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June 21, 2011
One of my favorite meetings each year to attend and speak at is the Big Grower Executive Summit, and this year’s meeting in Miami was no exception. Besides the information provided by the noted speakers, the informal interaction among the...
June 21, 2011
At the 2011 Big Grower Executive Summit, we discussed how, in 2010, we saw a “wave” election, brought about by a restive American people worried about Congressional overreach, federal spending and the role of government in our lives. Wave elections...
June 21, 2011
I’m often asked to explain what I do for a living. In short, I specialize in asking questions among consumers and then converting those insights into marketing strategies. Oftentimes, we’re guilty of asking the same questions among the same type of...
June 21, 2011
If you are in the horticulture business in North America, then you already know that Costa Farms is a big grower — in fact, the Miami-based company is the largest grower of indoor plants in North America. The company specializes in foliage and...
March 10, 2011
About five years ago, with the advent of pay-by-scan and supplier-managed inventories, I was with a buyer from one of the big box retailers when he made very clear to an assembled group of greenhouse employees that their perception of reality needed...
March 10, 2011
Economics is called the dismal science because it acknowledges that we live in a world of limited resources. This implies that we have to make trade-offs — if we want to consume more of A, we must give up some of B; we simply can’t have it all....
March 10, 2011
Like many greenhouse growers today, Mark Elzinga was first introduced to the business as a child. He learned early on, working at his father’s facility Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses in Portage, Mich., what was necessary for sustaining a...
January 12, 2011
By taking risks and focusing on value, Rocket Farms’ production has grown substantially. When opportunity knocks, this big grower is prepared and ready to move forward. Rocket Farms, headquartered in Salinas, Calif., was founded about 20 years ago...
January 12, 2011
The recovery remained lackluster in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth coming in at around 2 percent. We should, however, start to see the economy begin to re-accelerate in 2011. Consumer spending is...
January 12, 2011
 
December 06, 2010
In the past few weeks we have once again seen our industry consolidate and contract — Hines Nurseries filing for reorganization for the second time in two years, Weeks and J&P Roses filing bankruptcy, Iseli Nurseries filing for bankruptcy, and...
December 06, 2010
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared recently that the so-called great recession actually ended in June of 2009. The popular press has been largely panning this pronouncement, saying that it is out of touch with Main Street where...
December 06, 2010
“Location. Location. Location.” That is the mantra of the real estate world. It’s also a pretty good motto for Norwin Heimos, the patriarch of N.G. Heimos Greenhouses in Millstadt, Ill. The large multifaceted grower has been growing and delivering...
September 13, 2010
GPN magazine recently invited me to be a panelist at a presentation about the state of the industry during this year’s OFA Short Course. Prior to the show, GPN and OFA — and Association of Horticulture Professionals — sent a survey out to growers...
September 13, 2010
A fairly widespread national economic recovery has been under way for almost a year. The pace of growth was strongest in the fourth quarter of 2009, which helped achieve a growth rate of almost 4 percent in the second half of last year. However, the...
September 13, 2010
The wholesale value of U.S. floriculture products decreased 4 percent from 2006 to 2009. While the decrease is not good, some may feel surprised the loss hasn’t been more dramatic. Most are probably now convinced that we are not a recession-proof...
September 13, 2010
Susie Raker-Zimmerman is not Gerry Raker’s daughter. She is his niece. Her father, Dave (who recently retired from C. Raker & Sons), is Gerry’s brother. But one of these days, Raker-Zimmerman jokes, she is going to get herself a T-shirt that...
June 14, 2010
We have worked and sacrificed to get to the top of the mountain. Let’s not forget that getting down often claims more victims. I recently read Into Thin Air, which is about an ill-fated expedition to climb Mount Everest. I was fascinated by the...
June 14, 2010
When spring started, the air was filled with anticipation of the pent-up consumer demand that was about to be unleashed. Two-thirds of growers responding to industry surveys indicated that business was “OK” or better (16 percent said it was good or...
June 14, 2010
In spite of the economic downturn, Wisconsin-based Plant Marketing continues to grow in more ways than one. As you drive through the rolling hills of west central Wisconsin, one of the last sights you might expect to see is 33 shiny new greenhouses...