Welcome to Mid-American Growers
In 1971, Mid-American Growers came into existence. It was then called Van Wingerden, Inc., as it was started by the Van Wingerden Family.
The family built 3 acres of its own-designed plastic growing facilities in its first year. At this time, only bedding plants and a few poinsettias were grown. There were only a few employees, as the family was very large and most of the sons (12) and daughters (4) worked in the greenhouse.
In December 1972, a fire destroyed the production and office buildings. A temporary structure was quickly erected so a spring crop could still be realized. Then in May 1973, most of the family moved to North Carolina to start up a new facility.
Nick and Arie stayed behind to run this facility. Acres were added to increase production. Hanging baskets and garden mums were grown, as well as more poinsettias and bedding plants.
In 1976, Nick and Arie bought the facility from their Dad. At this time there were 9 acres of growing area. Van Wingerden, Inc. continued to expand its product line to include year-round growth of houseplants, hanging baskets, and garden plants. More structures were added, and in 1978 the facility was 12 acres when Arie decided to sell his shares and move to Pennsylvania to set up another greenhouse facility.
In December of 1981, a large fire again destroyed all of the support buildings (56,000 sq. ft.), including all production, equipment, and supplies. By April of 1982, with the help of many family members, the entire structure was rebuilt, and a spring crop was produced. Support from the employees was overwhelming. Their efforts were much appreciated, as working together was the only way to successfully maintain our position, product, and reputation in the horticultural industry.
In 1984, there was another 4-acre expansion that brought the growing area to a total of 16 acres.
Between 1985 and 1988, new production and material handling equipment was installed to help eliminate many of the monotonous and difficult jobs. The table moving system has enabled us to grow a better quality crop while being less physically demanding on the work force. This system allows us to remain competitive in the market place, as well as to make expansion more feasible.
In 1988, an entirely new shipping system was designed and installed to help get the many millions of plants shipped to our customers on a timely basis.
In 2009, Mid-American Growers is a 70-acre growing facility and is considered the largest, as well as the most modern facility in the Midwest.