The Greenhouse Report: Meet the Staff

Jul 13 by in General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts, Trees tagged , , , with 3 comments


Plant Trees - Arbor Day FoundationIt takes a dedicated team to grow hundreds of thousands of tree seedlings every year, as we do here in the greenhouse operations at Arbor Day Farm.  

Granted, we’re a small team of just three individuals, but it’s inspiring to think about the future forests that literally pass right through our hands every season.  It’s rewarding work.  We share ideas, we listen to one another, we solve new challenges, and everyone’s opinion is regarded  in the decision making process. This team approach is ingrained in the culture of our unique nursery setting.   

Speaking of the team… we thought maybe you’d like to meet us. We always look forward to visitors stopping in at the greenhouse, where we get to answer a few tree questions sometimes, or learn where our guests are visiting from. This is our chance to turn the proverbial tables, so to speak, and tell you a little bit about ourselves.  

The Greenhouse Crew at Arbor Day Farm

Meet the Arbor Day Farm Greenhouse Staff (L to R): Adam Howard, Jan Bonham, and Kristy Edwards.

Kristy Edwards is originally from the Nebraska City, Nebraska, area and has been with the greenhouse operations for eight years. You might say Kristy comes by her green thumbs naturally, as she once owned and operated a landscape nursery and operates a local tree farm with her husband. She’s very much involved with the day-to-day duties of growing our crops, and she ensures that all of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Gift Tree orders are accurately processed and shipped in good health to customers around the country. In an average year, that’s approximately 300,000 to 400,000 gift trees!   

Jan Bonham also resides near Nebraska City, Nebraska, and has been with us for seven years. Apart from interacting with the other staff members, Jan says her favorite part of  the job  is helping trees mature all the way through from seed to shipping. And it’s a good thing, too, because if you’re an Arbor Day Foundation member — and there are more than one million of you — odds are very good that Jan herself has watered, propagated, and otherwise nurtured YOUR tree. As supervisor of the Membership Tree production line, Jan ensures that 3 million trees annually are processed and shipped to members and partners all over the United States, and maintains the day to day routine to grow upwards of 500,000 seedlings throughout the year.      

And then there’s me, Adam Howard. I’m originally from Alabama and have been the nursery operations manager at Arbor Day Farm for a little over two years.  My background is from the reforestation industry in the South where I managed a regional reforestation nursery.  Now I manage the complete nursery operations and tree shipping here at Arbor Day Farm, including our hybrid hazelnuts program.  Growing upwards of 500,000 seedlings on an annual basis and overseeing the procurement and shipping of 3 million trees is a challenge in its own right. I like the teamwork that our crew has developed in the recent past, knowing that we’re making a difference in the environment, and I enjoy the challenges that come from working in such a unique growing operation.  

So now that you know us, don’t be a stranger! We look forward to meeting and learning a little bit more about YOU on your next visit to the Tree Adventure and the growing operations at Arbor Day Farm.  

Email your hazelnut or other tree questions to Adam Howard at Arbor Day Farm.

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  • Julie D says:

    What a great place, AND a great group of people! Go stay at Lied Lodge (just beautiful) and enjoy the greenhouses, Discover ride, Creeking, and greenhouse tours. Don’t forget to visit their Biomass plant — it’s fascinating.

  • Becca says:

    sounds like a fun job! :) do you guys work year-round in the greenhouses?

    • Lied Lodge Blog says:

      Thanks, Becca — yes, our greenhouse is in operation all 12 months of the year. Whether it’s tree seedlings or hybrid hazelnuts, there’s always something growing! Thanks for posting.

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