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 13th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Rebecca Siemonsma of Paul Ecke Ranch, who was featured in our September issue.
Her Job–Rebecca is the technical and sales support manager for Paul Ecke Ranch, working from home in rural South Dakota with her four daughters. “We are very proud of our online resources and innovative technical support,” she says. “We concentrate a great deal of our resources to research and development, allowing us to offer science-based programs and products to our customers.”
Strong Backing–Rebecca’s parents own a local sporting goods store, and they taught her about the importance of getting to know customers. In the greenhouse industry, she looks to Jack Williams, one of the original “techies” from Ecke, for advice. “He is an amazing speaker and so many growers look to him.”
The Education People – Ecke Ranch recently began hosting monthly Webinars on a variety of topics as a means of sharing information with a larger audience. “We just keep searching for better and more efficient ways to reach growers and offer solutions for them that are more convenient,” Rebecca says.
Great Expectations – Rebecca spends some of her extra time working on tech sheets and writing articles. “When the time comes to put out another ‘Poinsettia Manual’ or another book, I would like to be involved because I enjoy writing,” she says.
Twenty-Five Years From Now–The industry will continue to consolidate, although local, smaller operations will still exist because consumers have made a push for local products. Growers have to be willing to change as the consumer’s preferences and lifestyles change.
Why She’s One To Watch–Rebecca provides technical support advice and information to growers in person, by phone, on the Web and, most recently, through company Webinars. Energy costs have scared quite a few poinsettia growers away, she says, but she is out to prove that poinsettias are still profitable crops. “I hope long-term opportunities include more presentations and chances to get out in front of growers at places like Short Course.”