There are a multitude of reasons why people get into this business. But if I had to guess, one of the main reasons is they really like to grow things. Bedding plants, perennials, tropicals, edibles, woody ornamentals ... you name it, growers take a lot of pride and pleasure in the end products that are produced as well as in the actual growing process.
But another thing everyone in the industry should always be thinking about is how they can help grow horticulture AT EVERY LEVEL.
What are you doing to grow new growers? What are you doing to grow new gardeners? How are you and your company informing and educating “outsiders” about horticulture and the many different benefits it has to offer both as a recreational activity and also as a potential profession?
Each year we try to keep you informed about the immediate next generation of horticulture professionals in the pages of GPN. Every May we shine the spotlight on young professionals who are already in our industry with GPN’s 40 Under 40 program. And every January we recognize the achievements of one up-and-coming college student who is studying horticulture with the GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year scholarship.
But as an industry, we need to continually work together to find ways to keep the industry growing at a much younger level.
One of the best ways to cultivate new growers and gardeners is to reach out to them while they are still sprouts. Planting the seed in a grade schooler’s mind today will pay off for years to come.
Are the schools in your area teaching horticulture-related topics? Do they have a greenhouse for students to work in?
Are you lending a hand (and maybe some plant material) and sharing the wealth of knowledge that you have acquired during your years in this business? If you’re not, you should. It’s an investment that has the potential for a huge return.
Get involved now and help our industry continue to grow!