Even though Pack Trials is still about seven months away, there are many changes taking place in 2006 that growers will need to prepare for. Some breeder/marketer companies are moving locations, while others are adding another year. Make sure you check out below to see which stops are changing so you can plan a successful 2006 Pack Trials trip.
For the past several years, Ecke Ranch, Goldsmith Seeds, Yoder Brothers and Fischer USA have held Pack Trials at Goldsmith’s location in Gilroy, Calif., because of their Flower Fields partnership. Since the partnership changed direction last year (Goldsmith and Fischer ended their partnerships) Pack Trials will change for the companies.
Starting in 2006, Ecke Ranch will be showcasing its product at its main facility in Encinitas, Calif. Ecke Ranch’s marketing manager Carey Kramer told us why Ecke decided to move back to the Ranch for Pack Trials. “With the changes to The Flower Fields Alliance, the decision was made to not have a joint Pack Trials. We feel we have a wonderful opportunity to promote our products and programs, both as Ecke Ranch and with our branded line of spring plants The Flower Fields. By hosting the event at our own production location, we will be able to better link our messages to our production systems and offerings.” .
Though still a partner in The Flower Fields, Yoder will not be a part of Pack Trials this year, Yoder’s broker support manager Bob Humm told us at the Eastern Performance Trials in late September. While Ecke will be the only company at the Ranch, a space dedicated to The Flower Fields will include both Ecke and Yoder products Kramer said. The dates of Ecke’s Pack Trials are April 1-8, 2006. .
Also at the Eastern Performance Trials, GPN talked to Joel Goldsmith, president of Goldsmith Seeds, and Gary Falkenstein, co-president of Fischer USA, about Pack Trials. Both said this was a new and exciting adventure for the companies.
Falkenstein said that Fischer is looking forward to the change because there will be a lot more room to work with. Having four companies in one space can be a little challenging at times so this way both Goldsmith and Fischer will have more room to showcase their plant material.
Joel Goldsmith said people will get a chance to spend more time looking and not rushing from company to company to get the tour done in a certain amount of time. Both men said that the companies are in the process of working on the trials, and attendees will see a lot of new and exciting things in 2006. The dates for Goldsmith’s and Fischer’s Pack Trials are April 1-8, 2006.
Selecta First Class
At Selecta’s Pack Trial location last year some of you may have noticed a large sign over the door announcing “See you in 2007.” Well, things have changed since April because Selecta has decided not to wait until 2007; they will be exhibiting at Pack Trials in 2006.
Stefan Reiner from Selecta First class said, “We decided to change to every other year after 2006 for a couple of reasons, but an important one was a new product — one of a kind and new to the industry, a real first and great innovation — will be introduced.” Reiner is expecting 2006/07 to be a big year for Selecta.
The exact dates of Selecta’s Pack Trials will be April 1-10, 2006. The company is very excited about what lies ahead for it and is hoping that the 2006 introductions will blow growers away.
Pack Trials is not as far away as you think, and now is the time to plan for that beautiful trip to the West Coast. For a more in-depth look at Pack Trial planning, E-mail Carrie Burns firstname.lastname@example.org  for a copy of GPN’s Pack Trial Companion.