Greenhouse Canada

From the Editor: July 2018

Identifying with the younger generation

June 12, 2018  By Greta Chiu

This issue may seem like a mixed bag at first – announcement of this year’s Top 10 Under 40 winners, coverage of the California Spring Trials, medical cannabis operations in PEI, clean cannabis stocks – and that’s not all. But at the end of the day, the stories in this issue boil down to hard work, dedication and innovation.

Once you’ve read about each of our Top 10 winners (and you may even recognize some of them on pg. 20), you’ll find that our winners all have several things in common: they love what they do, they’re always looking for new opportunities to learn, they think outside the box, and they don’t give up when the going gets tough.

Albert Grimm’s Grower Day speech will attest to the hard work and dedication needed to work in the horticultural industry, but also the sense of fulfillment that it can bring (pg. 38). How many other sectors can say the same?


As the Huffington Post reports in September 2017,1 the results of a survey conducted by Hays Canada showed that 47 per cent of respondents were unhappy with their jobs – that’s almost half of the 2500 people surveyed. What’s more, a 2016 ADP survey (cited in the same article) reported that 55 per cent of those between 18 and 34 years of age wanted to make a career change, whereas this statistic was only 30 per cent when averaged across workers of all ages.

In other words, this age group is more likely to switch jobs, start a business or return to school. So how can an industry that’s facing a shortage in skilled labour attract the right individuals and retain them? Connie Harder of AgStep helps address this in our Business Issues column this month (pg. 10), breaking down what the needs and wants of potential hires are, while identifying some surprising demographics that may be neglected due to age, personal circumstances or other factors.

But if this younger generation simply wants a fulfilling and meaningful life, then perhaps horticulture is the answer. If you think about it, this industry fits the bill. According to a CNN report2 on what matters most to millennials, they found that this generation valued:

  • A wealth of experience over being rich with money. Check.
  • Doing something inspiring or something they’re passionate about. Check.
  • Looking for feedback and a clear vision to work towards. Check.
  • An environment that allows ownership of their work, but not necessarily be their own boss. Check.

As much as I detest being labelled a millennial due to the many negative connotations and stereotypes associated with it (not to mention that I am on the much higher end of the millennial age range), I have to agree that many of these values fit in with my own. Often, the problem is finding an opportunity with meaning.

1 Sharma, A. No wonder Canadians hate their jobs: a lot of our work is meaningless. 2017 Sept 7,

2 Bahney, A. What Millenials really want at work. 2017 December 29.

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