July 11, 2015
Get Creative With Grower Recruitment
There’s a shortage of grower talent in our industry — that’s no secret. But a recent employment outlook led by Purdue University’s Agriculture Department, with support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), reported 57,900 ag-related jobs are slated to open annually across the U.S. over the next five years. With an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture-related fields, that makes us 22,500 people short of the jobs available. So not only do we have to compete with industries outside of agriculture for highly skilled job candidates, but our fellow farmers are also hurting for qualified people to fill their empty positions. It’s time to get creative with grower recruitment, and that means opening up the realm of possibilities beyond the traditional channels of four-year, land grant universities. It doesn’t help matters when institutions like Cal-Poly, long heralded as a […]
May 27, 2015
Growers Working Hard To Protect Pollinators — And Their Businesses (Opinion)
Editor’s Note: This editorial was written and published just prior to the news coming out about Lowe’s phasing out neonicotinoids by 2019. However, that news doesn’t change the fact that growers have a long history as good stewards of their land and of the environment. As evidenced by the 2015 Top 100 Growers Report, the nation’s largest growers continue to adapt their production practices to be cognizant of environmental factors, worker safety, retailer preferences and consumer concerns. In light of Lowe’s announcement, growers who produce for the retailer are certainly working toward that mandate; but they’re also hopeful that the research currently underway will provide scientific reason for decisions made on production going forward. When the news broke last year that growers would be required to label plants treated with neonicotinoids at The Home Depot, and that other retailers were mandating growers to produce crops without neonics, I sucked in air and […]
April 10, 2015
STEM Curriculum Ideal For Teaching Horticulture [Opinion]
STEM curriculum in the schools offers the perfect opportunity to intertwine horticulture with learning.
March 4, 2015
Celebrate Women In Horticulture
Women have always played a crucial role in the horticulture industry, not only from a consumer point-of-view, where traditionally our biggest customers have been women, but also as prominent business leaders and owners, growers, breeders, marketers, researchers and matriarchs of industry family empires.
March 2, 2015
Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]
The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.
February 10, 2015
Biocontrols Aren’t Scary [Opinion]
Crafting a softer pest management program is likely in everyone’s future — if it’s not here already, especially due to increasing regulation and growing consumer concern over pesticide use. Learn more about biocontrols to determine how they could fit in with your goals and production practices.
December 1, 2014
Consumers, Retailers Only Hearing Voices Of Protest
Speak up about your operation's responsible practices.
October 1, 2014
Greenhouse Grower Issues A New Challenge To The Industry [Opinion]
Let's rally behind the healthy pollinators initiative. How will you step up to the challenge?
July 28, 2014
How Gen X & Y Horticulturists Will Change The Industry [Opinion]
Seek out young professionals in the industry and in your operation to develop new ways to do business, improve communication and address consumers. How have you cultivated ideas from younger generations?