Few families have done more for U.S. floriculture than the Goldsmith family. It was fitting, then, that Syngenta Flowers paid tribute to the Goldsmiths on the first day of the 2011 California Spring Trials, an event the family first organized more than 40 years ago.
Glenn and Jane Goldsmith, who founded the company back in 1962, flew in from Hawaii for the occasion. They joined family and friends to celebrate decades of success and share a few memories.
In conjunction with the event, Syngenta announced two floriculture scholarships in the Goldsmith name: the Glenn Goldsmith Breeding Excellence Scholarship of $7,500, which will be awarded to a student working toward a degree in plant breeding; and the Goldsmith Seeds Floriculture Business Advancement Scholarship, another $7,500 scholarship that will benefit a student working toward a degree in ornamental horticulture business.
As Jane told the audience of about 200 people: The industry needs more young plant breeders. Her husband, Glenn, clearly agrees.
“I think it’s very important that a person follows their passion,” he says. “Mine was in floriculture and plant breeding.”
U.S. floriculture was on the verge of some of its greatest breeding when Goldsmith emerged and introduced its first variety in 1966. Bright Butterflies snapdragon was the very first variety the company unveiled, and the company was rewarded with its first All-America Selections accolade. Goldsmith’s continuous will to innovate carried into recent years, when series like Cora vinca wowed the industry and was recognized with Greenhouse Grower’s Industry’s and Reader’s Choice awards.
“We’ve tried to give opportunities and create an environment where failure is comfortable,” Joel Goldsmith says. “Because that’s the environment where you find true success.”
To Jeff Cox, Syngenta’s global head of lawn and garden, the reasons the Goldsmith family has been so successful are simple: The family focuses on its customer, understands what it takes to achieve excellence and nurtures innovation. Those are also the reasons Syngenta originally approached Goldsmith as a partner.
Representatives from the Rotary Club of Gilroy are just as grateful for the Goldsmith family’s contributions. Over the years, the Goldsmiths have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for rotary through the Gilroy Rotary Flower Fest immediately following Spring Trials.
“Now, $40,000 is raised in just three hours from Flower Fest,” says Brad Nye, Rotary Club of Gilroy. “Every penny goes back into the community.”
Stay tuned to GreenhouseGrower.com for more information on the latest Spring Trials news and varieties at Syngenta Flowers.