Presents the

Saturday, July 29, 2017 (note day change)

Johnston Lions Club Community Center
6401 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, Iowa

(For map to location, click "here").


Jim Roberts
Florida SunCoast Orchids, FL

Florida SunCoast Orchids is led by Jim Roberts, a leader in the growing orchid industry of Florida, operating throughout the state of Florida as well as supporting national market demands.

It was in the college days of 1979 when he first encountered orchids during a routine doctor's visit. While there, he noticed a large cattleya orchid on his desk. He asked the fateful question: “What kind of flower is that?” To which the physician laughingly replied, "You do NOT want to know!" A short story by the doctor about his all-consuming hobby ensued and within two days he had gotten two orchids of my own.

During those college years in Northfield, Minnesota, he was put in charge of the St. Olaf greenhouse and its repository of orchids. He knew little about the plants but read everything he could get my hands on. After graduating, he moved to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands where he happened upon a sidewalk sale by the local orchid society. He joined the group, learned much about growing in a tropical arid environment, the native orchid species, and won my first AOS award for Encyclia bifida 'Loves Favor' AM/AOS.

Leaving the island three years later, he found himself trying to take 10 boxes of plants through customs back to Minnesota. Little did he know that the customs encounter would be easiest part. It was a totally new experience trying to grow plants in a cold Midwestern state. Many plants did not survive. Many did, and he learned that orchids actually could be grown quite successfully in the stifling environment of a house surrounded by ice and snow.

During those return years in Minnesota, he worked in the horticulture industry, served in various capacities with orchid organizations and lectured to many garden clubs. He also had the privilege of traveling extensively around the United States, Europe and Hawaii for his career, visiting all of the major orchid nurseries. It was during this time that he started to turn his avid hobby into a small business.

In 2001 he moved to Florida with a small collection of plants and the dream of operating an orchid nursery became a reality. He currently grows his beauties in three gutter connected greenhouses encompassing 10,000 square feet of growing space.

Jim's topics will be “A Few Encyclia to Enjoy” and ”Fertilizing Your Orchids 101”

Dr. Kristen Uthus
New World Orchids, MI

Dr. Kristen Uthus studied both plant and animal ecology and evolution at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the Ohio State University (OSU). She then taught biology and ecology at several colleges including VCU, OSU, University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University. The daughter of a plant fanatic, Kristen has been growing orchids for over 20 years, sometimes more and sometimes less seriously. In April 2013, however, she began working with Dr. Glenn Lehr, the previous owner of New World Orchids, one of the first people to introduce Japanese orchids to the American market. After a short time, he offered her the business, and she fulfilled a lifelong dream of making orchids a full-time commitment by purchasing NWO from Dr. Lehr in January 2014.

Although she enjoys growing many varieties of orchids and other plants, miniatures remain her passion-the weirder the better. New World Orchids specializes in Japanese species including Neofinetia falcata, Dendrobium moniliforme, and Sederia japonica as well as Asian Cymbidium species, but her miniature selection has been expanding to include other small species including Pleurothallids, Bulbophyllums, and Angraecums.

Kristen lives in Manchester, MI, about an hour west of Detroit. She is supported in her orchid pursuits by her husband, Dr. Kevin Wehrly, her two sons, Henry and Gus, and a veritable menagerie of lovable animals.

Kristen's topics will be "Japanese Orchids: The Small and Mighty" and "Miniatures: Honey I Shrunk the Orchids"

AOS Judging will be held at 11:00 A.M.
Everyone is invited to bring or send plants for judging!
Plants must be in place by 10:00 A.M.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

8:00 a.m.  Continental Breakfast, Plant Sales
8:00-10:00 Plants registered for AOS Judging
9:00-11:30 Morning presentations, one by each speaker
11:00 AOS Judging
11:30 Buffet Lunch / Plant sales
1:00 p.m. First afternoon presentation
1:45 Afternoon Dessert Bar
2:30 Second afternoon presentation
3:15 Drawing for Door Prizes / Plant Sales
Both speakers will have plants for sale throughout the day.
All times are approximate and subject to change at this time.


Registration fee of $30.00 per person covers all costs. ($35.00 at the door)
For a printable registration form, click "here".
Early reservations would be helpful in planning the event.
For more information, reservations, ect. Please call:
Carson Whitlow at 515-993-4841

For a printable Speakers Day Announcement in Word format, click "here".


Comfort SuitesI-80/35 Exit 12511167 Hickman Rd.515-276-1126
Adventureland InnI-80 Exit 142Next to Adventureland515-265-7321
Motel 6I-80 Exit 1423225 Adventureland Dr.  800-466-8356
Heartland InnI-80 Exit 142A500 NE56th Street800-334-3277
Red Roof Inns & SuitesI-80/35 Exit 136   4950 NE 14th Street515-266-6800
Motel 6I-80/35 Exit 1364140 NE 14th Street800-466-8356
Econo Lodge & SuitesI-80/35 Exit 1314755 Merle Hay Road515-278-8858
Quality Inn & SuitesI-80/35 Exit 1314995 Merle Hay Road515-278-2381
Days InnI-80/35 Exit 1314845 Merle Hay Road800-325-2525
Best Inns Of AmericaI-80/35 Exit 1315050 Merle Hay Road515-270-1111
Ramada InnI-80/35 Exit 1315055 Merle Hay Road800-643-1197
Hilton Garden InnI-80/35 Exit 1298600 Northpark Dr.515-270-8890
Stoney Creek InnI-80/35 Exit 1295291 Stoney Creek Ct.515-334-9000
Econo LodgeI-80/35 Exit 12611000 Douglas Ave.800-55-Econo
The Sleep InnI-80/35 Exit 12511211 Hickman Road877-233-0333
Courtyard By MarriottI-80/35 Exit 1241520 NW114th Sreet800-321-3211
Heartland InnI-80/35 Exit 12411414 Forest Ave.800-334-3277
Fairfield Inn By Marriott   I-35 Exit 92215 NE Delaware Ave.800-228-2800
Heartland InnI-35 Exit 92210 SE Delaware Ave.800-334-3277
Holiday Inn ExpressI-35 Exit 902602 SE Creekview Dr.515-965-2400
Note: Lodging at I-80/35 Exit 131 is the closest to the facility.

Page Updated: 2017