As the calendar turns to 2020, a new decade may mean new goals, maybe even loftier than ones you set the last time we entered a new decade. Back then, some of you were still digging out from the Great Recession.

I joined Lawn & Landscape in July of 2010, and while the industry has changed since then, a lot has remained the same. I never heard too many contractors claiming gloom and doom back then, and I don’t now.

Brian Horn Editor, Lawn & Landscape

Usually, they were optimistic about their businesses, except for labor – that outlook has unfortunately stayed pretty gloomy. Something else that hasn’t changed is that the landscapers who want to learn are the ones who are going to succeed.

As Lawn & Landscape starts a new decade, one of our resolutions is to develop new opportunities for those eager to learn. That means providing education in a number of different ways, and adapting on the fly if need be.

As you’ve probably seen, we are launching the Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference Feb. 19-21 in Orlando. You can learn more at A late development at the conference was the inclusion of Lawn Care Spotlight sessions – three sessions dedicated to lawn care education. We added these in because of the turnout at our Lawn Care Virtual Conference in November, which is our cover story this month. It was a sign there was a need for lawn care specific education in the industry, so we shifted course.

Show them you are a real person, providing an important service to the community.

Each type of company that specializes in a green industry service, like lawn care, has specific challenges, but lawn care operators have an extra layer of challenges – the public’s perception of the work they perform.

Other parts of the green industry have public issues to deal with like noise and pollution from equipment, but the pressure from anti-chemical activists seems to be at a more intense level. LCOs have to perform the work well and then explain to the customer, or the customer’s neighbors, what they applied, how much and why.

One of the main takeaways from the virtual conference on how to change the public’s perception is to get involved in your local community and make friends with local representatives. Show them you are a real person, providing an important service to the community. Educate them on who you are and what you do.

Hey, not a bad New Year’s Resolution if you ask me.