are a key source for new plant introductions
  • Quality partnerships are necessary for making new plant introductions lucrative for the independent plant breeder
  • This meeting provides a proven arena for independent plant breeders to:
    • Learn the expectations of their business partners
    • Understand the decisions necessary for patenting new introductions
    • Network with other independent plant breeders
    • Turn their passion for plant breeding into a commercial reality

 Who Will Attend

  • Professional and hobbyist breeders of any horticultural crop
  • Representatives from partnering companies
  • Experts in patenting and business relations
  • Academic breeders, scientists and students

Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors!



Proven Winners Company



Garden Genetics

Ball Horticultural Company

Plant Development Services Inc.



Plants Nouveau

Spring Hill Nurseries

Bailey Nurseries


JBerry Nurseries, Inc.

Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.


PanAmerican Seed 

Proprietary Rights International



The UF Coleus Breeding Program



We are having this conference down at the PSREU farm in early November because it offers a venue that has significant indoor conference space and outdoor recreational space. We will be teaching in full classrooms Fall semester 2021 at The University of Florida, so we anticipate being back to a close to normal state. We will be providing sanitation, masks and ventilation at PSREU. We encourage attendees to come prepared to wear a mask and adhere to proper social distancing in close-quarter events as mandated at the time of the Conference. We would appreciate it if you not attend if you are having COVID symptoms prior to departing for the Conference.