Graduations, family gatherings, cookouts and fireworks. These are events, celebrations or things that make the transition from spring to summer the best. During this time our extended family from all over the country comes together to eat good food, stay up too late, laugh until it hurts as we celebrate Independence Day, birthdays and family milestones. This time to connect in person with friends and loved ones invigorates my spirit and refuels my purpose.
Summer is a time for change, growth and exciting adventures. This is perfectly captured in the lives of the young (or young at heart).
Recently one of my daughters has embarked on such an adventure. She is volunteering 100% of her time over the next 18 months providing humanitarian work and service to the great people of Lima, Peru.
During the early months of summer, it has come to be expected that my mailbox is flooded with invitations to graduation parties for those advancing to the next phase of their lives. These young men and women possess such contagious optimism about the future that awaits them. It’s hard not to get excited for them and feed off the positive energy they put out into the world.
Similarly, at the nursery in early summer we gather our entire team for lunch to recognize their great contributions to another successful shipping season. Our team works incredibly hard all year round to ensure that the plant material that is grown and nurtured arrives to our customers in a manner that exceeds their expectations. These opportunities to pause for a short time and celebrate together are important for morale, unity, and serves as a great reminder that what we do matters for our business and our customers.
We also receive many visitors from all across the country wanting to visit and tour the nursery. We love when customers and sales reps take time out of their busy schedules to come and visit with us.
Technology is awesome! It allows us to do amazing things that none of us could have ever imagined just 20 years ago. We have leaned on technology to help us be more efficient in our processes, mechanize portions of our operations and to enhance daily communication with our customers.
We’re excited about future technological advancements and how they will impact our business for the better. Yet, there are some things that technology can’t match, such as the value of a handshake, the ability to pair a name to a face, or the lifelong relationships that form only as a result of necessary interpersonal connection.
There is nothing better for our business and our industry than when we come together and interact face-to-face. For 50 years the Farwest Show has served as a horticultural hub where professionals from all over the United States, and even the world, have come together to showcase their beautiful product, reconnect with trusted friends and establish new relationships.
At the Farwest Show you can develop your skills through provided tours, seminars and classes.
For as long as I can remember we have made going to the Farwest Show a priority. It is extremely hard to fully quantify how instrumental the show has been to relationships I have developed, mentors I have gained, insights I have learned, perspective that has been changed — and yes, sales that have been made. The return on investment has exceeded every expectation.
As I walk the floor and interact with customers and fellow growers, and see new business trends that are exciting, I just can’t help being swept up in the contagious optimism that is felt. I always leave the Farwest Show excited about the state of our industry and the direction it is headed.
I invite you to make plans to come to the Farwest Show. Come and celebrate, connect and catch the wave of optimism. I can’t wait to see you there.
Todd Nelson, OAN President (2022-2023)
President’s Message from the July 2023 issue of Digger magazine | Download PDF