Oct 9, 2018
What We Have to OfferBy Abby Kleckler

I am currently at the AmericanHort board and community connector meetings in Columbus, Ohio. Among other things, this has been an opportunity for many segments of the horticultural market — greenhouse, nursery, retail, interior plantscaping, landscaping and “next generation” — to come together and share their major concerns and challenges.

Every single segment today mentioned labor. Now this differed somewhat with the greenhouse and nursery cohorts talking about H-2A and finding workers while in the retail section we discussed training and maintaining star employees, with everyone else nodding their heads. How do we make horticulture a viable career path?

The discussion took me back to an article I recently bookmarked from The Washington Post: The Horticulture Industry’s Age Problem is Bigger Than You Think.

I recommend giving it a read; it won’t take you very long. The writer talked with Susan Yoder of Seed Your Future, an initiative I hope you’ve heard of that promotes horticulture to middle schoolers. What made me most excited though was that The Washington Post is talking about some of the reasons why horticulture is a viable career option, and that’s good for our industry.

If young students do not have any experience with gardening or have never heard the word horticulture, it’s hard for them to envision it as a career. We also need to sell the industry to parents as they continue to play more of a role in financing — and oftentimes having a major say — in their children’s schooling.

I would love to hear one or two things your garden center offers employees that sets you apart from other employers. Send me an email at [email protected].



Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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