Turmoil is the test of leadership. At a time when plants are awakening and buds are blooming, much of our world is caught between standstill and uncertainty.
Yet here we are – human beings and businesses at every link in the landscape chain faced with unimaginable challenges and threats to health, safety and stability. It’s becoming trite to hear, “we’ll get through this.” But I do believe we will.
At Loma Vista Nursery, we, like many of our industry colleagues, weathered and survived the 2008 economic downturn. While it was a challenge none of us will forget, it prompted us to apply key learnings we hoped would prepare us to navigate challenging times should they come again.
We invested thoughtfully in safety and security for our team and in the financial health of the company. We developed ongoing education and training for our managers and staff – and reinforced the stability of our Kansas-grown products through SANC certification. We innovated distribution throughout our Midwest service area and developed leadership tracks to give back to the industry we love. This includes a popular internship program that successfully prepares the next generation of plant professionals.
We are proud of colleagues and clients who are also applying key learnings to new ways of thinking – of innovating – and are expanding on technologies we were only beginning to use “before.” As many garden centers across the country have been deemed essential by their state governments, they are meeting a demand from consumers who still want to create beautiful surroundings at home. With social distancing and economic instability in our foreseeable futures, this demand holds promise of increase. From innovations in mobile ordering, curbside pick-up, e-commerce and home delivery – garden retailers are employing creativity to service clientele while staying as safe as possible.
Likewise, landscape professionals, also deemed essential by many state governments, face new challenges to on-the-job safety and social distancing. With dedication to change, they continue to create, maintain and service public spaces, municipalities and private residences, preparing for the day when “normal” may look a bit different.
At Loma Vista Nursery, our trucks are rolling even as we once again look internally at the ways and reasons for doing what we do. We are evaluating everything from staffing models and outdoor growing technologies to innovative software and webinar education and training. A premiere grower for the Midwest marketplace, we’re looking at distribution routes and service channels for creative, cost-effective alternatives that expand on solutions we’ve already put in place.
As a company, we’re here to help. We’re here be part of the process of ensuring that this industry is as it’s always been: essential. Through trusting in what we know, what we’ve experienced and where we’ve been – our industry can apply the best of its key learnings to a future we may not be able to control, but that we can step into with confidence in who we are as professionals and in the valuable services we provide. We’ll find our footing along the way as we’ve always done. Together.
Loma Vista Nursery