52nd MSC Annual Meeting
The DeSoto Hotel
Savannah, GA
October 10 - 12, 2023

Download an Annual Meeting program flyer: Program Flyer
Download an Annual Meeting registration form: Registration Form

An In-Person Event With the Opportunity to Get Away
and Touch Base with Real People Who Understand

Sharing experiences and learning from others who have gone through the same trials is one of the major reasons for industry meetings. There is no better proof of the value of getting together as an industry than last year's RECORD BREAKING attendance in Charlotte. Building on that experience, we plan to set another record in Savannah for 2023.

Everyone Is Welcomed To Participate!

From owners to plant managers or marketing and sales executives to industry suppliers, the MSC invites all interested parties to Savannah for the 52nd MSC Annual Meeting. Come in person to network with industry people and to hear what the Council is doing for your benefit.

Meeting Guidelines:

Non-Members: Participation from non-member companies is welcomed. Non-member participants may attend one association meeting as a first-time registrant and are entitled to the member registration rate. Participation at a second meeting as a non-member is permitted at non-member registration rates. Attendance at additional meetings is by special invitation only. Non-members of MSC may join the Council at any time prior to the Annual Meeting and receive an immediate discount on the registration fee. For information on becoming a member, contact the MSC office at (806) 832-1810.

Meeting Registration: Registration fees include participation at education sessions, handouts, coffee breaks, receptions and the Keynote lunch. Travel to the meeting and hotel accommodations are NOT included in the registration.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancellations must be received in writing at the MSC office by September 20, 2023, and will be subject to a cancellation fee of 25%, which will be deducted from the refund. No refund will be made for cancellations received after September 20, 2023.

Limits of Liability: The planners, sponsors and host hotel owners, management and staff of the MSC Annual Meeting and its associated events claim no liability for the acts of any supplier to this meeting, nor for the safety of any attendee while in transit to, in residence at or in transit from this event. Attendees who purchase non-refundable airline tickets do so at their own risk. In the event of meeting cancellation, the total amount of liability of the planners and sponsors will be limited to a refund of the registration fee. Submission of the registration form acknowledges acceptance of these provisions.

Host Hotel Reservations:
A special block of rooms has been set-aside for MSC meeting participants. The preferred guest rate for MSC members is: $185 (+tax)/night. The deadline for discounted room rates and space availability is when the block is filled or SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 - WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

52nd MSC Annual Meeting
Program Schedule

Tuesday, October 10

1:30p-2:30p* MSC Certification Committee Meeting— Members in good standing are welcomed to participate in the committee meeting as observers.
2:45p-3:45p* Organic SubCommittee Meeting— Members in good standing are welcomed to participate in the committee meeting as observers.
4:00p-5:00p* Standards Committee Meeting— Members in good standing are welcomed to participate in the committee meeting as observers.
* Actual Committees and meeting times may vary on site.
5:00p-6:30p MEET THE MSC BOARD of DIRECTORS — Join the MSC Board of Directors for informal talks over cocktails as they share information on the programs and activities of the Council and the industry.
Sponsored by: nVenia
6:30p Dinner On Your Own

Wednesday, October 11

8:00a-12:30p MSC Board of Directors Meeting— Members in good standing are welcomed to participate in the committee meeting as observers.
1:00p-1:30p Official Opening and Welcome — Hear from MSC President Jim Weber, Program Chair Larry Doose, Legal Counsel John Hazard and Executive Director Robert LaGasse as we invite you to join us for the start of the 51st MSC Annual Meeting.
1:30p-2:30p Crow Political Report — Join us as MSC Legislative Representative DAVID CROW presents our annual update on the state of politics in the U.S. Speaker: David Crow, D.C. Legislative & Regulatory Services
2:30p-3:00p BREAK – Sponsored By: T.H. Glennon
3:00p-4:30p 52nd MSC Annual Membership Meeting — Hear reports from MSC leadership and committees, elect Council directors and discuss MSC programs and activities as they may impact your business and the industry. Moderator: Robert LaGasse, MSC Executive Director.
4:30p-7:00p Opening Reception & Affiliate Member Displays — Join us to meet with old friends and new members over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while visiting with the industry's leading suppliers and vendors. Sponsored By:Vermeer

Thursday, October 12

8:30a-9:00a Morning Coffee — Sponsored By Faltech

Canadian Peat: Ideal for Growing, for Generations to Come: Peat has been recognized by generations of growers and consumers worldwide as the quintessential growing media component with characteristics that are unrivalled. Peatlands, from which peat is extracted, constitute a very precious ecosystem that plays a role in carbon sequestration, a key factor in global warming. At a time when questioning the GHGs we emit and sustainability has become the norm and when, sometimes, context is put aside and unfortunately replaced by information from other parts of the world, CSPMA, the association of Canadian peat producers, presents the science, 30-years in the making, about the Canadian Peat extraction industry and how it sees its sustainable future. Speakers: Asha Hingorani, CSPMA & Michel Guay, Premier Tech

10:00a-10:30a Break — Sponsored by Chromascapes

What Is Biochar? - This presentation will seek to provide an overview of the current state of biochar as a commercial product and answer the questions: What is biochar?, How is it made?, Why is that different that just burning wood?, How does biochar sequester carbon?, What to do with biochar?, What is the value $$$?, What opportunities are there in biochar for soil amendment producers, vendors, applicators, and benefactors?, How to get involved with the emerging industry? >Speaker: Nick Vetsch, TRUE Advisor

KEYNOTE Luncheon
It’s an impersonal world, where so many products and services are seen as easily-replaced, indistinct commodities. Whether you stand out or get lost in the crowd is a choice. A mindset. Ken Schmidt faced those same challenges himself and gained acclaim for his role in the extraordinary turnaround of the legendary Harley-Davidson Motor Company. That transformation was based on a change in mindset and a focus on answering three key strategic questions. While times have changed, what humans want and need from the businesses they buy from and work for hasn’t. In his high-energy speeches, Ken inspires companies and individuals to shift their thinking and ride a path to success by becoming memorable – not for what they do or what they make, but for how they connect with people.
Speaker: Ken Schmidt, Former Harley-Davidson Director.

2:00p-3:00p Technology That Works: – This session will cover 8 types of technology that have been implemented that will give any operation a higher level of management, control and reduce costs. Speaker: Ben Ballard, Sylva Corporation

3:00p-3:30p Break — Sponsored By: Social Marks Media
3:30p-4:30p How To Manage Through A Catastrophic Event: — Hear from a panel of members who have experienced these situations and learn what they did to navigate through their crisis and what they have done to guard against this from happening again. Advice will be given as to the proper insurance coverage to have, how to negotiate with insurance companies, and also adopting best management practices. Panelists: Steve Liffers (Denali), Kimberly Rygielski (The Scotts Co.) & Jim Weber (Ohio Mulch). Moderator: Larry Doose, Annual Meeting Program Chair

4:30p-6:00p President's Reception – Join us for our closing event as the President’s Reception gives participants the opportunity to recap the bounty of information presented at the meeting and say goodbye to old and new friends before returning home reenergized.
Sponsored By: Viably
6:00p Meeting Ends

Download an Annual Meeting registration form: Registration Form PDF

Hotel Information


Contact the MSC Office for Options at

The DeSoto Hotel
15 East Liberty Street
Savannah, GA
October 10 - 12, 2023

The The Desoto Hotel is centrally located in Savannah, just steps from Savannah College of Art and Design and within a 10-minute walk of Forsyth Park. This 4-star hotel is 0.5 mi from Savannah Civic Center and the famous River Street restaurant and entertainment prominade. As much a part of Savannah as city squares and Spanish moss, The DeSoto blends the elegance, history, and charm of one of America’s oldest cities with a playful dose of Southern spirit. Step inside this beautiful downtown Savannah hotel for foie gras and fried green tomatoes, or meet friends on the back porch for a “Sip & Stroll” walking tour.

Room Reservations: ONLY $185 (+Tax)/Night

A special block of rooms has been set-aside for MSC meeting participants. The preferred guest rate for MSC members is: $185 (+tax)/night. The deadline for discounted room rates and space availability is when the block is filled or SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 - WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. For more information on The DeSoto Hotel facilities PDFCLICK HERE