McCorkle Nurseries, Inc. Certified for Sustainable Growing Practices

Staff Report From Augusta CEO

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

McCorkle Nurseries’ commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible growing practices has been recognized by MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) with an MPS-ABC certificate, the international standard for sustainability in the flowers and ornamental plant industry.

MPS-ABC provides a transparent, quantifiable look into the operational sustainability of each company involved in the growing process of a plant. The ratings of each company on a plant’s journey from seed to store can be tracked on the website

Arthij van der Veer, General International Coordinator North and Central America for MPS, says, “I have seen the efforts and energy that the whole team at McCorkle has put into the journey to becoming more sustainable. It is great to see that a grower can, with the help of management reports from MPS, be a good steward for the environment and be able to produce the high-quality products that McCorkle does.”

More than 3,000 growers in over 50 countries participate in MPS-ABC. In North America, approximately 70 growers are participating currently in MPS-ABC. McCorkle Nurseries has been a pioneer in pursuing this standardized and measurable rating of sustainability in North America, and the first nursery shrub grower to receive an A rating.

Skeetter McCorkle, CEO of McCorkle Nurseries, Inc. in Dearing, Ga., says, “As a family-owned company, we have always focused on leaving a legacy for our future generations, including a green and healthy earth. At McCorkle Nurseries, one of our guiding values is to serve as stewards of God’s creation. It drives our commitment to protect and improve the environment.”

McCorkle Nurseries has systematically improved its environmental stewardship in a number of ways, such as a plant health program that relies on careful monitoring and biocontrols, including beneficial insects, to guide and reduce the need for chemicals. As of 2019, all plants raised on site are grown without neonicotinoids in accordance with recommended management practices for pollinator safety.

Additionally, McCorkle Nurseries uses water reclamation ponds for the majority of the 4 million gallons of water required daily during the peak growing season, and conducts recycling and composting programs on site to reduce and reuse waste materials. In February 2019, Acting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Andrew Wheeler chose McCorkle Nurseries as the site to announce several Federal measures, including proposed reform, funding, and policy affecting water use, infrastructure, and quality across the nation.

McCorkle Nurseries also supports innovation and breeding advancements that reduce the need for chemicals to grow healthy plants, both in its own operations and in consumers’ homes. The company’s product mix, including the Gardener’s Confidence® Collection, focuses on locally-adapted, disease-resistant plants that help homeowners create “A Garden You Can Count On®.” Through the Center for Applied Nursery Research (, McCorkle Nurseries also sponsors research for new tactics for addressing pests and diseases, including non-chemical biocontrols, and development of resistant plant varieties.