Last week, my oldest started his first year of middle school. He wants to ride his bike to school on his own. It’s a moment that can be tough for many parents. It’s a struggle to give up the control we’ve had since he was born, but he’s getting to an age where independence and individuality are vital for his continued growth.
I love how he’s confident enough in his bike skills and his internal compass that he won’t end up two towns over. That shows me that he’s not afraid of the challenge. In fact, he’s ready for the added responsibility. Now, we’ve certainly trained our son for this moment. We’ve had plenty of family bike rides with him in the lead, navigating us all over our small town. He does tend to lead us past the Dairy Queen fairly often.
Speaking of education and personal growth, I loved reading about the emphasis the crew at Worthington Farms place on professional development. The North Carolina nursery is one of the oldest we’ve covered in my 10 years here. Some folks would be content to rest on their laurels. But read our cover story this month (pg. 8) to find out why Donna Worthington Williams and her son, Worth, stretched out of their comfort zone to attend the Executive Farm Management program, a collaborative project of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, East Carolina University’s College of Business, Clemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.
Donna and Worth felt like they got so much out of the EFM program that they’ve sent two more employees. It’s a way to invest in the next generation of people in your business and help them be as ready as they can be for the trials that will surely come their way. Every business grows and changes, but not every person in the business grows along the way. That’s where professional development avenues like the Executive Farm Management program can help.
Also this month, we learned how Moon Valley Nurseries has developed an Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) program (pg. 52). This multi-state grower and retailer asked its staff to develop 10 critical topics for the program to address. The results included initiatives such as employee health and safety, water management, supply chain management, business ethics, and even cybersecurity.
And please check out our State of the Industry report (starts on pg. 30). Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our survey questions. The report wouldn’t be as comprehensive without you.