40 Under 40, Class of 2012

Tom Costamagna


Mid-American Growers, Granville, Ill.

Job Title

Director of Plant Quality


Developed on-site production of anaerobically fermenting microbes as a front line of defense for the prevention of pests and pathogens in the greenhouse; Implements innovative research and production practices in the greenhouse like Kaizen (Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better”) techniques as well as Leibig’s Law of the Minimum (plant growth is controlled, not by the total amount of resources available, but by the availability of the scarcest resource”); Made successful transition from academic world at University of California-Davis to commercial greenhouse production.


Favorite hobbies: Deep sea fishing (the Sea of Cortez is a favorite destination) and watching and playing soccer. Favorite food: Surf & Turf — “bringing the best of sea and land in many possible combinations.”

Fun Facts

Secret life: Father is a surgeon who has operated on a number of famous people including professional wrestlers and members of the Manson family.

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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