Big Grower September 2021 - 4

The production line planting pansies for fall sales.
quality, focus on customer service and focus on innovation. And it's
that focus that will continue to lead them into all the unknowns of 2022
and beyond.
Ask anyone in the industry what their biggest challenge is, and I'd be
surprised if they didn't respond with " labor. " From paying your staff to
finding and keeping skilled workers to
maintaining worker safety, it is all very
overwhelming and taxing. But at the same
time, creating and nurturing a successful
team is incredibly rewarding. They are,
after all, the key to a successful operation.
And Todd Johnson, CEO and president,
knows this all too well. He boasts, " We
have the best staff in the world. They make
things happen that you don't think can get
done. They step up, up and beyond the call
of duty. "
His praise doesn't just end in the
production house; it reflects all facets
of the operation - from forecasting to
customer service to replenishment to
But putting together a successful and
Luckily, " pre-COVID, we had already contracted to have 40 H-2A
workers in. But once we had the audit, we knew we were going to lose
people. We immediately tried to hire another 40 H-2A workers, and we
were able to. "
While Johnson was able to recover the loss in workers, wages were
significantly impacted. Todd says, " When we switched to H-2As, we had to
go by the adverse effect wage rate, " which at the time was $14.67 per hour.
Today, Todd says the prevailing wage has
To create
premium quality
across the spectrum,
you need to have
quality genetics.
- Todd Johnson
productive team does NOT come without its challenges. As a matter of
fact, Todd says in late 2019 (pre-COVID), the Department of Homeland
Security performed an audit on the business and they consequently lost
a number of employees.
increased to $15.37, which he will gladly pay
because - on the flip side of the situation -
the Dallas Johnson Greenhouses team has
never been stronger!
With the addition of the H-2A workforce,
Todd says the team has become even more
effective and efficient. " They're here strictly
for one purpose, and that's to work, " he says.
While the H-2A workers are only contracted
for 10 months of the year, the majority of
them have returned to continue working the
following season and plan to continue doing
so for the time being.
As the price of labor (along with supplies)
continues to go up, Todd admits it will
become impossible to remain sustainable without increasing pricing for
their customers.
" Anybody in the industry this year is going to have no choice but to
increase costs, " he says. " I don't see how anybody can continue to operate

Big Grower September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Grower September 2021

Big Grower September 2021 - 1
Big Grower September 2021 - 2
Big Grower September 2021 - 3
Big Grower September 2021 - 4
Big Grower September 2021 - 5
Big Grower September 2021 - 6
Big Grower September 2021 - 7
Big Grower September 2021 - 8
Big Grower September 2021 - 9
Big Grower September 2021 - 10
Big Grower September 2021 - 11
Big Grower September 2021 - 12