Photo courtesy of Tom Rose


RiverWay Western’s founder Tom Rose worked for years in the greenhouse industry as a production manager at several nurseries. While working in production, he discovered that he had a natural curiosity for the machinery that is an essential part of the industry. It was this interest that eventually inspired the creation of his business, RiverWay Western, a horticultural supply company based in Nevada.

“I saw that there was a need for a good distributor of quality products,” Rose says. “I didn’t want to deal with pots, soil and fertilizer, I wanted to work with material handling and climate control.”

Schaefer Ventilation was an ideal fit, providing quality products that responded to the needs of both the horticulture and agriculture industry. Selling wholesale to end users, commercial nurseries and greenhouses, RiverWay Western services clients across the country.

The relationship with Schaefer began about 20 years ago when the two companies worked proactively together to provide exactly what their customers needed. In fact, Rose says that one of the first Schaefer fans installed is still functioning well.

Photo courtesy of Tom Rose

Schaefer Ventilation offers a diverse product line that Rose confidently recommends to both his horticulture and agriculture clients.

“They have a very large range of products,” Rose says. “When I talk to a grower, I can go right to the Schaefer website and find exactly the type of product that responds to their needs.” In the case where a particular solution is not easily found, Rose says that he has collaborated with Schaefer to find an innovative solution.

Over the years, the two companies have worked together to develop unique ideas, including trying gable ventilation to cut the cost of big fans and reduce energy expenditures by 30 percent. “Schaefer has always been very adventuresome,” Rose says. “If somebody has something that they need [to get] done, they help find an economic way to do [it].”

A natural problem solver, it’s one of Rose’s favorite parts of the job is working with growers.

“We are not a big inventory company,” Rose says. “This ensures that we take the time to discover the equipment that will best respond to the clients needs, instead of choosing product from our stock.” And their company missions have the same values. “The philosophy with Schaefer Ventilation mirrors our own. They believe in getting the problems resolved in a very timely and successful manner,” Rose says. “They are an easy company to work with.” — Anne-Marie Hardie