Charlie Hall on the importance of understanding horti economics
Added on 10 October 2022
Greenhouse Grower: You have a unique skill, in that you can make the idea of economics fun and interesting. What makes the topic so interesting to you, and how do you try to convey that to the growers you're talking to?
Charlie Hall: That's a great question because economics is not necessarily everybody's favorite subject. I've been doing this formally for 34 years within academia, and I would dare say that I've not always been as interesting as people find me today in the early part of my career. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours that's involved in perfecting your craft, and I think that that's part of it is practice. When you've done literally thousands of presentations over your career, you have plenty of practice in which to get better at it. I think the other thing is, I really, over the last 20 years specifically, have spent a lot of time thinking about the audience that I'm going to be speaking to, if I were in their shoes, what is it that I would want to hear and what are the things that are interesting to hear. That's not always easy to ascertain, but it's important to know what's relevant to them. I think that seeking of relevancy has afforded me an insight that comes through when I'm speaking. Ever since the Great Recession, people are more receptive to hearing this type of information. Back in the old days, when we were making money in spite of ourselves, I was the token economist on the end of the program. But now I go to keynote because people have a better appreciation for what's going on economically, and it's a more interested audience.
Greenhouse Grower: When you talk to growers about important topics such as labor and improving efficiency, there's also the economic side of things, and making the right decision that's going to be best not just for the future of the industry, but for their own business. How do you talk with growers through some of those conversations?
Courtesy of Greenhouse Grower
Source: Greenhouse Grower