September 10, 2016
Now Is The Best Time To Demand Federal H-2B Program Support
Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution spending bill in the near future, and whether or not that measure includes an H-2B returning worker exemption could impact your labor supply for 2017.
September 2, 2016
Why You Might Need An Employee Handbook For Your Greenhouse
Employee handbooks are not just for big greenhouse operations that employ large numbers of workers. According to a Michigan State University expert, they are an important human resources management tool that all growers should have.
June 14, 2016
Fate Of H-2B Program A Hot Topic On Capitol Hill This Week
Following a Senate hearing on the economic impact of the H-2B Program, the House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to take up its own version of a funding bill this week.
May 3, 2016
Migrant Farm Workers Moving Around Less Than In The Past, According To New Study
The number of farm workers who migrate and work on multiple farms during the growing season dropped from 55% in 1998 to 20% in 2009.
January 3, 2016
60,000 New Ag Jobs Leave Employers Scrambling For Talent
A new report indicates that while new jobs in the agriculture industry may be plentiful, there are not enough new ag graduates to fill the positions.
December 22, 2015
Newly Signed 2016 Spending Bill Includes H-2B Relief Provisions
Late last week, President Obama signed into law an omnibus spending bill for the fiscal year 2016 that includes important H-2B relief provisions.
November 17, 2015
Urgent: Your Voice Is Needed On Two Important H-2B Bills
Two bills concerning the H-2B program were recently introduced in the House and Senate (H.R.3918 and S.2225). Both bills address key issues that employers continue to face with the H-2B program. Please urge your members of Congress to support these bills.
October 27, 2015
How Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Is Simplifying Shipping
Two years ago, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses, a 61-acre operation in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and No. 21 of Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers, was struggling to get its orders out. With its range of potted annuals, there were so many skus that it was impossible to get enough carts into the shipping greenhouse, and the crew couldn’t get orders processed fast enough. As a result, the operation was consistently pulling orders until midnight every night during the busy shipping season, says President and CEO Todd Johnson. So Johnson got together with Arie Van Wingerden at Cherry Creek Systems to discuss his problem, and what they came up with has changed everything, Johnson says. Inside one of Dallas Johnson Greenhouses’ existing structures, the team installed a shipping system made with Echo-Veyors, the popular cable conveyor system designed by Cherry Creek Systems. The system was placed right in the front of the greenhouse, […]
September 23, 2015
Cultivate’15 Session Reveals How To Attract Young Growers, And Keep Them
A dynamic discussion during Cultivate’15 between growers, horticulture professors and both current students and recent graduates, provided some insight on how grower operations can attract the next generation of growers, and what’s important to make them stay once you hire them. The session, “Attracting the Next Generation of Industry Professionals,” featured a panel including Dr. Peg McMahon of The Ohio State University’s Horticulture and Crop Science Department, Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co., Dr. Brian Jackson from North Carolina State University’s Department of Horticulture, Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm, Douglas Schuster of Kingwood Center and Courtney Crawford of Millcreek Gardens. The preface for the session is something many industry professionals have lamented for years now — enrollment in college horticulture programs is dropping, and university programs are losing funds or disappearing. Much of this may be attributed to the perception among potential students and their parents that horticulture means […]
September 14, 2015
Smith Gardens Is Developing Growers With A New Initiative
Finding enough qualified growers has long been a problem in the industry, but it’s one that Smith Gardens is working to solve, at least locally. The operation, which ranks No. 22 on Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers list, is the largest in the Pacific Northwest, and spans more than 50 acres of greenhouses and 50 acres of field growing over four locations in Washington, Oregon and California. As a 112-year-old family business that recognizes the need to invest in its future, Smith Gardens has made its Cultivating The Future initiative a corporate priority to attract young people to careers in the horticulture industry. Don Spence, the production manager at Smith Gardens’ Aurora, Ore., location, started working with local schools years ago. The operation expanded its program to local community colleges, and this year Smith Gardens worked with the American Floral Endowment to set up an internship program, and hosted an […]
September 14, 2015
Develop New Growers In Your Own Backyard [Opinion]
One of the greatest parts of my job is having the opportunity to honor ingenuity in breeding, marketing and innovative growing in this industry at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening Of Excellence, a premier event held during Cultivate in July. The work leading up to the event is just as rewarding, from attending California Spring Trials to see all of the beautiful new varieties released to the marketplace to inspire consumers and solve problems for growers, to selecting the best of the best varieties for Medal Of Excellence In Breeding Awards. I humbly learn about and choose the Marketing and Industry Achievement Awards through industry nominations, and serve as a member of the selection panel for the Grower Of The Year Awards, on which we review nominations from people across the industry about creative, hardworking, dedicated operations and individuals who not only love their work but also live it. The Evening Of […]