Oct 5, 2017
Discovering What’s Next By Tim Hodson

Earlier this week, the Big Grower Executive Summit celebrated its 10th anniversary in New England.

Big Growers from across the country came together in Wakefield, Massachusetts, to network with their peers and talk about many of the challenging issues facing our industry and find new solutions for the future.

Among the topics discussed during the two-and-a-half day events were product pricing, consumer purchasing habits, the latest legislative happenings in Washington and what it means for growers and how to develop a healthy relationship with your bank.

We also had a chance to discuss the state of the labor market and how growers are dealing with the changing workforce. Other topics that were covered include implementing lean flow practices in sales and marketing and ensuring your insurance policy is right for your business.

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about how they can take advantage of emerging markets overseas as well as entering new business opportunities in this country like the cannabis market.

Texas A&M’s Charlie Hall concluded the event by discussing the current and future state of the economy and how it will impact the green industry.

We would like to thank everyone at Pleasant View Gardens and lēf Farms in Loudon, New Hampshire, for allowing us to tour their facilities. Even though we are already into October, the gardens at Pleasant View looked amazing and the hydroponic growing operations at lēf Farms were fascinating!

We’d also like to thank our sponsors who helped make the Big Grower Executive Summit possible — BioWorks, Fine Americas, MasterTag, Nufarm, SBI Software and Summit Plastic Co.

We’ve posted some pictures from the Summit on the Big Grower Facebook page. Click here to check them out.

Deadline Nears

The deadline to apply for the 2018 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year is almost here.

College students who participated in an internship program have until Oct. 18 to apply for the scholarship.

For more information on how to apply for the award click here.

— Tim


Big Boxes Contribute Big Bucks to Disaster Relief

The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart have all made major financial commitments to support the relief efforts of the recent hurricanes and earthquakes in the U.S. and Mexico. Lowe’s has committed more than $2.5 million to disaster relief this year both domestically and internationally. The Home Depot Foundation has committed $3 million to support relief efforts for Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria, as well as the earthquakes in Mexico. Walmart recently committed $5 million in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. This builds on the previously announced commitments by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation totaling $35 million to support 2017 hurricane assistance.

Meijer Recognized as One of the Best Places to Work for Disabled Workers

Mass retailer Meijer has been recognized by the United States Business Leadership Network and American Association of People with Disabilities as one of the Disability Equality Index Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion, receiving a high score of 90 percent. This is the first award of its kind for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer. “This is a significant achievement for our company,” said Rick Keyes, president and CEO. “We have worked hard to diversify our workforce and create a culture where everyone is part of one team. We believe this approach helps all of us better serve our customers and contributes to dynamic growth of Meijer.”

Retailers Make Move Back to Black Friday

Reversing a recent trend, many major retailers have announced they will not kick off the holiday shopping season by opening on Thanksgiving Day. According to the website BestBlackFriday.com, the Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club, Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club are among the stores that plan to keep their doors closed on the holiday and launch major sales on the traditional Black Friday. BestBlackFriday.com reports that the driver for this decision is stores want to give their employees and customers a chance to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with their families without having to worry about working and shopping.


Tim Hodson

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

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