Randy Strode – 2018 FNGLA Landscape Show Interview

I’m Randy Strode. I started Agrow Starts, a plant tissue culture company 35 years ago
and today I’ve got a wonderful staff of 120 people so I don’t have to do a lot
other than people skills and retain and keep good talent so, my son, Ty, is running the company. I gave him the title of president and
CEO this last year and I’m vice president now. I might say I’m a highly
paid consultant, or whatever, and my job, as I see it today, is to retain the
talent which is sort of insulating the business insulating Ty so that the
business continues to move forward. (Alex: What do you find as being the most rewarding part of your job?) Probably one of the most rewarding
things is watching these young people grow develop, develop, their skills and
talent because most of our key people today have been with us five or six
years and we got them right out of college. We used to be somewhat of a
stepping-stone for young people because this was a small company and we could
train them in a lot of different areas but today it’s been explained to me by
my son and we’re no longer a stepping-stone we are a destination so I
have developed a number of retention tools too you know to keep this talent in the company so that’s mainly what I do is a
lot of human resource stuff. The careers in horticulture today or
agriculture in a broader sense is just huge today it’s a wonderful opportunity
the tremendous technology is coming in to not only horticulture but
agriculture as a whole. These kids are skilled with this
technology and one short story, Brian, a mechanical engineer, went to work for
us found out his two buddies with one way to work for large Marietta another
one for a big engineering firm up north and they’re in a cubicle and they hate
their jobs and Brian his hands on developing his proof of concept of
labor-saving devices for our laboratory and he’s having a ball. So, yeah, there’s just a tremendous opportunity to be hands-on if your hands-on type person. (Alex: okay. Well perfect! thank you very much, Randy.)
Your welcome.