I’m in The Netherlands because the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands invited me to its Opinion Makers program. The program brings horticultural and agricultural magazine editors from around the world together, and it offers them the chance to learn the latest innovations and technologies the Dutch are employing in various trades. Much of the program is focused on Dutch commercial greenhouse floriculture, but the program applies to agriculture production, as well.
This year, the Dutch ministry invited about 20 editors from a dozen or so countries to Amsterdam. I was fortunate today to meet horticulture/agriculture magazine editors from China, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Romania, South Africa—and I’m probably forgetting a few others. It’s interesting learning about their trades. Most are not as focused on commercial greenhouse floriculture as I am with my craft, but the other magazine editors all at least seem interested in floriculture for their respective countries.
The majority of editors seemed more curious about the state of the commercial greenhouse floriculture market in the United States, though. After editors introduced themselves this morning and revealed which country they were from, most attendees seemed excited and fascinated that I was there representing the United States. The editors wanted to pick my brain for industry ideas and solutions. Most of all, they wanted a report on the current market conditions in the United States.
Until this program, I had never traveled overseas. Nor had I participated in a program with such a variety of magazine editors. But the interest they showed in the U.S. serves as a reminder that our industry in the U.S. is looked to as a model. The Netherlands arguably sets standards for quality production, but the U.S. is by far the top floriculture and agriculture exporter in the world. Makes me wonder what potential is out there for additional breeder-grower partnerships between the U.S. and other countries, especially if magazine editors in other countries are expressing an interest in how things are going for us.