Seeing What’s Next

With the 2007 spring season coming to an end, many of you are assessing the outcome of your efforts for that time.

While some parts of the country have had wonderful weather conditions, other areas were just OK and some had significant problems with wildfires, tornadoes or flooding.

It is very frustrating to make plans for the whole season, work hard to execute those plans only to find that it isn’t possible to make the plans happen due to factors beyond your control.

We know that weather is probably the most important factor in our success, and it is hard to fool Mother Nature! However, with new product lines, containerized gardening and environmental manipulation made possible with high-tech greenhouses, supplemental lighting and cooling equipment, things that were not possible before are common practices now.

You can read about all the problems we can encounter in newspapers, national magazines and even our trade press. Some folks will not be able to handle the situations and will decide to leave our industry, while others will find solutions to overcome the problems.

You have two choices in dealing with any situation: you can be positive or you can be negative. W. Clements Stone (1902-2002) made one of the most significant statements I have ever heard. He said, "Whatever the mind can conceive, and you believe, can be achieved." However, if you want to achieve it, you have to work for it. There is no doubt that using a positive approach is much more rewarding and profitable than using a negative approach.

There is a recently published book titled "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne, who does a wonderful job sharing the secrets for money, relationships, health, the world and life.

The book stresses the law of attraction, and it states that it is a law of nature. For example, if you think positive thoughts, you will get positive results. If you think negative thoughts, you will get negative results. Therefore, money begets money. Smart people beget smart people. Productive people attract productive people. If you are positive, you attract people with a similar attitude. If you are negative, you will attract negative people. 

Thinking Green

You can build a great future if you have a clear vision of it. Currently, there are big efforts for the greening of the world, focusing on the need to reduce greenhouse gases. This term is a poor description of the problem since we in the greenhouse industry take CO² and water and produce oxygen. We have one of the only organisms that uses CO² to produce oxygen, the plant.

We in agriculture have been in the green business for centuries. If you read the popular business magazines, you would think that big business, politicians and conservation groups just discovered the concept.

The slogans are "Grow Green, Get Rich" and "Help Save the Planet." Since we have been in the green business for centuries, why can’t we capitalize on this great opportunity? You can if you have a clear vision of what could and should be done to solve the problem.

This morning I looked out over my lovely garden with lush green plants and many beautiful flowers. I thought how this would help the environment, only to look up and see 15 contrails of planes overhead, flying from the East Coast to Chicago. Our problem isn’t greenhouse gases, it’s air pollution from the hydrocarbons produced by planes, motor vehicles, wars, volcanoes, fires and many other non-greenhouse problems.

When I worked as an Extension specialist at Michigan State University, we actually had one town council that was thinking of banning all greenhouses from being built in their area so that they could help reduce the greenhouse gases. Of course, that was 20 years ago. However, we still have hundreds of people who are that naïve in their understanding of the problem.

What good does it do to grow an organic product in China and then take trucks, planes, ships or other forms of transportation to get it to your local grocery store? Is an organic product produced thousands of miles away from the consumer better for the environment than a locally grown source of the same product? If we have a greening of America, why don’t we take the leadership in showing that locally grown, quality products with approved control procedures – organic or non-organic – will help reduce the threat of global warming? 

Positive Thinking

A book first written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles titled "Financial Success, Harnessing the Power of Creative Thought" was last copyrighted in 1990. Wattles has a few great statements that relate directly to our industry:

1) As a practical matter for people who need money, get rich first, then philosophize afterward.

2) Develop your clear vision and statement of faith, then act without fear or hesitation. Wattles indicates that you should do this "just as you would take statements by Marconi or Edison." They acted on their theories without fear or hesitation. He further says, "Everyone who does this will eventually get rich."

3) "The science of positive thinking is an exact science and failure is impossible." The supreme test of any experiment is – it works!

4) "The objective of all life is development. Everything that lives has an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining."

5) You have the right to the fullest mental, spiritual and physical unfolding – that is the right to be rich.

The new theme from the possibility thinkers to major TV talk show hosts is to start paying attention to the positive and the possibilities that exist.

We must remember that no age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing! Katherine Graham (1917-2001) said, "To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun?"

Yes, we may not have done this year perfectly, but we tried to do our best. Some of us have done very well, some OK and some very poorly. But we have another chance to improve, to make corrections and to become rich, not only in money but also in improving our mental, spiritual and physical conditions and developing our own vision. Just make sure it is a very clear vision.

On May 18, I attended a memorial service for my friend Louis J. Brand, former CEO of the John Henry Company, who died at age 85. He brought the John Henry Company from a small floriculture printer to a major printing company for pharmaceuticals and many other areas. More than 150 people attended the service. Dr. Harvey H. Johnson, senior pastor of the Peoples’ Church in East Lansing, led the celebration ceremony.

Here are five things that helped this man become one of the great people in our industry:

1) He started each day by going outside, listening to the birds and having communion with God.

2) He always looked for good in others.

3) He was loyal.

4) He cared about people and tried to help those who needed it.

5) At the end of the day, before he went to sleep, he took all of the hurtful and negative things, buried them and let them go!

Pastor Johnson ended the service with this stark reminder, "No one in this room will leave this earth alive." Therefore, appreciate everyone you meet and know and tell them how much you think of them. This reinforces the idea that positive actions win, negative actions lose! All my best positive feeling to you all. I hope you will look positively on what is next!

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More
Socius Webinar

March 30, 2017

Webinar to Offer Tips on Properly Managing Your Business for Growth

“How to Survive and Thrive: New Revenue Building Tools for Growers,” presented by Socius, takes place on April 6.

Read More

March 21, 2017

How Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Can Prepare for a Product Recall

The United Fresh Produce Association is holding a Recall Ready Workshop in April that is designed to help growers properly manage a recall, from liability to communications.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More
Socius Webinar

March 30, 2017

Webinar to Offer Tips on Properly Managing Your Busines…

“How to Survive and Thrive: New Revenue Building Tools for Growers,” presented by Socius, takes place on April 6.

Read More

March 21, 2017

How Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Can Prepare for a Prod…

The United Fresh Produce Association is holding a Recall Ready Workshop in April that is designed to help growers properly manage a recall, from liability to communications.

Read More

March 14, 2017

Expanded Customer Footprint, E-Commerce, Succession Key…

Costa Farms' acquisition of indoor foliage producer Delray Plants rocked the industry, but the story behind Delray Plants' sale is the same as for many growers struggling with succession planning. For Costa Farms, the strategic purchase expands its customer footprint and also fast tracks its foray into e-commerce.

Read More

March 10, 2017

Costa Farms Expands With Purchase of Indoor Houseplant …

Costa Farms annnounced March 10 that it has acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the indoor houseplant industry. The two operations are committed to the same values, principles, and goals to grow the industry, and will fit well together to accomplish this, say Randy Gilde, CEO of Delray Plants, and Joche Smith, CEO of Costa Farms.

Read More
Ken and Deena Altman

March 7, 2017

Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propag…

Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017. Ken and Deena Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection, along with their son Matthew, who has recently bought into the family business. The 55 acres of land and all of the facilities on it, which were previously owned by Jerry Church, a partner in EuroAmerican Propagators, are part of the purchase agreement currently in escrow, Altman says. However, it would not be absorbed by Altman Plants, which in 2016 was number 3 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list with more than 11 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse production, 62 acres of shade production, and 400 acres of outdoor field production. Altman Plants’ property […]

Read More
EuroAmerican Propagators Greenhouses

February 14, 2017

Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…

Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More
Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of AmericanHort - Feature image

October 25, 2016

Contribute To HRI To Help Honor Industry Advocate Craig…

In honor of Craig Regelbrugge's extraordinary contributions to the horticultural industry, AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Initiative created a special HRI endowment fund in his name: "The Craig Regelbrugge - Advocates for Horticulture Fund."

Read More
Lucas Greenhouses Shipping

October 6, 2016

Greenhouse Shipping Costs Down, But Concerns Remain

Lower gas prices have led to lower shipping costs for some growers, but many continue to seek out ways to become more efficient.

Read More
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blue Skies’ (Wave)

September 20, 2016

PanAmerican Seed Settles Alleged Trade Sanction Violati…

PanAmerican Seed, a division of Ball Horticultural Co., has been charged with violating trade sanctions to Iran over a number of years. According to a release from the U.S. Treasury department, PanAmerican Seed made 48 indirect sales of seeds to two Iranian distributors. The company shipped the seed to consignees based in countries in Europe and the Middle East. PanAmerican Seed’s customers then arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran. The release states that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined PanAmerican Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, constituting an egregious case. “We believe that the settlement was extreme; however the alternative was to litigate with the U.S. government, which would take months, if not years,” says Todd Billings, Chief Financial Officer for Ball Horticultural Co. When asked what Ball Horticultural Co. has done to ensure that violations to trade sanctions do not […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

September 6, 2016

10 Insights From Charlie Hall’s Green Industry Economic…

With the uncertain current economic climate, Texas A&M economist Charlie Hall says now may be the perfect time to invest — as long as you do it smartly.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More