Wayne Pianta

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Wayne Pianta, new products specialist with Ball Horticultural Company, will be the featured guest at the upcoming SFA Gardens Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture.

Pianta will present "Plant Breeding, Garden Performance and New Product Development: What Makes the Cut and Why? A Survey of Recent Introductions" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

Pianta works for one of the largest breeders of ornamental plant products in the world, PanAmerican Seed Company. PanAmerican is a part of Ball Horticultural Company, which has plant breeding and development organizations around the world and is a leader in the global ornamental plant industry.

As a product technical specialist, Pianta works with many universities, trial gardens and botanical gardens to test and evaluate new products for their suitability and adaptation to regional environments throughout the United States. He works with a network of the largest wholesale producers and retailers of ornamental plants to introduce these products to consumers so they can enjoy success with the best new plants on the market. Pianta is a member of the Colorado State University Trial Gardens Committee and the Gardens and Grounds Committee for the Dallas Arboretum.

A native Texan currently living in Fort Worth, Pianta has bachelor's and master's degrees in horticultural science from Texas A&M University. For the last 30 years, beginning as rosarian in charge of the Tyler Rose Garden, he has made his living working with people and companies all over the country and in all segments of the ornamental horticulture industry to promote and teach about the plants and practices that make producers and gardeners successful.

The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is usually held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Mast Arboretum. A plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series endowed fund are always appreciated.

For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or email ggrantgardens@yahoo.com.