Trae Crocker
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Trae Crocker



Job Title

Plant protection coach


What professional and/or personal accomplishments are you most proud of?

  • One of my biggest accomplishments so far has been integrating biological control into our existing IPM strategies. This included introducing the beneficial insects, and almost just as importantly, it has pushed us to modify the chemicals we spray to protect the beneficial insects that come to our crops naturally as well as the ones we introduce. 
  • I am proud of the education aspect that the plant protection department provides to our scouts and growers, because there is always something new in the nursery whether it’s plants, insects or diseases.

What led you to work in the horticulture industry? 

  • I enjoyed my time running research trials for my master’s degree in plant pathology at Auburn University, which led me to a research coach position with Monrovia. Most of my trials in college were related to agriculture, but Monrovia really opened my eyes to the horticulture industry.
  • As a researcher at Monrovia, one of my roles was helping with disease diagnostics and providing information on the root cause of the problem, as well as helping to set up a spray rotation. It made sense to go ahead and shift over to the plant protection team.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

  • Problem solving

Describe to a 6-year-old what you do in life?

  • I keep plants happy and healthy so you can have flowers at your house.


What are your favorite hobbies? 

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Snowboarding
  • Mountain biking 
  • Golfing

When you’re not working, what are two to three things we could find you doing? 

  • Going on a walk with my dog
  • Playing golf

Fun Facts

Do you have any unusual talents, or can you tell us something interesting about yourself that other people may be surprised to find out? 

  • One of my favorite things to do while growing up was walk creek beds and catch any reptiles and amphibians that I could find.

One thing you can’t live without? 

  • Venison

You’re buying a vacation package to anywhere in the world without a budget, where are you going?

  • Old Course at St. Andrews

What are you (un)secretly good at? 

  • Cooking

What are your top three bucket list items? 

  • Hike to the top of a mountain to snowboard down
  • Watch Auburn win a national championship
  • Go to the Masters golf tournament

What’s your favorite plant variety and why? 

  • A gardenia peony because it has such a big flower and sweet fragrance.