When Jason and Amy Ladd received a phone call from a young stranger who confessed his friend had stolen from their business, they were floored. The Ladd’s own Lucky Ladd Farms, a petting farm in Eagleville, TN. The alleged robber was their 19 year-old employee who, in the nature of the young and invincible, bragged about how she was skimming from the Ladds’ till and spent the stolen cash on flashy items like a Mustang convertible and multiple iPhones for her and her friends. Eventually, one of her friends was bothered enough to say something. [Read more…]
“It’s not about us. It’s about the mutineers!” This was the sobering advice of Steve Wiley, noted leadership training specialist, to hundreds of attendees of the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA, in his keynote address titled “Performance in a Rapidly Changing Environment.”
At the heart of Wiley’s message were the results of several studies about marketing and personnel. The first study involved the purchasing decisions of a sample of 10,000 customers, who bought a variety of products, from fruits to festivals to limos. They were asked what factors were most important in their purchasing decisions. The key factors that emerged were the reputation of the vendor’s company, the details of the product or service, and the quality of interaction with the salesperson. [Read more…]
Although Frank Vleck studied business, finance and accounting in college, his eventual career as a grower started as a high school hobby. This year, Vleck is celebrating 30 years of growing at his Wakefield Valley Nursery in Carroll County, Maryland.
“Forks belong on your dinner table, not in your orchard.” Jon Clements, UMass Extension Educator shared his witty rules for pruning fruit trees, especially apples and peaches. Clements led a hands-on pruning demonstration at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, RI. [Read more…]
The Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA) held its two day Annual Winter Meeting at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in January. Experienced landscapers, nursery growers, Extension professionals, University researchers and industry representatives shared their experience. Speakers inspired audiences with business tips, industry innovations as well as pest and disease alerts.
More than a dozen educational and hands-on workshops covered landscape businesses management and plant health care in today’s changing environment while inspiring audiences with gorgeous public gardens and plants. [Read more…]
“We’re riding the wave of the local food movement,” said Bevan Linsley, Farmers Market manager and conference organizer. This conference focused on tools market managers could use to improve food safety for a long and prosperous season.
Janet Coit, RI DEM director and Ken Ayars, RI Division of Agriculture chief offered opening remarks at the Farmers Market Manager Conference, held at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) headquarters In Providence, RI. [Read more…]
They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do. [Read more…]
“The core group of customers who will pay the most for your locally grown produce are those who value local food; want to support the local economy; are looking for the health benefits of buying local; and value their relationship with you, the grower,” according to Dr. Tim Woods, who spoke recently to growers at the well-attended Illinois Growers Conference. These customers care about value, but are not primarily price shoppers. [Read more…]
by Karl H. Kazaks
Earlier this year, Maine’s governor signed a law making The Pine Tree State the second state in the country (after Connecticut) to require food producers to label foods which contain GMO ingredients. Those laws only take effect, however, when five other surrounding states also pass similar legislation.
Such legislation has been proposed in over half the states. [Read more…]
CHINA GROVE, NC — “We saw the writing on the wall,” Doug Patterson said.
It was 2005, and as growers of 350 acres of tomatoes, Patterson Farm — a partnership between Doug and Randall Patterson and their wives Michelle and Nora — was being buffeted by a changing marketplace. Input costs were increasing and tomato prices were going down, thanks largely to pressure from Mexican growers. A business that used to be profitable was souring. Something had to be done to save the farm operation.