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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July 3, 2012

Rainbow Greenhouses’ Rob O’Hara Is A 2012 Head Grower Of The Year Nominee

Head Grower Rob O’Hara has been with Rainbow Greenhouses for 15 years. In that time, through innovation, incorporating new technology and active communication, he has helped the operation grow from 5 acres to today’s three locations and 36 acres. O’Hara believes strongly in communication at all levels, from owner to production staff. He has set up a study group for his growers that meets regularly, allowing everyone the opportunity to share ideas. He also teaches the growers to think through what they have done to the crop to encourage self-problem solving. “Rob leads and mentors first with his motivation and passion for the crops and industry as a whole. His passion is contagious,” says Owner Stan Vander Waal. “He leads and motivates by listening to others’ input and has the research and experience to come up with new ideas that are effective and realistic to implement. He is an excellent […]

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June 27, 2012

Funding The Floriculture Industry: The Farm Bill

Industry research into pest and disease management, and increasingly, marketing and other research opportunities are available to ornamental growers through the Farm Bill. The 2012 version — which continues to support valuable programs like these — has just passed through the Senate and now makes its way to the House. The House Agriculture Committee should begin to evaluate its version of the bill starting July 11. In 2008, Congress passed a version of the Farm Bill that included a title for specialty crops, says Craig Regelbrugge, vice president of government relations for the American Nursery & Landscape Association. “The specialty crop industries (also including fruits and vegetables) represent half the value of crop agriculture, and neither receive, nor generally want, the kinds of subsidies and direct payments that have given the Farm Bill a bad name among many fiscal conservatives,” Regelbrugge says. The Farm Bill supports: – Funding for pest and […]

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June 19, 2012

Obama Administration Stops Deporting, Grants Work Permits To Young Immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will stop the deportation of young immigrants who meet certain criteria effective immediately, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced on June 15, 2012. In a press release from the office of the Press Secretary, the DHS lists these criteria as: Came to the United States under the age of sixteen; Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum; Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; Are not above the […]

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June 12, 2012

Update: Seed Holdings Acquires Ferry-Morse Seed Company And Shuts Down Operations

U.S.-based Ferry-Morse Seed Company and Canada-based A.E. McKenzie from Jiffy International AS on May 18, 2012. According to Lauren Pratt, office manager for Plantation Products, Ferry-Morse products will be sold under the same name and to the same clients, provided those clients would like to continue doing business with the new company. Immediately after the company was sold, nearly 200 employees from the Ferry-Morse plant in Fulton, Ky., were laid off. A distribution center in Fremont, Ind., closed and one in White City, Ore., will close at the end of the year. The company still has staff in Kentucky helping to produce the Ferry-Morse products and approximately 100 employees will stay to help the company transition through the end of the year, Pratt says. Seed Holdings owns the following home-and-garden brands: NK Lawn & Garden American Seeds Fredonia Plantation Products With the new acquisition, the company will now also produce […]

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June 5, 2012

Visa Fee Increases For H-2B Workers

Effective April 13, 2012, the Department of State increased visa processing fees. The rate for petition-based visas (including H visas) changed from $150 to $190 per applicant. This change resulted from an interim final rule. The fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and Border Crossing Cards increased, while all immigrant visa processing fees decreased.   Although the fees went into effect, the State Department allowed for an open comment period. The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the Professional Landcare Network, along with organizations from various industries, have submitted their comments to the Department of Labor regarding the effect of these increases. The following letter, dated May 29, 2012, illustrates the objections these organizations have to the fee increases: To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for providing the H-2B Workforce Coalition the opportunity to comment on 22 CFR Parts 22 and 42, Schedule of Fees […]

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May 15, 2012

April Garden Sales Mixed

Following a March that broke sales records for much of the garden retail industry, April sales are proving to be more mixed. Spring broke early for much of the country in March, whereas April was more typical, with varied weather patterns. In those areas with mostly good weather, April continued the strong sales trend. “April 2012 is up about 40 percent over 2011 due to the warmer weather and some aggressive marketing we did in March,” says Weston Nurseries’ Peter Mezitt. Weston Nurseries is located in Hopkinton, Mass. “It is right up there with our best April ever.” Likewise, Ken Lain, owner of Watters Garden Center in Prescott, Ariz., saw a strong April. His sales were up 8 percent from 2011 sales, and close to his strongest April ever – 2006. “Numbers are still out,” Lain says, “but we may have set an April profit record. We definitely hit our […]

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May 2, 2012

Judge Issues Injunction, Blocks H-2B Rules

On April 26, a federal judge in northern Florida issued a preliminary injunction blocking the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing a new rule that would have fundamentally altered the H-2B temporary and seasonal worker program. This program is used by many nursery and landscape industry employers to fill seasonal labor positions when too few American workers apply for these jobs.  Judge Rodgers’ preliminary injunction prevents DOL from implementing the H-2B program rewrite, which was set to take effect on April 27.  While the ruling was in Florida, the decision applies nationwide.  The ruling will also impact DOL’s plans to implement the wage rule on October 1 and is considered to be a huge victory for the entire vertically integrated green industry. The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents green industry workers, and many state nursery and landscape associations have provided […]

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May 2, 2012

Dümmen USA Announces New West Coast Rooting Station

Dümmen USA has announced Plug Connection will be its newest West Coast Rooting Station for Red Fox plants. Located in Vista, Calif., Plug Connection joins Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, CF Greenhouses, Genesis Plant Propagation Ltd., Harts Nursery, Plainview Growers and Timbuk Farms in producing Red Fox genetics in North America. Plug Connection has worked with Dümmen for years and has been a Root and Sell station for Dümmen poinsettias since 2008. It was through this relationship that Plug Connection approached the breeder about additional partnership opportunities in fall of 2011. “After an initial conversation both teams agreed it was a great fit to move forward with Plug Connection as a new rooting station for Red Fox,” says Plug Connection’s sales and marketing director Nicole Jackson. “We believe there is significant demand to expand our vegetative program with our traditional customers for Red Fox genetics as a rooted liner. Currently, both […]

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