Give thanks, repeat

Columns - Viewpoint

December 9, 2013


Kelli Rodda


The more years I spend in this fourth decade (ahem!), the more time I spend in a state of thanksgiving. I’m thankful for my family, dear friends and my health – the list is too long to share here.

I’m also thankful to work in such a thoughtful and considerate industry. December 2013 marks my 13th year covering nurseries and greenhouses. I remember with fondness how kind everyone was to me as I learned the industry terminology, and how people patiently explained the basics of production.

I’m thankful, as I’m sure each of you are, for an industry who readily shares business practices. In the five years I covered commercial real estate for a business journal, I don’t ever recall a commercial agent telling another agent how he landed that big sale. During the last 13 years, I’ve been in rooms packed with growers who, without hesitation, share how to improve a production method, grow a better plant or boost marketing.

A truly thankful man

And it’s this type of sharing that gets me jazzed about our December issue. It’s our Grower of the Year issue, and this year we recognize Dan Batson of GreenForest Nursery in Perkinston, Miss. (Story on page 16.)

Batson has spent the bulk of his career sharing information to lift up the entire industry. He’s not content gleaning information from others to solely build his business. Whether at an ANLA event, a WGNA meeting or an SNA conference, he is at the ready with an answer to a question or a solution to a problem for a fellow grower. During our interview, he said he was thankful for his family and staff, who help make GreenForest a leader in the industry.

“I couldn’t do it without my wife and business partner, Kathy,” he said. “And our staff, including our son Brad, who joined the business in 2012, that dedicate their time and add value to the company.”

Batson is thankful that he still enjoys the nursery business and what it brings to his life from day to day.

“I love being a part of helping people grow, both GFN’s personnel and our customers, by having a financially stable company and supplying products that help our customers be successful,” he said. “I still truly enjoy horticulture. It’s in my blood.”

Learn more about Dan’s innovations such as the simple system that keeps pots from blowing over, the low-bed trailers his crew helped design and the way the nursery eliminates the entire shift-up process.

Pass it on

When you hit the trade show junket in 2014, remember to give thanks for such a considerate and selfless group of people that permeate this industry. We’re all on this journey together, so we may as well live that Golden Rule and give one another a hand.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward


See you on the road

We can’t be everywhere in January – and there are plenty of great shows and conferences to attend – but we’re making a few stops to kick off the year.

Please come see us at MANTS in Baltimore Jan. 8-10; CENTS in Columbus Jan. 13-15; and Next Level Jan. 29-31 in New Orleans. (For more show dates, see our wall calendar that’s tipped in to this issue.)