Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouses Acquires Missouri Range from Bela Flor Nurseries


Dan and Jerry's Greenhouse 1

Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouses, #19 on Greenhouse Grower’s 2023 Top 100 Growers list, acquired the Harrisonville, MO, range of Bela Flor Nurseries on Feb. 28, according to Dan and Jerry’s CEO Mike Vallafskey. This acquisition will add 28.5 acres of greenhouse space and 12 acres of outdoor irrigated space to Dan and Jerry’s operation. There is also significant vacant land, but there are no future plans for how to utilize it yet.

“Our immediate objective is to get the Harrisonville property transitioned to Dan & Jerry’s standards, and then determine how to utilize that space,” Vallafskey says.

Vallafskey says Dan and Jerry’s learned of the opportunity to acquire the property in August 2023. They then entered into conversations with the owners of Bela Flor Nurseries to discuss a purchase.

“Strategically it made sense for us to expand into the central Midwest corridor of the U.S.,” Vallafskey says. “Operationally, it brings many synergies to Dan and Jerry’s. The proximity to our customer base was ideal, and we had been looking to expand existing ranges and build or acquire additional properties, so the timing was excellent.”

Now Is the Time to Nominate the Next Grower of the Year

Dan and Jerry’s will start working on general maintenance, including re-covering the greenhouse with new poly this summer. They will also complete a thorough safety inspection. The operation will grow mums this fall, then ramp up to using the entire greenhouse space for spring 2025 production.

This acquisition takes place among several other recent closures and acquisitions, including Costa Farms’ acquisition of Battlefield Farms, and the closures of Panzer Nursery, White’s Nursery, Skagit Horticulture, and Dan Schantz Greenhouses. Vallafskey advises other growers to make sure to take care of their customers.

“We knew long term that we had to expand our operations and locations to be able to scale with growth of our customers, so this is a nice addition to our overall business model,” he says. “We’ve been fortunate to have strong customer demand, and our strategy had to adapt to meet that demand. We were at a point of not having enough capacity to serve our customers as they grew. It could have become a serious issue if we didn’t do something.”

When Vallafskey joined Dan and Jerry’s a little more than two years ago, he worked with the leadership team to enhance its strategic plan. The plan is referenced regularly and updated annually to align with its annual budget and meet customer demand.

Automation is necessary to maintain a competitive position in the industry, Vallafskey says, ranging from production equipment to irrigation system to environmental controls. Down the road, Dan and Jerry’s plans to invest in automation and labor at the Harrisonville, MO, range.

“We have to invest in labor as well as automation, meaning how do we continue to develop our labor to retain them,” Vallafskey says. “We’re fortunate to participate in the H-2A guestworker program, and we’re also very focused on our domestic labor pool and how we can continue to grow and offer opportunities, while remaining competitive in compensation.”

Many of the employees that had been working for Bela Flor’s Harrisonville location also want to work for Dan and Jerry’s. However, Dan and Jerry’s is working with a core crew of five employees before production ramps up. Dan and Jerry’s will add more employees to prepare for the fall growing season, and many more for the spring, including 25 to 40 H-2A workers.

“It’s been fun engaging with the five that we were able to hire now and also engage with others that have an interest in joining us,” he says. “We’re hopeful that we can attract them and bring them back.”

A range manager will join Dan and Jerry’s on April 3 to serve as a general manager for the Harrisonville range. There is already an operations manager on staff, and Dan and Jerry’s is searching for a head grower.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top