Grow Summit 2016 participants formed an action-oriented group this year. One determined to be an active part of moving the horticulture industry forward in 2017. Under discussion during Greenhouse Grower’s annual two-day roundtable event, held December 1-2, 2016, was pricing plants, investing in technology to drive efficiency and improve quality, recruiting young people to horticulture, developing new marketing solutions, and promoting the diverse products of horticulture, among other topics.
This year Albert Grimm of Jeffery’s Greenhouses, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Grower of the Year, and Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Operation of the Year, both attended the Summit for the first-time. The GROW Summit is a unique event where growers, suppliers, and allied trade organizations put their minds together to work toward a common goal — building up the horticulture industry.
With so much talent and industry experience in one room, participants had much to say about the direction our industry should take. Here are a few of their thoughts:
“People do certain activities because they identify themselves as a biker or a hiker, for example. If we can get people to identify with gardening as a part of their lives, they will get their peers to do it, and it soon becomes a part of their lives too.”
“The social part of gardening has diminished over the years. We need to get back to making it a social activity.”
“We need someone from outside our industry to give us a different perspective and new ideas on how we can move forward.”
“We need to think differently to act differently.”
“We need to do a better job of marketing to different segments. Not everyone likes the same things.”
“Online plant sales are set to take off in a big way. Branding is going to matter online.”
“We are sending the wrong message when we focus on instant gratification for young people. What they like best is the process. They want to have the tools to be able to put things together. Our mindset is to take that experience away from them and do it for them.”
“Our industry has an incorrect assumption of what Millennials are like. We want to do it ourselves. People who don’t have the time are the ones who want instant gratification. Millennials want to be able to take their time to enjoy planting a mixed container or growing a plant, and tell everyone about it”