Our Ones To Watch

Our Ones To Watch

Chad Underwood, Kalamazoo Flower Group, LLC

Age–35

His Job–Before Chad became president and general manager at Kalamazoo Flower Group, he first rose through the ranks as a seasonal customer service representative for the former sales division of the Kalamazoo Valley Plant Growers co-op. He has now been in the industry for 12 years.

Best Advice–”Plan your work and work your plan!” Chad says you have to have a vision for what you want to accomplish, then have the guts to trust your plan. He follows Stephen R. Covey’s messages of taking a principles-based approach to life and prioritizing work that is important. “In our business, it’s hard not to get consumed by all the little day-to-day challenges we face dealing with a perishable product and ever-changing inventory, but you have to force yourself to keep an eye on the big-picture,” Chad says.

Money, Money, Money!–The increasing costs of diesel fuel, natural gas and health insurance has changed the way Chad thinks about cost containment. “The market is asking us to do more with less, so we are finding ways to do just that–but it’s not easy.”

Technology Is Tops–Chad cites the proper use of technology and focusing on improving operational efficiencies as keys to future success, and Kalamazoo Flower Group is making a conscious effort to operate in an organized, systematic fashion. “Whether it is how our growers monitor their crops or how we are tracking sales at our retail customers, we do it using technology and sound methodology.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now–Chad predicts that the industry will see at least one additional major mass retailer enter the scene, and like other growers, he believes fewer greenhouse operators will exist. The ones that do remain will be bigger than ever.

Why He’s One To Watch–Much of the vision for the revamped Kalamazoo Flower Group comes from Chad, who is building a team of professionals that will help the company continue to move forward. “We changed the way we think about running our business and also made a significant capital investment in the construction of our new cross-dock facility,” he says.

 

Todd Lighthouse, Lighthouse Gardens

Age–32

His Job–Todd is the sole proprietor and head grower at Lighthouse Gardens in Honeoye Falls, N.Y. He’s also the company’s founder, and he has bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology with a concentration in ethnobotany.
Craving Pressure–Whether the ideas Todd implements succeed or fail, he is accountable for everything at Lighthouse Gardens. “It is incredibly empowering to know that you control every aspect of your business and which path your business will take,” he says.

A Martial Artist–Todd practices Aikido, a modern martial art defined as the way of harmony. He even transfers the principles of Aikido to greenhouse growing. “I find that working nature, using passive ventilation and beneficial insects, (that) my crops are demonstrably superior,” he says. Todd also backpacks in the Adirondacks as a way to stay grounded when he steps away from the business.
Challenges With Organics–Conventional culture notes don’t apply to organic greenhouse production, and crop timing and nutrition requirements are much different when growing organically, Todd says, compared to more conventional methods. “After growing conventionally before starting my business, I found it difficult to monitor fertility and plant nutrition without the use of EC/pH meters,” he says. “It was hard to give up those sources of immediate feedback.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now–Look no further than organic food crop agriculture, Todd says, for a glimpse of the future of greenhouse production. He specifically envisions a combination of the efficiency of Dutch greenhouse technologies with the farming practices of organic agriculture.

Why He’s One To Watch – Lighthouse Gardens is a startup greenhouse that has an interesting business plan of providing organically grown plants that can be shipped directly to your door. “I grow ornamental plants, not just herbs and vegetable starts, using organic growing methods,” Todd says. He’s also proud of the fact that he discloses every input and spray application on the company Web site, and he’s a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).

 

Fran Hopkins, Under A Foot Plant Company

Age–43

Her Job–Fran is owner and president of Under A Foot Company, which grows more than 400 types of groundcovers, ornamental grasses, sedums, ivies and perennials–and, of course, STEPABLES.

Friendly Advice–A couple of years after STEPABLES entered the marketplace, Fran was frustrated with the number of similar plant brands that had sprouted. A good friend gave her a piece of advice, though: “Don’t get caught up in looking over your shoulder to see where the competition is. It’s at that moment that you will fall behind and lose the race.” And Fran hasn’t looked back since.

Seminar Central–The part of Fran’s job that she likes most is spreading the word on STEPABLES at seminars. “I always have a lot of fun with the crowd,” she says. “My typical seminar starts with me jumping up and down on the plants,” she says.

Fun Facts–In college, Fran’s first major was wild animal training–but she changed it after a lion bit her. She also claims to have the world’s largest collection of colored markers, and she loves salt water aquariums. “I love my tank and wish it was bigger so I could squeeze in it and swim with my fish,” Fran says.

Twenty-Five Years From Now – The strongest plant brands today will be the cornerstone of the garden center success in years to come. “I think we will also see a massive surge of new brands coming into the marketplace as companies see branding as an easy way to promote their own product lines,” she says. At the same time, most of those brands will be one-hit wonders. Oh, and plants aside, Fran sees herself on an island sipping a margarita while listening to Jimmy Buffet in 2033.

Why She’s One To Watch – Fran developed the plants-that-you-can-walk-on concept that is STEPABLES, and she has built the brand to its current recognizable state. Educating consumers is high on her list of things to do, too, and STEPABLES’ information can be found on tags and on the company’s extensive Web site. “Our Web site hit an all-time high of 250,000 hits in May this year,” Fran says.

 

Alex Fell, Kraft Gardens

Age – 35

His Job–Alex is sales manager at Kraft Gardens, his uncle’s greenhouse operation in Florida. He graduated from Florida State in 1996 and held a sales management position outside the industry before joining the family business in 1999.

Satisfaction–Rolling out new products with success is gratifying to Alex, especially because the indoor foliage segment of the industry doesn’t enjoy as many new introductions as the color or outdoor landscape segments do.

Staying Up To Speed–In the last few years, the development of Lean Flow manufacturing processes has improved productivity in all areas of operations. Optimizing efficiency in plant movement and production has also kept Kraft Gardens focused on the future, Alex says.

Poised For Change–The opportunity to be ready to serve the industry when the economy stabilizes is another focus at Kraft Gardens. “If you scale back too thin in tight times without regard to future ramifications, you could miss the opportunity to maximize your rebound efforts coming off a tough year,” he says. “The easy way to stay current with trends is to set them.”

Making Commitments–Being involved with the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association has always been important to Kraft Gardens. “I’ve served on our local chapter’s board of directors for the past six years, two as chapter president,” Alex says. Currently, he is an FNGLA foliage division leader and serves on the board of directors of the National Foliage Foundation.

Twenty-Five Years From Now–One thing is certain about the future of the industry, Alex says: “It will be heavily influenced by trade agreements with other countries, and whether or not restrictions like Q-37 and other plant import laws are still prevalent.”

Why He’s One To Watch–Alex is very visible in the foliage industry as the outgoing sales manager for Kraft Gardens. Kraft has received awards and recognition for its dedication to quality, service and innovation, specializing in interiorscape and independent retail markets.

Charlie Cole, Cole Gardens

Age – 26

His Job–Charlie is general manager at Cole Gardens, the retail location. His job in New Hampshire is to take care of day-to-day operations, marketing and advertising and purchasing trees and shrubs, hardgoods and perennials. The most important part of his job, he says, is customer service. “It is exciting to help customers find solutions to their garden problems or find the perfect plant to finish a garden,” Charlie says.

Learning Early–Growing up, Charlie and his dad, Doug, had discussions about the business and changes in the industry. Charlie got involved with OFA during college because of his dad, and he learned the notion from his dad that “respect is earned and not given,” as well.

Give In To Your Gut–The best advice Charlie has received thus far is to increase prices. “A lot of us are scared to try and squeeze an extra dollar or two from our customers,” he says. “It is only going to get harder to make money. We raised our prices and have not looked back on the decision.”

In The Works–Cole Gardens is in the process of developing a layout for the entire store, focusing on customer flow and better organization of the outdoor departments.

Twenty-Five Years From Now–The term “garden center” will cease to exist. Customers now want to decorate their outdoor areas for entertainment rather than garden, and that means more furniture, garden art, decorative structures and ready-made containers will have to be available. So garden centers will become backyard decorators, in a sense, and that’s why the Cole Gardens store slogan is, “Helping you decorate with living color.”

Why He’s One To Watch–At 26, Charlie isn’t afraid to take risks or try something new in the business. He is involved in two of OFA’s planning committees, and he has played a key role in shaping Cole Gardens into the successful retail operation that it is.

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Our Ones To Watch

More From State of the Industry...
crider-rd2-internal_Rough-Brothers_featured

July 1, 2015

Rough Brothers Is Acquired By Gibraltar Industries

RBI Solar Inc., Rough Brothers Manufacturing Inc. and affiliates have been acquired by Gibraltar Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of products for residential and industrial markets, for $130 million. Capitalizing on its 80 years of design-build experience and leadership as the largest greenhouse manufacturer in North America, Ohio-based RBI has established itself during the past five years as North America’s fastest-growing provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar racking solutions. The transaction will enable Gibraltar to leverage its expertise in structural metals manufacturing and materials sourcing to meet global demand for solar racking solutions. The company also announced that it anticipates its second-quarter 2015 financial results will be in line with its previous expectations. “Acquiring RBI is an important step in the transformation of Gibraltar into a company with a higher rate of growth and best-in-class financial metrics,” says Gibraltar CEO Frank Heard. “This acquisition directly aligns with key end markets and product platforms […]

Read More

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Dosatron International’s Lela Kelly

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

June 30, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s Choice And Industry’s Choice Awards

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More
Latest Stories

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Do…

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More

June 10, 2015

Women In Horticulture Should Celebrate Their Difference…

Maria Costa-Smith, executive vice president at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla., says she believes in equal treatment for equal work. She encourages women in horticulture to work hard, be team players, perform beyond expectations and add value to their organizations. Fulfilling Her Dreams Maria Costa-Smith grew up in the horticulture industry, and never doubted that she wanted a career in ornamental horticulture. Part of a family with a history steeped in agriculture, her grandfather, Jose Costa, was a farmer in Cuba, who sent her father, Tony Costa, to the University of Florida just before the Cuban Revolution to study agriculture. When the family uprooted in 1961 and fled to the U.S., they began growing tomatoes and citrus on a 30-acre plot of land in Miami, and soon after expanded into ornamentals. Thus, Costa Farms was established. Working on the farm with her father and grandfather, Costa-Smith says she was always […]

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

June 10, 2015

Experts Convene to Discuss How to Protect Bees, Other P…

A new conference organized by North Carolina State University (NC State) and Michigan State University (MSU) will focus on the need for bee-friendly ornamental landscapes and practical solutions for protecting bees and other pollinators. This autumn, researchers, educators and industry experts from around the country will descend on a small town in rural North Carolina to discuss a question with repercussions for both the economy and the environment: what can be done to protect bees and other pollinators? The conference is focused specifically on what can be done to not only conserve but also bolster pollinator populations in so-called ornamental landscapes, such as urban areas and manicured gardens. It is the brain child of two entomologists – Steve Frank of NC State and David Smitley of MSU. With pollinator declines in the news, public demand for bee-friendly ornamental plants is high, but much of the available research has addressed pesticides and […]

Read More
Terri McEnaney Bailey Nurseries headshot_featured

June 3, 2015

Bailey Nurseries’ Terri McEnaney Recognized By Mi…

Bailey Nurseries President Terri McEnaney was recently honored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in their Women in Business 2015 special issue. Those honored were chosen for the impact they have had on the business community in Minnesotoa, as well as their dedication to serving their community. McEnaney was honored for her leadership in growing the company significantly in terms of revenue, staff, global reach and brand development, as well as her strategic acumen and industry insight. Other honorees included executives from U.S. Bancorp, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Gilette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, the American Cancer Society, Cargill, 3M and Wells Fargo. “I am humbled to receive this honor from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal,” McEnaney says. “To be among this group of esteemed women is exciting. Seeing successful female leaders in other male-driven industries pushes me to continue working and encouraging women in horticulture to grow their passion into a long-term, fruitful career.” […]

Read More

June 3, 2015

Take Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey

Please take a few minutes to answer Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey. Your input will help us get a firmer grasp on how spring played out for growers and what we can expect in Spring 2015.

Read More
Bee on a Sedum

June 3, 2015

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Launches With U…

The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge on June 3, just in time for National Pollinator Week, held June 21-25. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a strategic effort to promote and protect the needs of pollinators in North America. Representatives of the recently formed Network joined First Lady Michelle Obama on June 3 for an event that’s part of her “Let’s Move” Initiative at the White House, to formally launch the Challenge. The launch of the Challenge is an unprecedented collaboration by dozens of conservation and gardening organizations, including green industry associations like AmericanHort, America in Bloom, Society of American Florists, American Floral Endowment, the National Garden Bureau and the American Horticultural Society. The organizations joined together to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch the new nationwide campaign – the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the […]

Read More
Status of Marijuana US Map May 2015

May 29, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Updates

As of April 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some capacity. At the federal level, several bills are currently awaiting action. Here is an update on current state and federal marijuana legislation across the U.S.

Read More
cannabis, marijuana plant

May 29, 2015

Making The Decision To Produce Medical Marijuana

Should horticultural growers consider cultivating medical marijuana? That’s up to the individual grower, of course, and certainly a number of growers already have jumped in. We at Meister Media Worldwide, publishers of Greenhouse Grower and American Vegetable Grower, do not necessarily endorse nor oppose the production of medical marijuana. But we do feel it is an option worth exploring. We intend our “Medical Marijuana” series of articles to give you information you need to make your own call. We hope you find it useful, and we do welcome your comments, thoughts and ideas as we continue to cover what we’re fairly certain is only going to be an increasingly viable and growing market for this emerging crop.

Read More
water

May 27, 2015

California Growers To Voluntarily Cut Back Water Use

Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June-September growing season. The proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday, May 22. “This proposal helps Delta growers manage the risk of potentially deeper curtailment, while ensuring significant water conservation efforts in this fourth year of drought,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus says. “It allows participating growers to share in the sacrifice that people throughout the state are facing because of the severe drought, while protecting their economic well-being by giving them some certainty regarding exercise of the State Water Board’s enforcement discretion at the beginning of the planting season.” Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. In both cases, the […]

Read More
Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Inn…

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

Read More
CCGGA-Scholarship-Winners

May 20, 2015

Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association Awards 201…

The Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association (CCGGA) is awarding 20 scholarships this year to high school and college students. CCGGA-member nurseries raised money for the scholarship fund and each donated a portion of the fundraising sales to the fund, which is open to students currently enrolled in college for the following year. The scholarship program is also available to students of employees who work at CCGGA-member nurseries One of the organization’s goals is to continue encouraging future generations to enter the horticulture field and to promote higher education within the families that work in the local nursery business. The 2015 CCGGA scholarship recipients are: Aloysia Shea – Nipomo High School Andrew McHaney – CSalinas High School Angel Flores – Righetti High School Beatriz Barajas – San Jose State University Carolanne Garibay – Monterey Peninsula College Cladia Lavina – Salinas High School Erica Marquez-Ibarra – San Jose State University Jorge Zarate […]

Read More

May 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Top 100 Growers…

Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers Survey revealed that our projections in the 2015 State Of The Industry report were correct: Growers, at least the large ones, are expanding. Greenhouse Grower’s annual Top 100 List ranks the largest U.S. growers by total square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space, although this year, we have also listed shade and field acreage, to give perspective on how large these operations are beyond the greenhouse. In total, the 2015 list represents 228,906,001 environmentally controlled square feet of U.S. production, a 5 percent increase over 2014. All told, 26 growers reported that their operation grew between 2014 and 2015. Several growers reduced their production over the past year, as well, and while some operations’ downsized numbers were significant, most were slight and probably typical of the give-and-take in the horticulture industry. Greenhouse Grower‘s 2015 Top 100 Growers Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, […]

Read More
USDA Logo

May 13, 2015

New Report Shows College Graduates With Agriculture Deg…

A new report from the USDA shows high demand for recent college graduates with agriculture degrees, with an estimated 57,900  high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields in the U.S. According to an employment outlook report released by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually. “There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more […]

Read More
USDA Logo

May 6, 2015

USDA Awards $10 Million In Grants To Universities To Ad…

More than $10 million has been awarded to U.S. universities to address critical water problems, such as water quality and availability, in rural and agricultural watersheds across the country. The awards were made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture challenge area and the National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP). “Water is our most precious resource, one that is essential for both human survival and well-being and for our ability to grow our crops and livestock,” says Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “By funding research, Extension and education for citizens and the agriculture community, we are able to proactively create solutions to water-related issues like drought and its impact on food security.” The AFRI Water for Agriculture challenge area was first introduced in fiscal year (FY) 2014, and these grants represent the first year of funding for the program. Funded […]

Read More
fngla

May 6, 2015

Florida Nursery, Growers And Landscape Association Name…

Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) has awarded a group of individuals through its FNGLA Industry Awards Program for their contributions to the industry. This year’s winners will be honored during FNGLA’s Annual Convention in Coral Gables on June 13, as part of FNGLA’s Annual Meeting. FNGLA’s Industry Awards Program acknowledges both FNGLA and industry service, with varying criteria geared for each award. Nominations are accepted from the industry-at-large and winners are selected by a committee of industry peers. The Wendell Butler Award and the FNGLA Hall of Fame are recognized as the most prestigious awards given by FNGLA. The Wendell Butler Award is presented for service to FNGLA and the FNGLA Hall of Fame Award is a lifetime achievement award. Nominations are accepted from the industry at large. FNGLA Hall of Fame Inductee: Hugh Gramling, Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers (Plant City, Fla.), retired Wendell E. Butler Award: Theresa & Kevin Riley, […]

Read More
water

May 6, 2015

Record Low Snowpack Continues In The West

Across the Western U.S., snowpack has melted sooner than usual, according to data from the fourth 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “Almost all of the West Coast continues to have a record low snowpack,” NRCS Hydrologist David Garen says. “March was warm and dry in most of the West; as a result, snow is melting earlier than usual.” Historically, April 1 is the peak snowpack. This year, the peak came earlier. There was little snow accumulation in March, and much of the existing snow has already melted. “The only holdouts are higher elevations in the Rockies,” Garen says. “Look at the map and you’ll see that almost everywhere else is red.” Red indicates less than half of the normal snowpack remains. A consequence of the early snowmelt is that Western states will have reduced streamflow later this spring and summer. In Western states where snowmelt […]

Read More
RedPeppers_RosanaPrada_Flickr

April 29, 2015

Nature Fresh Farms To Build 175-Acre Greenhouse Facilit…

Growing fresh vegetables in the Midwest is about to take a major turn in a new direction as Nature Fresh Farms has announced a large-scale investment in northwest Ohio. The company broke ground on April 10 to begin construction on a 175-acre greenhouse facility in Delta, Ohio. “This is an exciting time for Nature Fresh Farms as we expand our operations to include a U.S. growing facility,” said Nature Fresh Farms President Peter Quiring in a press release. “This development will allow us to better serve our Ohio customers with locally grown produce, year-round and continue to grow our U.S. operations.” Contingent upon acceptable levels of incentives from the State of Ohio and other government authorities, as well as utility rates agreeable to Nature Fresh, the company would be poised to ship its first case of vegetables in December 2015. The greenhouse project will be completed in several phases over the […]

Read More
RISE logo

April 29, 2015

RISE Delivers Petition Urging President Obama To Protec…

Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) delivered a pollinator petition to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, urging President Obama to create more habitat and forage areas for pollinators, and to consider all sources of information on, and contributors to the pollinator health issue. Nearly 600 citizens from across the U.S. signed the petition. “Our petition shows President Obama that citizens want a balanced and substantive conversation to happen on the pollinator health issue,” says Aaron Hobbs, RISE president. “The pollinator issue is very complex and research points to multiple factors affecting pollinators, including pests and parasites, microbial diseases, nutrition problems, bee management practices and climate change.” According to Hobbs, the petition highlights some of the steps the industry is taking to support pollinators. This includes creating pollinator-friendly habitats and forage areas through integrated vegetation management in utility rights-of-way and large tracts of land. “We do applaud the White House for including in […]

Read More