Online Only: Making The Grade

Our well-rounded industry panel is sorting through the best varieties introduced at the California Pack Trials and casting their votes for the top five new introductions to consider for Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence for Breeding.

Their collective nominations will determine the finalists for the award, which will be presented on July 13 in an Oscars-style awards reception during the OFA Short Course. The panel will vote again on the finalists to determine the Industry’s Choice winner and for the third time you, our readers, will vote on these finalists to determine a Reader’s Choice winner.

We also will present the traditional Editor’s Choice and a marketing award and an industry achievement award determined by the editors. This year’s honoree for Industry’s Achievement is Suntory, recognizing the 20th anniversary of Surfinia petunias and Suntory’s role in creating a premium market for vegetative annuals globally. Our marketing honoree is The John Henry Co., recognizing the company’s vision in marketing plants and flowers with innovative packaging on the grower and floral side.

Our Medal of Excellence ceremony is now part of an Evening of Excellence, in which we will also honor our 25th Grower of the Year, also selected by an industry panel. Key event sponsors are BASF and Lambert Peat Moss.

Before the awards will be an opportunity to win $5,000 in a raffle that benefits America In Bloom. Tickets are $100 each and can be ordered online at www.americainbloom.org.

This is our seventh year having a panel decide the nominees for the Industry’s Choice. We present this year’s jury:

Plug Grower: The Raker Team, C. Raker & Sons, Litchfield, Mich.
This is the seventh year the Raker Team has served on our panel. This leading plug producer has set the standard for serving customers of all sizes with the widest selection of annuals, perennials and specialty cut flowers.

Liner Grower: Mast Young Plants, Grand Rapids, Mich.
This is the fifth year the Mast Young Plants (formerly Glass Corner Greenhouses) has participated. Owned by Rick and Joyce Mast, Mast Young Plants is a leading young plant producer that also sells finished plants. Joining them on the team are Brian Weesies and Jim Raterink.

Finished Grower: The Metrolina Team, Metrolina Greenhouses, Huntersville, N.C.
Metrolina Greenhouses is representing the nation’s largest growers for a third year. Metrolina is the largest single location in the United States and focused on finished plants for mass retail. Representing Metrolina are Abe Van Wingerden, Sim McMurry and Mark Yelanich.

Large Retailer: Bob “Suds” Sedlatschek, Senior Live Goods Merchant, The Home Depot

Filling in for Vinny Naab this year is Bob Sedlatschek, senior live goods merchant for The Home Depot. Suds oversees live goods in 1,300 stores in the Northern and Western territories. He is directly involved with 250 of the stores and works with five other buyers for the remaining stores. Thank you, Vinny, for lining up Suds for us!

Independent Grower-Retailer: The Welby Team, Welby Gardens, Denver, Colo.
This is the seventh year for the Welby Team, which includes Al Gerace, Marty Gerace, John Gerace, Jr., and Willie Knowles, who manages the Hardy Starts line. Welby is known for its regional Hardy Boy brand.

Broker: Vaughn Fletcher, McHutchison LLC, Liberty, Mo.
Vaughn Fletcher is a sales representative and Midwest sales manager for McHutchison Horticultural Distributors. This is his fifth time on our panel.

Academic: Dr. Allan Armitage, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
As contributing editor, Armitage is our own resident varieties guru. His field trials are the litmus test of performance for the Southeast and he is always first to spot a new crop. Armitage visited the trials with Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey this year.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
California Coast

March 28, 2017

How to Follow the Greenhouse Grower Team During California Spring Trials

California Spring Trials 2017 kicks off in less than a week, and our team at Greenhouse Grower is making final preparations before we depart. Find out what’s in store during this busy but fun adventure!

Read More
Cyclamen Allure

March 28, 2017

Blooming Potted Plants for 2018 From California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to give you a peek at some of the great blooming potted plants they’re introducing this year at California Spring Trials. These new varieties will show up on the retail market in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea paniculata First Editions Diamond Rouge (Bailey Nurseries)

March 28, 2017

Shrubs, Subshrubs, and Groundcovers from California Spring Trials 2017

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the shrubs, subshrubs, and groundcovers that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Latest Stories
California Coast

March 28, 2017

How to Follow the Greenhouse Grower Team During Califor…

California Spring Trials 2017 kicks off in less than a week, and our team at Greenhouse Grower is making final preparations before we depart. Find out what’s in store during this busy but fun adventure!

Read More
Cyclamen Allure

March 28, 2017

Blooming Potted Plants for 2018 From California Spring …

We asked breeders to give you a peek at some of the great blooming potted plants they’re introducing this year at California Spring Trials. These new varieties will show up on the retail market in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea paniculata First Editions Diamond Rouge (Bailey Nurseries)

March 28, 2017

Shrubs, Subshrubs, and Groundcovers from California Spr…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the shrubs, subshrubs, and groundcovers that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About …

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from Cali…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Sprin…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Cosmos ‘Apollo’ (Floranova)

March 14, 2017

Begonias, Dahlias, and More for 2018 from California Sp…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Pennisetum First Knight Feature

March 11, 2017

Now is the Time for Growers to Plan for Fall Perennial …

If you haven’t already put in your orders for the items you’ll sell this fall, it’s time to start now.

Read More
Dianthus Pink Kisses Selecta Feature

March 8, 2017

Growing Tips for Selecta’s Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’

Kyle Peterson, Production Manager at Fessler Nursery, grew Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ on a trial basis and says he was pleased with its performance.

Read More
Limbo GP burgundy picotee

March 7, 2017

New Petunias and Calibrachoas for 2018 from California …

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new petunias and calibrachoas that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Butterfly on a Pollinator Plant Feature

March 7, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why You Should Focus on the Functionali…

New crops are great, but Armitage says selling plants by function makes more sense.

Read More

March 5, 2017

2016 Young’s Plant Farm Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More
kelly-norris

March 4, 2017

Kelly Norris Describes How Growers Can Help Plant the F…

The tough plant varieties unique to their regions could be the urban superstars of tomorrow.

Read More
Welby Gardens field trials

March 2, 2017

2016 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Zinnia 'Zahara XL Fire Improved'

March 1, 2017

2016 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Read More
Geranium Combos feature

February 27, 2017

Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…

Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.

Read More
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More