In this issue, we’re once again trading some of the greenhouse photos for headshots as we honor seven people who are moving the produce industry forward, whether it’s promoting fruits and veggies on Capitol Hill or finding ways to produce better vegetable transplants in vertical farms. In our second annual People in Produce section, we feature an entrepreneur with a taste for unique crops, a scientist attuned to consumers’ sensory needs, a community-focused grower in the Arctic and more. Read about these interesting, successful members of the produce industry.

This month we’re also wrapping up our Urban Agriculture series with a feature on the economics of urban ag by Robin G. Brumfield and Charlotte Singer, both from Rutgers University. If you missed any of the other articles in this series, you can find them here. And if you’d like to improve your marketing, don’t miss Leslie Halleck's column this month about how interacting with your local area can strengthen both your relationships and your brands.

Christopher Currey takes a close look at tomatoes, the most popular crop among our readers, this month in the first part of a two-part Hydroponic Production Primer. He addresses some of the basics such as varieties, production systems, propagation and young plant production, and more.

For fertilizer best practices and the benefits of root zone oxygenation, you won’t want to miss the articles here and here that address these topics. Then, food safety expert Lisa Lupo offers advice on how to align hazards with risk when you’re developing your food safety plan, in order to remain compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Finally, if you attended Cultivate’18 this past July, you may have seen the new vertical farm that popped up at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Learn more about it and how it came to be in this month’s Consumer Corner. | (216) 393-0290

Twitter: @Karen_GIE