May 13, 2014

The Top 100 Growers Find Diversity Provides More Security

Growers continue to broaden their crop offerings, provide more retail merchandising and market their own crops through social media, in an effort to increase sales.

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Top 100

April 29, 2014

2014 Top 100 List Shows Growers Are Expanding

Grower acquisitions throughout the year, bankruptcy, closed doors, new operations, reduced square footage and changing business status have reconstructed Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list, yet again.

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Top 100

February 18, 2014

Help Us Find Out How Crop Mixes Have Changed Among The Largest Greenhouse Operations

Is your environmentally controlled greenhouse production area 650,000 square feet or larger? If so, we want to hear from you.

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Richard Jones

August 16, 2013

iPads, Automobile Cameras And The Future Of Your Business

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Breakfast has become a great annual event during OFA Short Course. We get together with representatives from the country’s largest greenhouse operations to talk about trends and developments in different areas of the business. And while the meeting is targeted for the Top 100, there are invariably interesting lessons that apply to growers across the board. This year’s breakfast featured a panel discussion on “The Even-Higher-Tech Future Of The Top 100.” (You can read about some of the highlights from the event on page 32.) Our panelists included Gary Falkenstein, president and CEO of the new online live goods broker, ePlantSource; Paul Pilon, owner of Perennial Solutions Consulting; and Charles Grinnell, COO of Harvest Automation (whose plant-moving robots were one of the highlights on the trade show floor at Short Course this year). They shared their opinions on what exciting new developments growers may have […]

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August 16, 2013

The Even-Higher-Tech-Future Of The Top 100 Grower

As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 30th anniversary celebration, we’ve been taking a look at the current state of various segments of our industry in 2013. But there’s also value in looking ahead at — and preparing for — the next 10, 20 or 30 years. “The Even-Higher-Tech Future Of The Top 100 Grower” was the theme for Greenhouse Grower’s annual Top 100 Growers Breakfast, held during OFA Short Course. The Top 100 program was sponsored by BASF. The breakfast featured a panel discussion with experts in web technology, robotics and production: Gary Falkenstein, president and CEO of ePlantSource, Charles Grinnell, COO of Harvest Automation and Paul Pilon, owner of Perennial Solutions Consulting. Each shared his vision of the future and identified readily available technologies and opportunites that growers should be exploring for their business today. Where are the Top 100 Growers on the technology curve? Falkenstein: On the technology side, […]

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Hermann Engelmanns Sandra Kitain, Chuck Romagnoli and Erin Leonard

August 12, 2013

Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses Reaches Out To Consumers With Merchandising, Web Presence And Social Media

Do you grow foliage and houseplants? If not, it might be time to consider it. In a recent Today’s Garden Center magazine survey, of those garden retailers who carry houseplants, 54.3 percent report an increase in sales in 2013. Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses reports good news, as well, with a 5 percent increase within the foliage segment in the past year. So how does the operation plan to keep the good times rolling? The formula for this grower includes marketing directly to the consumer through in-store materials, a loaded website and an active social media presence. But the message being broadcast through all these media is the same — to inspire the customer to create home décor designs and to educate with plant care tips that will turn timid gardeners into experts. “We want to transition our product from a commodity item to a home décor item,” says Erin Leonard, director […]

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June 26, 2013

Metrolina Greenhouses Enters Purchase Agreement To Buy The Assets Of Stacy’s Greenhouses

Metrolina Greenhouses, based in Huntersville, N.C., has entered into a purchase agreement to buy the assets of Stacy’s Greenhouses, Inc. pending U.S. bankruptcy court approval. “As part of Metrolina’s continuing expansion, the proposed asset acquisition of Stacy’s will improve our business growth as we continue with our 2025 Vision plan,” says Abe VanWingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses. “Stacy’s perennial business is a natural addition to our current product lineup as we continue to provide new and innovative solutions and concepts for our retail partners. “Additionally, by making this asset purchase, we will be able to honor and extend the business legacy of Mr. Stacy as he and my father, Tom VanWingerden, were both pioneers in this industry who worked together on many projects over the years as they both started in their businesses in the early 1970s. Combining the work of these two visionary leaders into one company makes logical sense.” […]

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June 24, 2013

Stacy’s Greenhouses Files For Bankruptcy

Stacy’s Inc. has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection in order to facilitate an upcoming sale. “The process is going forward the way we had hoped,” says Stacy’s President Tim Brindley. “The court has approved a working budget to keep everything moving forward through July 26, and we have another hearing soon to approve a budget through August.” With the company going through Chapter 11 proceedings, any sale will be an asset purchase rather than a sale of the company. The business will no longer carry the Stacy’s name. “We have been in negotiations with a potential buyer for several months, and have a signed asset purchase agreement in place,” Brindley says. “Everything has to be approved by the courts and there are a lot of steps that still have to take place, but the goal is to have the sale complete by the end of August. The sale of Stacy’s […]

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May 28, 2013

Rocket Farms Launches New Interactive Website

Rocket Farms has launched a new website to support the brand’s innovative approach that focuses on fun, creativity and interaction with the consumer. Offering a clean, modern look, the new RocketFarms.com offers a wide variety of information on the company and its products, the Rocket Farms Wholesale Center and product inspirations. In an effort to cater to today’s mobile consumers, the new website is compatible for viewing on all media devices, including PC, mobile phones and tablet devices. The website will continue to evolve as additional enhancements and new information are added to appeal to consumers’ changing interests and expand the product interaction portions of the website. The most exciting and original part of the website is Inspirations. An online reference guide for consumers to find fun and unique ideas for selecting and enjoying Rocket Farms products, Inspirations includes recipes, design ideas, inspirational concepts, and more. Visitors can then share […]

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Top 100

May 6, 2013

Top 100 Growers 2013: The State Of Production

  As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 30th Anniversary, we reviewed the state of production among the nation’s largest operations. Our 2013 Top 100 Growers Survey, sponsored by Becker Underwood, asked three big questions to get a feel for where they see the biggest developments in greenhouse production. Innovations First, we asked them to identify the most important innovation in the greenhouse industry in the last 30 years. We got a variety of opinions, including integrated pest management, bottom heat and heat curtains, open roof greenhouses, plugs and other growing techniques and computer-based environmental controls. Most commonly cited were breeding improvements, hydroponic production and the big winner, automation and transplanters. “It’s not even close,” one respondent said. “Transplanters are the best innovation we’ve seen. To plant at the speed we do now, we would have to put 30 people on each production line.” Improvements Next, we asked them to tell us […]

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Top 100

May 6, 2013

Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The 2013 List

It’s not necessarily an indication of a top-to-bottom trend in the horticulture industry, but one thing is clear from the results of the 2013 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower survey: The largest greenhouse operations in the U.S are getting larger. Perhaps it’s a sign of things turning around after several years of a stagnant economy and an evolving customer base. Maybe the greenhouse industry is just continuing a shakeout, with the largest operations absorbing the production and space of growers who are leaving the market. Could be it’s simply the big continuing to get bigger to take advantage of the production efficiencies size can offer big retail customers and the growers’ own bottom lines. It’s likely some combination of all three. Whatever the reason, nearly a third of the growers in Greenhouse Grower’s 2013 Top 100 survey reported growth. Some of them significantly so. Ups And Downs Greenhouse Grower’s annual […]

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