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Speaker: Tom Wheeler, Director of Growing Operations

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    Educational Programs @ Cultivate'22

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    Tom Wheeler, Director of Growing Operations at Bell Nursery USA  
    Tom Wheeler of Bell Nursery USA (Burtonsville, Md.), Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of the Year and winner of its Excellence In Leadership award, works hard, leads by example, never cuts corners and refuses to compromise on top quality — all the characteristics of a great leader. Perhaps most important for our industry, he is a natural-born mentor, well-suited to cultivating future growers.

    Wheeler manages Bell Nursery’s in-house production. He is also responsible for Bell’s network of farm families, which represent 50 acres of production in Maryland. Wheeler has substantially improved the quality of growing operations at Bell Nursery, to the point that shipped quality is the same from any Bell facility, regardless of location. Under Wheeler’s direction, Bell Nursery has been able to cut water usage at outdoor facilities by 70 percent by moving from sprinklers to drip irrigation. And he led the charge six years ago during Bell’s first ‘Veriflora Sustainably Grown’ certification, which the company continues to maintain each year.

    Bell Nursery is an innovative company focused on growing superior quality flowers and plants, and seeing their care through retail at The Home Depot. Bell is the largest wholesale nursery grower in the mid-Atlantic, producing and shipping tens of millions of plants each year. Bell’s dedicated merchandising team is also on-site to manage deliveries and care for the plants along with Home Depot garden associates until they are in customers’ hands.

    Bell’s environmental strategies are considered by many to be industry best practices, and in 2014 Bell was the first large grower nationally to eliminate neoniconitoids from its integrated pest management toolbox, as concerns were raised that the otherwise safe class of chemicals could possibly be harming bees. Many other growers have since followed this example, and The Home Depot was the first retailer anywhere to require tags in plants that advise consumers if the plants are treated with this chemical, at any time during the production phase.

    Address:     3838 Bell Rd, Burtonsville, MD 20866
    Email:     Contact:  
    Phone:    (301) 421-1500   FAX: