As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary, we are profiling people we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Now in its 19th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Lawrence Ohlman III of Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse in Toledo, Ohio.
His Job–Lawrence is part of the fifth generation family business, Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse, in Toledo, Ohio. He’s currently studying at the University of Toledo, pursuing an MBA in finance and marketing.
An Eye For The Future – Innovation and creativity will determine how growers develop over the next quarter-century. Making more local purchases will also become more of a trend. “Working together with local grower groups is imperative to competing in today’s marketplace,” Lawrence says. “The industry needs to be more business-minded for the long haul. Many times, it’s not about growing plants, but business strategy, product development and financial wherewithal.”
Twenty-Five Years From Now–RFID integrated into flats will be the norm, and the industry might be more specialized by crop. “I hope there is still a base of independent garden centers and family-owned establishments, because they are the trend setters to the local economy.”
Why He’s One To Watch–Lawrence is passionate about green issues–from eating organic foods to caring for global issues to supporting environmentally responsible businesses–enough that he started his own venture, Ecologic Products, which is based on developing sustainable products for everyday life. And some Ecologic Product, because of his involvement with Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse, might benefit growers some day.