Labour and staff shortages in horticulture are not a new problem. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) found that labour shortages cost the greenhouse industry more than $100 million. Yet we’re seeing a growing interest in sustainability, food security and, especially in the wake of the pandemic, plants and gardening. In fact, the Canadian Garden Council has declared 2022 to be the Year of the Garden.
Horticulture seems to be having a moment. So what can we do as a sector to attract and retain the next generation of talent and generate interest about careers in horticulture? Greenhouse Canada magazine and Fruit & Vegetable magazine sought to answer these questions.
The new Growing Horticulture roundtable series hears from growers, educators and sector partners about the challenges and opportunities faced by Canadian horticulture when it comes to hiring and retaining new employees.
“One spur of COVID has been an insurgence of people to these small towns,” said Dusty Zamecnik of EZ Grow Farms. “Tillsonburg is getting a Starbucks now. I think that just helped my hiring by 25 per cent! That small towns are getting this boost of energy as of late creates a lot of opportunities.”
A.M.A. was proud to sponsor this series as part of commitment to the next generation of growers and our vision to cultivate the future of horticulture. A.M.A.’s Connie Bradt and Elise Johnson had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Greenhouse Canada editor, Greta Chiu, and share some of our thoughts on engaging the next generation, the kinds of skills and talent we look for, and ways to generate interest in horticulture careers.
Thank You Panelists
“Agriculture is an incredibly exciting sector with so much change happening,” said Stephanie Slaman of John Slaman Greenhouses.
We couldn’t agree more! A big thanks to the panelists who gave their time and experience to this roundtable discussion.
Stephanie Slaman of John Slaman Greenhouses, Ont.
Dusty Zamecnik of EZ Grow Farms, Ont.
Kim Wickwire of Olds College, Alta.
Laura Bryce of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, B.C.
Niki Bennett of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, Ont.
Tania Humphrey of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Ont.
Thanks also to Greenhouse Canada magazine and Fruit & Vegetable magazine for moving the needle on this conversation and showing support for the next generation of horticultural talent. Now let’s keep the conversation going!
We want A.M.A. to be a place where people want to be, whether you’re a team member, a customer or a partner in the industry.
“Culture is a key word for us. We work as a team to find solutions and the brainstorming that happens here is always exhilarating,” said Connie Bradt, co-owner of A.M.A. “You can just feel the energy here, and people see that.”
When it comes to building a strong team, we are always looking for talented people with a passion for horticulture, an excitement for innovation and solutions-driven thinking, and a thirst to learn. Learn more about our approach to hiring talent, the kinds of skills and traits we’re looking for, and our thoughts on culture in this video and see our current opportunities.