Head Grower Of The Year: Speedling’s Mike Friddle

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Head Grower Of The Year: Speedling's Mike Friddle

Speedling’s Mike Friddle was named Greenhouse Grower’s Head Grower of the Year award Monday night at the Evening of Excellence reception in Columbus, Ohio. Friddle was an award finalist along with Nash Greenhouse’s Chad Earles, Bell Nursery’s Ashley Smith and Battlefield Farms’ Marc Verdel.

Friddle began his career at Speedling in 1992 with a focus on vegetable plug production, but he quickly realized ornamentals was the area in which he could truly excel. After a five-year stint at Suncoast Greenhouses, Friddle brought his knowledge back to Speedling in 1999 – and he’s been there ever since.

With an education in agricultural meteorology, Friddle regularly taps into his experiences to create microclimates for various groups of cultivars so he can maximize productivity and quality in plug production. He has also been instrumental in the implementation of Speedling’s new MAS ERP system that accounts for every last tray and pot.

“Mike even took it upon himself to learn Spanish so he could better communicate directly with those who help him produce his quality crops,” says Mark Worley, Speedling’s East Coast division manager.

With more than 5,000 SKUs, Friddle certainly has his hands full in Sun City, Fla. But he finds a way to manage while also serving as a voice when Speedling’s customers have questions regarding production.

For more on Friddle, check out Greenhouse Grower’s September 2011 issue when it hits your mailbox.

Kevin Yanik is the former managing editor of Greenhouse Grower.

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One comment on “Head Grower Of The Year: Speedling’s Mike Friddle

  1. Paul Oyama

    Very interesting reading re Mike Friddle. I visited Speedling Nursery, Inc. in the early 90's so it's possible that I could have met Mr. Friddle. At the time of my visit I was consulting for Sumitomo Chemical America based in New York City and am searching for the old file and the name of the person that gave me a very detailed tour of the Sun City Facility. Even then I was amazed at how organized Speedling was in germinating and growing seedlings. I am still interested. I am living in Walnut Creek CA and very close to your Nipomo location. Is it possible for me to visit and have a tour of the Nipomo facility because it looks to be the latest in technology in horticultural technology. Please let me know if you do "tours" at the Nipomo facility. Thank you….. Paul Oyama Cell No. – 925.324.6055