Apr 11, 2023
Plantpeddler owners receive 2023 award

Mike and Rachel Gooder, owners of Plantpeddler Inc. in Cresco, Iowa, received the 2023 “Iowa State University Outstanding Horticulture Alumni of the Year” award during the Annual Alumni banquet held on April 6.

The Gooders accepted the award from their alma mater. Mike’s first words back to our team at Plantpeddler were “Pretty humbling. Thanks to all of you for helping us live this dream.”

“Mike and Rachel serve as shining examples of people who got their start at ISU, and from those roots, they’ve grown and nurtured an amazing family business. Successful businesspeople, strong supporters of our industry, and now are giving back by helping others do the same. All of us are called upon to help the next generation, and Mike and Rachel embody that spirit of giving back. We proudly point to them as foundational members of the greater ISU horticulture family,” said Jeffery K. Iles, professor, and chair, department of Horticulture.

From left to right: Barb Clawson, Chris Currey, Mike Gooder, Rachel Gooder and Jeff Iles.

“I couldn’t imagine two more worthy recipients of our Outstanding Alumni award. They are not simply champions of greenhouse horticulture – the industry they have found great success in. They are champions of the whole horticulture industry, not just at Iowa State University but across the state of Iowa and beyond. It was a sincere pleasure to present this award to Mike and Rachel in recognition of their achievements as Cyclone Horticulturists,” said Christopher J. Currey, associate professor, department of Horticulture.

“I have known Mike and Rachel Gooder for over 25 years. They are champions in the industry. The Gooders are instrumental in training our students on internships at Plantpeddler. They give back to our students by donating plant material to the horticulture club for projects and sales. Mike and Rachel are also passionate about helping our agriculture educators around the state teach young people about plants in their school greenhouses. I can’t think of two better people that could be recognized as Outstanding Department of Horticulture Alumni. We are proud they are in our horticulture family,” said Barb Clawson, student services specialist and associate teaching professor, department of Horticulture.


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