By Pat Myers
Started in 1947 by Bob Peters, this Horticultural Services Co. tested soil for greenhouse growers and made recommendations on how to produce the best crops. Today, under the leadership of Bob’s son, Jack Peters, JR Peters, Inc. is advancing the tradition of Peter’s family quality products and services. Third generation in the Peters’ name, Vice President Cari Peters of JR Peters took a moment to speak with CannaBiz Journal about how their involvement in the cannabis industry, and where they started from; telling the tale of how a non-cannabis specific business has applied itself to the cannabis industry.
The JR Peters laboratory has been providing outstanding analytical services to the horticulture industry for over 70 years.
Following his service in World War II Bob Peters did not know what he wanted to do but he did know that he wanted to work with plants. After earning his floriculture degree at Rutgers he founded the Horticultural Services Company in Allentown, Pennsylvania. That was in 1947.
He began making “greenhouse” calls to take soil samples and provide on-site consultation to professional growers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. What Peters would do with the results is more or less what the JR Peters is still doing; Peters would diagnose what the plants needed and would prescribe a mix of nutrients based on that. Today, professional growers, horticultural products manufacturers, and university researchers throughout the world have come to trust the Peters family to supply accurate and timely services.
Jack Peters, Bob’s son, graduated from Villanova with a degree in marketing and business in 1970 and joined his father in the family business. With his addition to the company Bob’s role was to advance the company through good marketing and business practices. Now the company had a strong horticulture arm in Bob and then a strong business arm in Jack. Over the next several decades the company became a leading international brand.
Enter Cari Peters, daughter of Jack and Bob’s granddaughter. Cari graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Biology in 1997, then from the University of Maryland she earned her Masters in Agronomy in 2001 and then continued on to earn her PHD in 2004in Plant Science. Her research was always nutritionally focused.
From working with phytoremediating plants (plants that removed heavy metals from toxic land), to how nutrient uptake varies under different water types. She brought her love of plants and nutrients back into the family as the 3rd generation mater crafts person. About her involvement in the business Cari had this to say, “At one time we were all working under the same roof. In 2004, when my grandfather was in his 90’s we all worked together he was the “mad scientist”- or more of a true chemist. He was the guy that tinkered with things and learned how to blend nutrients together to make plants grow better in the 40’s and 50’s.” She went on to say, “That truly is the backbone of what JR Peters is still doing – just with slightly different growing environments and plants!”.
Since Jack regained controlled of the family business back in 1997, JR Peters have introduced the product line, Jack’s Classic- specifically for the home gardening and only sold to independent garden centers. Then in the fall of 2002 came the introduction of Jack’s Professional fertilizer, an enhanced fertilizer line that reformulated the original blends from the 1950’s using cutting edge raw materials, innovated lab-backed science and efficient blending techniques.
Its this connection with the company and the support by their on-site laboratory and research blending facility that is unique to the green industry.
Why is this so important?
Because growers know they can turn to them for help in an emergency. The experience that they gathered in the testing of over 2 million samples over 65 years, is available to their customers through their accurate results and live technical support. They offer all of their experience freely, with no strings attached, making only a nominal fee for running tests if required. This comprehensive proven service has built the reputation of their family’s fertilizer products and their lab services. They stand behind their customers to make sure they are growing the highest quality plants.
The JR Peters Laboratory is housed in the same facility as their offices and their blending plant. This allows them to monitor the pulse of their industry. Their fertilizer and lab customers are their top priority. When a customer has a problem, they make it their goal to provide a solution through fast sample analysis and helpful, easy to understand result interpretation and technical support.
Cari Peters explained that their Jack’s Nutrients line consists of formulas that have been designed to optimize cannabis. “The research started almost 10 years ago on different cannabis crops with multiple growers as well as on different hydroponic crops like lettuce and basil,” said Peters.
The process always begins in the lab. We started hearing lots of questions about cannabis in large and smaller controlled environments. Peters recalled when someone would call their customer support line, saying that they had fifty pots of basil or something like that, thinking that we wouldn’t help the grower if we knew it was cannabis that they were actually talking about. We always did help and that sparked our interest on to develop this crop nutritionally.
From there we started focusing our hydroponic and cannabis growers to a testing program that helps them navigate how to get started growing. We helped them answer the question. “Ok, so I think I have all my supplies, now how do I actually grow these plants!?”
Our Hydro Track and Nutrient Track programs are designed to be a tool kit of knowledge for a grower. Both new growers and those who have quite a bit of experience learn to understand what they are starting with in regards to their fertility. These testing kits create a blueprint on how to grow your plants and what nutrients and additions you made need to use. The technical support team at JR Peters then helps guide the grower to nutritional success.
The research team at JR Peters listened to their growers and designed a suite of formulas that provide results without the complications of multiple timed feeding schedules and additions. The micronutrient packages and powerful N P K ratios were created to optimize cannabis in the most efficient way. Each formula is the perfect chemistry, matched to your water type and environment without all the hype and crazy labels can distract from the science.
Our Jack’s research team gained so much knowledge of the plant, environment and nutrient interaction over those years that we felt compelled to make these formulas available on a larger scale. Jack’s Nutrients formulas are different than our greenhouse blends because of the consideration of when, how and why plants take up nutrients under different controlled and home environments. We designed optimized formulas in easy to understand and use packages. You don’t need to be a plant scientist to understand what formula to use. JR Peters has done that for you.
Jack’s Nutrients is now available in more places with new packaging and easier to understand mixing instructions. “It’s what we do here at JR Peters. Quality fertilizers and nutrients backed by innovative science and customer support. Jack’s Hydro Track is the best and easiest investment a grower can make to get his or her system started on the right path to success.” Dr. Cari Peters, Jack’s formulator and master craft’s-woman.
JR Peters can be contacted at 6656 Grant Way, Allentown, PA, 18106, 866-522-5752, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.jrpeters.com