We know there’s nowhere to go but forward, and that sometimes, it takes the right people to move an industry in the right direction. That’s why it’s reassuring to learn about passionate, creative and talented individuals who are driven to bring the business of horticulture into the future. At its core, this is the goal of our Emerging Leaders special section — to give these remarkable minds the recognition they deserve for their contributions to the field, whether they grew up in the industry or came across it later in life. For Pennsylvania-based retail garden center owner Jayme Visnesky, who took over her mother’s business in her early 20s, filling the boss’s shoes was no sweat for someone who had spent much of her childhood in the store. On the other hand, there are entrepreneurs like Tara Heibel, who dove headfirst into starting her own plant retail and home décor store, with no formal training in business or plant cultivation, and built a successful venture as a result. Not only do these professionals on the rise show admirable initiative, but they’re also making significant impacts on the landscape of the industry. Josie and Clay Erskine, owners of Peaceful Belly Farm in Idaho, are using their influence as community growers and viral video stars to encourage more responsible and forward-thinking farming practices to curb damage to the global climate. Seth Reed has helped to carve out a place for the gardening hobby in the 21st century with the GrowIt! digital social app, which growers and retailers alike are beginning to use as a source for consumer insights. After years of pursuing other academic and professional goals, Hawaii doctorate student Emily Teng is determined to fill the need for ornamental horticulture research that provides tangible solutions for growers. Get to know the influential new personalties inside — you’ll probably be seeing them again in the future!