Ones To Watch: Susie Raker

Ones To Watch: Susie Raker

As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary celebration, we’ll profile industry people over the next 25 weeks who we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Our Ones To Watch series continues this week with Susie Raker,  team leader of C. Raker & Sons’ marketing and product support teams.


Her job–Team is a key concept at C. Raker & Sons, and Susie is the team leader of the company’s marketing and product support teams.

Resume builder–Besides earning a bachelor’s in horticulture at Michigan State University, Susie has studied horticulture in Chile and worked for Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy, Calif., and Bachman’s Nursery in Minneapolis.

Organizational involvement–Susie is involved with OFA, ANLA and MNLA, and she’s an active member of the Generation Next Committee.

Industry education–“A lot of my peers are not educated about plants. We need to show them all of the fun and cool stuff that they can do with plants, from growing a vegetable garden to putting containers on a patio,” Susie says.

Trying new things–One key to the success of C. Raker & Sons is its openness to produce varieties it doesn’t necessarily specialize in. “This attitude and approach has worked out great for our operation,” she says. “We realize that we can’t be everything to everyone, but it has created a special niche for us in the industry because people will come to us to grow their hard-to-grow varieties.”

Twenty-five years from now–The industry will be greatly consolidated. “A lot of that has already been going on,” Susie says. “I think the small, family-owned business will still exist, but it will be reinvented.”

Why she’s one to watch–As the daughter of Dave Raker, Susie represents the next generation at C. Raker & Sons. She leads her marketing team at California Pack Trials each year, and she’s a key player in an operation that’s dedicated to always improving innovation, service, quality and teamwork.

If there’s somebody who should be on our list of Ones To Watch, let us know. E-mail us at and tell us why your grower candidate should be One To Watch.

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