Where Did The Year Go? By Tim Hodson

Can you believe December is already here? What happened to 2006? It seems like just yesterday the GPN editorial staff was in Columbus attending the OFA Short Course and the day before that we were traversing the highways and by-ways of California for the 2006 Pack Trials. In between these two major events so many other things happened this year, so I thought I would take this opportunity to look back at some of the greatest hits of 2006.

What A Year

It all started back in January when we recognized Scott Stiles from Michigan State University as the seventh annual recipient of the GPN/Nexus Intern Scholarship award (GPN, 1/06, page 18). Stiles’ internship experience at Greenstone Farm Credit Services was chronicled in the January issue. It was a real pleasure to see Scott receive his scholarship check and complimentary OFA Short Course registration in July. Our continued thanks go out to Nexus and OFA for supporting this scholarship. Stay tuned, because next month we will be announcing our eighth annual Intern of the Year.

At the end of March, Team GPN loaded up two SUVs to see what breeders had to offer at this year’s Pack Trials. After traveling more than 1,000 miles of the California highway system, dodging constant downpours and mudslides, I think we eventually saw the sun and I know we definitely saw some great new varieties along with innovative marketing, merchandising and branding programs.

The experience was incredibly enlightening, educational and entertaining for the entire staff. You can read about our 2006 Pack Trials exploits in the June and July issues of GPN or check them out at www.gpnews.wpengine.com.

In June, Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses in Apopka, Fla., was selected as our Creative Marketing Award winner (GPN, 06/06, page 20) for the way the company markets its Exotic Angel products. We were really impressed with the way this 35-year-old company continues to re-invigorate itself and find the right balance of art and science when it comes to marketing its foliage products. The company’s marketing practices are ensconced in the company’s founding principles Ð quality, quantity, consistency, availability and innovation. You can check Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses out at www.exoticangel.com.

We also introduced a couple of new columns this year to help you be more successful in the greenhouse. In January, Ask Us debuted with the valuable contributions of Jim Barrett, A.R. Chase, Joyce Latimer and Jim Bethke. Each month, these industry-renowned experts answer your pest, disease and PGR questions. If you have a question about these topics, I encourage you to get in touch with them. Their contact information is listed on page 8.

In July, we introduced Technically Speaking written by Erik Runkle, Michigan State University. In the column, Erik tackles some of the more technical and quantitative aspects of greenhouse production. Erik’s Technically Speaking column closes out each issue — kind of like an exclamation point!

This Year’s Winner IsÉ

Our shining moment came in October when GPN received the 2006 Eddie Award for Editorial Excellence from publishing-industry magazine Folio: (GPN, 11/06 page 6 and page 12). As I mentioned last month, it is always nice to get a little recognition for a job well-done, but that is what we are here for — to deliver the best editorial product so that you have the information you need to be successful in today’s competitive market.

As you can see, 2006 was busy and I expect 2007 to be even more exhilarating. See you next year.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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