July 15, 2012

OFA And ANLA To Re-form As A Single Organization

In a move that was not wholly unexpected, the Boards of Directors of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) have voted to begin the process of organizing a new association. Following several months of working together in a joint venture, the working group comprised of leaders from both organizations determined it was time to formally explore creating a new trade association. In January 2012, OFA and ANLA announced the formation of a joint venture to support business education and government relations activities. Since June 2011, leadership of both organizations had been discussing the opportunity for and viability of a formal relationship between the two organizations. As early as the first meeting, the idea of forming a new organization was discussed by the joint venture working group. According to ANLA board member Dan Mulhall, of Mulhall’s, “The two organizations bring very different strengths […]

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July 12, 2012

OFA And ANLA Announce First Joint Event At OFA Short Course

OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) are scheduled to announce the development of a new, joint event on Monday, July 16, 2012 at the OFA Short Course. The new event, named Next Level, will be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. According to OFA CEO Michael Geary, “Every individual, every organization has a next level, the next dimension of performance and results to realize. The Next Level event is designed to help participants clarify their own next level, expose them to the ideas and insights to help bridge that gap, and connect them to like-minded colleagues who can support their journey.” The Next Level event will be unique in its focus on education that focuses attendees on working on their business, not just in their business. ANLA and OFA have retained the […]

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July 11, 2012

James Greenhouses Is The Greenhouse Grower 2012 Operation Of The Year

This is the second consecutive year Colbert, Georgia’s James Greenhouses has been a finalist for Greenhouse Grower’s Operation Of The Year. This grower of high-quality perennial plugs and liners has grown by leaps and bounds and currently produces more than 13 million vegetative perennial and annual liners per year. Founded in 1998, James Greenhouses is a first-generation greenhouse business, and owners Ken and Leah James have built an operation that exemplifies current, high-quality production practices. They grow in clean, modern facilities that are designed for propagation. In 80,000 square feet of production space, they utilize mist booms, under-bench hot water heat, sub-irrigation, naturally ventilated houses and computerized environmental controls. All are designed to keep quality up and costs down. James Greenhouses recently installed state-of-the-art shade and heat retention curtains and are planning additional energy saving retrofits. They plan for efficient future growth. Both Ken and Leah have Bachelor’s degrees in […]

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July 10, 2012

Nurseryman Jack Reginald Christmas Dies At 81

Jack Reginald Christmas, the co-founder of Oakdell Nursery and an active participant in the horticulture industry, died May 24, 2012, in Apopka, Fla., according to his obituary in the Orlando Sentinel. He was 81. The following is an excerpt from the obituary: Christmas’s lifelong work in the foliage industry was characterized with the highest achievements. Christmas is well known as an innovator. He is appreciated for his selfless service and as an advocate of agricultural education within the industry and worldwide. Christmas took great pride in his Apopka roots. After graduating from Apopka Memorial High School in 1949, he immediately joined the Marines Corps, where he served during the Korean War until 1952.  After concluding his service with the Marines, he returned to Florida, where he and his father started an indoor houseplant business called Oakdell Nursery. In 1956, Christmas bought the business from his father and went on to […]

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July 10, 2012

The Southern Nursery Association Announces Plans For An Event In 2013

The Southern Nursery Association (SNA), a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S., has announced preliminary plans for an event in 2013. Scheduled for August 5 to 7, 2013 at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), this event will combine the SNA Research Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA State Officer’s Conference and the Annual SNA Business Meeting to deliver one event under one roof. The GICC, conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center, featuring more than 400,000 SF of meeting space one level. The ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train linking the GICC to the airport and the rental car center and the GICC station, as well as a wide array of nearby hotels (including two new Marriott properties on the GICC campus) and restaurants. This new regional […]

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July 10, 2012

Molbak’s Opts To Close Production Facility, Focus On Retail

In a statement released July 3, 2012, CEO Jens Molbak announced that Molbak’s would be suspending growing operations and stop production at the company’s 40-acre Sammamish Valley production facility in Redmond, Wash., at the end of 2012. Molbak says the company will continue to focus on its retail business. “I’ve been looking at this for many years. We made the decision that we want to focus on retail and not growing,” Molbak says. “Our retail store was profitable and it was paying for our growing operation for the past three years. Molbak’s, which was unique in that it offered customers a wide assortment of plants in small qualities, grew 30 percent of what was sold at retail. The other 70 percent came from a network of growers in the Midwest.   “From the growing side, I see a series of smaller specialty growers with unique plants. You need a large […]

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July 7, 2012

Park Hill Plants’ Victor Vasquez Is A Head Grower Of The Year Nominee

From the start of his career as a vegetable grower 35 years ago, through stints leading production with Top 100-level operations, to his current position with Park Hill Plants, Victor Vasquez has been an effective leader with an unfailingly positive attitude. Park Hill Plants has undergone a great deal of change in the past year, and Vasquez has been at the center of everything. The operation built new greenhouse space and added an annuals program to its mix for the first time this year. Vasquez led the effort, using a patient and effective teaching attitude with Park Hill’s employees. This was particularly important considering the staff was not well-versed in many of the production techniques needed for the new crops. “He is a great motivator,” says Park Hill Plants’ co-owner Heidi Berry. “This was a big change for the operation, and we were shipping so much more on a daily […]

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July 3, 2012

Waterloo Gardens Files For Chapter 11

Waterloo Gardens, which has been in business in the Philadelphia area since 1942, has filed for bankruptcy protection. During the court hearing, the judge ordered the retailer to close its original location in Devon, Pa., on July 15. The company will still operate its Exton, Pa., location. Waterloo had previously announced it would be closing the Devon store at the end of 2012 or perhaps after spring 2013. It plans to sell the property. Waterloo’s financial problems are believed to stem for opening two new locations in 2007, in Wilmington, Del., and in Warminster, Pa. Waterloo purchased a former grocery store in Warminster and invested in transforming the bullding into a quality garden center. It announced less than a year later in September 2008 it was closing the new store after the 2008 holiday season. During that same time frame, the economy took a steep nosedive and a series of […]

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July 3, 2012

Lucas Greenhouses’ Joe Moore Is The Greenhouse Grower 2012 Head Grower Of The Year

Joe Moore, Head Grower for 2009 Operation Of The Year winner Lucas Greenhouses, runs a clean, well-organized, high-quality and disciplined operation. His crops are always of the highest quality both in propagation and finished plant production. Moore and his team achieve this top quality by staying on the cutting edge of the best growing technical practices. Moore is directly responsible for all growing decisions for 22 acres of heated space and 30 acres of outdoor growing. He delegates responsibility to 18 other growers and mentors them on all aspects of growing. He also is the head of production, overseeing about 100 people in all. Moore leads the staff by example with a strong work ethic, personal integrity and a dynamic and enthusiastic approach to his daily work. His interactions with the staff always seem positive even when working through a problem.“Joe has been with Lucas Grenhouses for more than 30 […]

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July 3, 2012

Sheridan Nurseries’ John McLaren Is A 2012 Head Grower Of The Year Nominee

John McLaren exhibits a trait every greenhouse owner would like to have in a grower: a genuine concern for the profitability of the company. He identifies potential issues, giving management the information needed to create solutions and put controls into place to prevent problems and unnecessary expenditures. John’s diligence has led management to have great trust in his words and his actions. He leads by example and commands respect among his peers. Although he is still relatively young for someone in his position, McLaren’s broad knowledge and experience in all things horticultural has made him Sheridan Nurseries’ resident expert on IPM, fertility and environmental control. John frequently confers with other growers as well as with government officials, Extension specialists, and others in the industry in order to keep abreast of new and emerging information and to maintain his relationships with colleagues. “John is always willing to share his knowledge and […]

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July 3, 2012

Rambo Nursery Is A 2012 Operation Of The Year Finalist

Rambo Nursery is a wholesale nursery specializing in annuals. Founded in 1983 by Sam Rambo, it started as a mere 150 sq. ft. greenhouse on property in Acworth, Ga., with a revamped bread truck delivering plants. Today the business has grown to more than 900,000 sq. feet of heated greenhouses with 40 acres of outside production. It serves 54 Home Depot garden destinations in two Southern states. Owner Sam Rambo is at his best when researching new ways to innovate and find underserved segments of the market. He incorprated Ellepots into Rambo’s prodution as a way to improve cutting quality. Groundcovers were recently added to the production mix to fill a variety void in the current regional market. The operation is constantly trialing new introductions, both annual and perennial, in order to give customers what they want and what they need. Rambo employs qualified merchandisers in all of its Home […]

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July 3, 2012

Plant Marketing Is A 2012 Operation Of The Year Finalist

Plant Marketing is in its 28th year in the foliage industry. With locations in both Wisconsin and Florida, this operation is a grower and marketing agent of live plants, specializing in the distribution of foliage, bedding, perennials, cacti, blooming and holiday/seasonal plants and is an industry leader in the production of dish-gardens and pre-planted containers. Ranked number 36 in Greenhouse Grower’s 2012 Top 100 List, Plant Marketing incorporates more than 1.6 million square feet of greenhouse growing space with its Wisconsin and the Florida locations. Its streamlined operation incorporates the best in growing practices, and the operation is constantly growing its production capacity. Plant Marketing is a family-owned-and-operated business. Owner Larry Reit began the company at age 20 with one retail store. Today, in addition to the growing facilities, he and his family have two retail operations. Larry and his wife Jenny are co-owners of the greenhouse operation. Their daughters […]

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