AOS "quality" awards and price?

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
I moved this from another thread


I would not pay one penny more for a plant that was awarded. Why would I? I pay what I think a plant is worth to me taking into account my knowledge of the current market. Supply and demand. Frequency and likelihood of finding something of that quality at that or lower price. Who knows more about paphs an AOS judge or a reputable breeder? Now breeders may have ulterior motives but that is why I said reputable. Believe me there are judges with ulterior motives. Awards are a joke to me. They are for beginners and people who don't know enough about their hobby to be an expert yet. Some judges are good, some suck, some are OK. Some only know one type of orchid. Some never grow orchids. They rarely see enough volume or are knowledgeable about breeding trends around the world to accurately assess orchids. Besides that there is some innate ability to see and remember the differences in color, proportions, size and how they all come together. Most judges don't possess that skill set in any abundance. Actually most people dont. It is probably a bell shaped curve. Why take your plants to judging. Why would I take something worth 15k to a judge? Are they going to pay me to see it? Why should I pay for their education, if they are even capable of being educated. Become an expert yourself. That is the fun of a hobby. Go visit breeders and orchid shows. Join you local orchid society. Judging is fine but just realize it is silly. For beginners though it may be a good place to learn some stuff. I seriously don't know any serious paph enthusiasts who get their plants judged unless it is for some type of marketing for their company. If you are just happy enjoying paphs, buy what you like an what you think something may be worth to you. If you are a perfectionist who indulges in their hobbies put the work in and become an expert.

In addition the whole idea that it raises the value of your plant significantly is a myth. Very few people spend big bucks on paphs unless they know what they are buying or getting. I don't care what the award is I know the value of the plant. Or at least I think I do and that is all that matters. Truthfully I probably value the plant less if it has been judged. Its private beauty has been taken. It is no longer as unique. The picture has been distributed. Also what happens if something that is clearly exceptional gets a mediocre award? You then have to find a really knowledgeable buyer. In addition I would use it against you even though I know that the plant was worth more unjudged. If you get the highest award it neither helps or hurts a spectacular plant. I think of orchids in terms of cost not awards. How much do I like it? How much does it cost? How much is it worth? Am I willing to pay that much.
 

ehanes7612

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
4,320
Reaction score
35
Location
seattle, wa
I think the process of judging is fun..and the judges where I live seem to have fun debating and processing the quality of a flower. A beginner can actually learn a lot from the judging process, as the judges are fairly open in explaining their decisions. But I have only been exposed to PAc NW judges so I dont know about other places although I have heard that politics gets in the way in some judging centers, but that's hearsay on my part. Every plant that I have had that has received an award deserved it, I don't do it for marketing myself ..I just like the process..sorry you seem so bitter about it..but becoming an expert and participating in the judging process aren't necessarily exclusive
 

Ozpaph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
18,910
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Brisbane, Australia
see my other post.

Judging has more positives than negatives, overall. It at least removes $$$ from the concept of 'worth'.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
People may have fun or like it but the previous poster had wondered about value of plant and why breeders just don't get their plants awarded so they would be worth much more. This idea is a fallacy. The orchid zone has no problem selling their high level stuff for big bucks with no awards. Pricing and worth are all tied together. There is always going to be a subjective component. No doubt. Terry priced orchids better than a judging team could judge. Was he perfect? That is subjective and of course he is not. Does he see every paph ever bloomed and remember them? No. He see lots more quality paphs than prob any judge ever has. In addition he has natural talent. Look at all John Chant is doing. Im sure if you ask him he will admit his ability to recognize quality has increased. He travels all over the world. He sees tons of paphs. He has to consider breeding traits which make you really see the flowers strengths as weaknesses.

Judging a flower for appeal has a subjective component. Judging a flower for worth is not that subjective. It is like music. People like all different types of music. Not all people appreciate the most complicated refined music which is fine.
You can say it is subjective but there is an objective component to the quality of music. Complexity, music structure... It is music theory which is based in math. Mozart composed much finer music than JayZ or even the beetles. Of course people will argue this. It takes musically talented invested experts to understand this. You can like what you like but there is an objective component to grading things.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
I think the process of judging is fun..and the judges where I live seem to have fun debating and processing the quality of a flower. A beginner can actually learn a lot from the judging process, as the judges are fairly open in explaining their decisions. But I have only been exposed to PAc NW judges so I dont know about other places although I have heard that politics gets in the way in some judging centers, but that's hearsay on my part. Every plant that I have had that has received an award deserved it, I don't do it for marketing myself ..I just like the process..sorry you seem so bitter about it..but becoming an expert and participating in the judging process aren't necessarily exclusive

Im not bitter I just think the process is useless to me and the process doesn't come close to achieving what it is supposed to accomplish. Awards def don't dictate the value of a high end plant. I thought it was interesting long time ago but now I don't that I have become more experienced. The truth is it is a tall task to ask mostly hobby weekend warrior orchid people to judge such a diverse group of plants. I couldn't do it and have no desire to. I only care about papas and some phrags. That is a huge task within itself. On top of that I don't have the time to be traveling around the world all the time looking at orchids. I do what I can and keep up with what is pertinent so that I know the cost of what I am trying to acquire. Also so I can breed my plants with some direction. Instead of judges I talk with a small group of people about quality. I trust the experience and the judgement that they possess in terms of paphs. Do I always agree? No. Because there is a subjective component. Also, sometime I am just wrong and see that when I talk with them. I mostly agree though. I want to know their perspective. Especially if they are the people either breeding or creating the value by buying very high end plants.
 

gonewild

Grower
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
5,139
Reaction score
8
Location
Puerto Maldonado, Peru
I do agree that the overall judging is too inconsistent to be able to use it as a criteria to establish increased value for the advanced serious grower.

Awards def don't dictate the value of a high end plant.

No, but awards do add value to plants that are "generally" of higher quality. And the establish a registered clonal name for plants that are used to produce hybrids.

The truth is it is a tall task to ask mostly hobby weekend warrior orchid people to judge such a diverse group of plants.

The awards are then of value to hobby weekend collectors. There are 1000 "hobby weekend" collectors for every (one) dedicated serious high end plant collector.

Also so I can breed my plants with some direction.

Awards on plants are still a good indicator of quality traits for breeding purposes. Generally people select their best plants to submit for judging so there is a huge selection process behind most awards.

Instead of judges I talk with a small group of people about quality. Especially if they are the people either breeding or creating the value by buying very high end plants.

That's by far the best way to find the best plants. But how many people have access to that small group of knowledged people? Until recently OZ was closed to the public and Terry did not want to take time to share his quality selection expertise with weekend collectors. Unless you have friends in the "in crowd" your only access to finding plants of upper quality is to rely on the published "awards".
 
J

Jenn4a

Guest
I'm curious.. how do most judges relate to orchids? :confused:
I'm sorry for asking a stupid question.. :eek:
I ask because Dick Wells from Hilltop Orchids breeds some orchids, and he was/is a judge. (I don't know if he still does; I'm not clear on the details.)
I was under the impression that judges were heavily involved with orchids in one way or another, but I never really thought about it. I don't know about judging.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
I agree with most of your points. You would have to put extreme effort in and realistically spend money to have access to talk and learn from knowledgable people. Sure maybe at the mid low end of quality the award adds a little value. At the high end of quality if adds nothing and can take some perceived market value away. Yes awards have value in the sense that there is a documentation of the sizes of segments. Although I have seen this screwed up with my own two eyes.

"Awards on plants are still a good indicator of quality traits for breeding purposes. Generally people select their best plants to submit for judging so there is a huge selection process behind most awards."

The only one I kind of have issue is this. It depends how strongly you mean "a good indicator of quality". Is it better than just randomly breeding plants together? Yes. You have to really understand what the strengths and weaknesses of species are and their hybrids. You have to understand how certain traits work out when crossed. Like color of complexes. You have to have an idea of what you want to see improved and a vision of what the ideal would be. You need some understanding of genetics and statistics. The only way to do these things is to visit hybridizers and really look at lines or breed yourself for a long time. If you are lucky enough to know knowledgeable people they will teach you more than you could possibly learn unless you dedicated your life to this hobby. You just can't get out a ruler.

I am in no way dissuading people from buying what they like and enjoying their hobby at the level they want. That is what we are all here for. Desire makes people unhappy. Be happy with what you have and the goals you are working toward.

The issue I have is when people that judge a plant by an AOS award or debate if it could get one. They say if only a specular plant had an FCC or if a spectacular plant has an AM they begrudge it. I know that in the world where that spectacular plant will really be judged. For breeding and by high end collectors no one cares. If you care so much about quality you should be working toward being able to judge it yourself. Most people don't need rulers to judge plants when they have deep experience. I've quizzed Terry on sizes of segment just as a fun stunt and then measured he is amazingly accurate. He doesn't use a ruler to price. Im not saying everyone should aspire to this. Im saying just like what you have. If you have fun at judging thats great. If you are interested in breeding and quality judging may be a good first step. Your goal should be to judge the plant for yourself. Unfortunately, you need to see plants to be able to do that. Lots of them from different places. I have been really into paphs since I was 22 yo and now Im 37yo. Time flies. I have gone to hybridizers. Gone to judging. to orchid societies. Talked lots with knowledgeable people. Imported plants myself from asia. Tried to acquire only the highest quality papas. I think I have a pretty decent eye at seeing differences in flowers and judging quality. I am a very visual person that is why I like the hobby. I like to obsess over the flowers beauty based on objective criteria. I am an INTJ what can I say. Even I have strengths and weakness within my area specialty of paphs. I think I am very good at judging complexes, roth quality and multi floral quality. I am weaker in certain specific species. I just haven't seen enough. Also I have bias toward paying attention to what I like.

Good points. Thanks for the commentary.



I do agree that the overall judging is too inconsistent to be able to use it as a criteria to establish increased value for the advanced serious grower.



No, but awards do add value to plants that are "generally" of higher quality. And the establish a registered clonal name for plants that are used to produce hybrids.



The awards are then of value to hobby weekend collectors. There are 1000 "hobby weekend" collectors for every (one) dedicated serious high end plant collector.



Awards on plants are still a good indicator of quality traits for breeding purposes. Generally people select their best plants to submit for judging so there is a huge selection process behind most awards.



That's by far the best way to find the best plants. But how many people have access to that small group of knowledged people? Until recently OZ was closed to the public and Terry did not want to take time to share his quality selection expertise with weekend collectors. Unless you have friends in the "in crowd" your only access to finding plants of upper quality is to rely on the published "awards".
 

MorandiWine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
864
Reaction score
385
Location
Loomis, California USA
Isnt the judging system in place to set a standard for expectations of "upper echelon" plants? I come from a professional dog breeding family that has bred to improve off of the standard. If there were not standards via the ALC and various dog shows throughout the country and the world there would likely not be what we consider "pure bred" dogs or standards that make certain breeds recognizable. I would say that this correlation would apply to orchids as well. This is not to say that I dont disagree with the statements you have made or claim but take into account that the AOS is trying to differentiate between generally accepted quality with "pot quality" plants. Surely there are politics involved within the community of judges, it is human nature, that is likely the cause of many professional growers (perviously mentioned) dont even bother submitting.

Just my $0.10

Tyler


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
Dogs are a lot more straight forward than orchids. Look at the diversity of just paphs. The hybrids. Very different. If you wanted to start a PEOY breed and make a standard for it and judge that standard I think that would make more sense. That would be a lot more manageable. Think of how many seedlings are produced when you hybridize. Lots or material to use to improve the cross.


Somethings are organization related. AOS like flatter complexes which makes little sense to me by the way. JOGA will accept cuppier complexes which I think confers better shape.


Isnt the judging system in place to set a standard for expectations of "upper echelon" plants? I come from a professional dog breeding family that has bred to improve off of the standard. If there were not standards via the ALC and various dog shows throughout the country and the world there would likely not be what we consider "pure bred" dogs or standards that make certain breeds recognizable. I would say that this correlation would apply to orchids as well. This is not to say that I dont disagree with the statements you have made or claim but take into account that the AOS is trying to differentiate between generally accepted quality with "pot quality" plants. Surely there are politics involved within the community of judges, it is human nature, that is likely the cause of many professional growers (perviously mentioned) dont even bother submitting.

Just my $0.10

Tyler


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 

MorandiWine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
864
Reaction score
385
Location
Loomis, California USA
I am thinking that this is more of a difference of perception between two similar bodies of "expert groups." As hobbyists, hybridizers and fans of all orchids it would be nice if the various judging groups would see eye to eye on what is perceived as highest quality.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
I am thinking that this is more of a difference of perception between two similar bodies of "expert groups." As hobbyists, hybridizers and fans of all orchids it would be nice if the various judging groups would see eye to eye on what is perceived as highest quality.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2

Too complicated and need too much experience. You have to understand hybridizing really to judge. What traits form a species in a hybrid are not detractors and which are. Like I said if you wanted to write a standard for PEOY and train judges just to judge or even just Paph species or just paph primary hybrids. AOS judges judge all orchids. It is an absurdity that they could do a good job. They inevitably just get out the ruler. The other issue is people collect paphs. It is hard to collect dogs. I can own thousands of paphs, hundreds of thousands if I wanted. These collectors become more knowledgeable than most of the judges. It makes the system less useful. Also even in Cats and Dogs the breeders are more knowledgeable than the judges.

Ive thought about trying to start a paph judging system and writing a standard but then I realize it is just silly. Too much even for just paphs. No way you could find enough judges and paphs are only in flower for a short time.
 

NYEric

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
49,635
Reaction score
794
Location
New York City Apartment
The AOS uses photos and although there are flaws, this helps to establish a history. I learn a lot from going to judging at shows. The criteria for judging requires quite a bit of knowledge, certainly more than i could devote time to at this stage of my life. Of course there are plants that are passed at judging that could be awarded but rarely are there awarded plants that should be passed. If you want to own/breed with quality plants an don't have the means to sort through mass quantities to find the good ones awarded plants are usually a good way to get good material.
 

li'l frog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
235
Reaction score
1
Location
Lake Michigan
Becoming an AOS judge takes between 7-10 years, during which time the student must study and produce formal papers and presentations on a variety of genera; usually their mentors select types the student is not familiar with, so they expand their range of knowledge. Before you become a student, you must participate in your society shows, clerk at ribbon judging, have and maintain your own orchid collection, and have at least a basic orchid library. During this process you have to attend monthly judgings, attend shows in your region and out of your region. You are evaluated on progress you make in expanding your knowledge. You also learn that although not all judges are knowledgeable about all orchids, within the judging center there is a wide range of knowledge which is shared to come to appropriate award levels. And there is research into each orchid flower that is presented, whether a hybrid or a species, to determine what is the norm, and what is extraordinary. AOS maintains records of all their awards, with descriptions and photos for most. After looking at tens of thousands of orchid flowers over the course of 7 or 8 years, a student is ready to have the discipline and knowledge to judge.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
Becoming an AOS judge takes between 7-10 years, during which time the student must study and produce formal papers and presentations on a variety of genera; usually their mentors select types the student is not familiar with, so they expand their range of knowledge. Before you become a student, you must participate in your society shows, clerk at ribbon judging, have and maintain your own orchid collection, and have at least a basic orchid library. During this process you have to attend monthly judgings, attend shows in your region and out of your region. You are evaluated on progress you make in expanding your knowledge. You also learn that although not all judges are knowledgeable about all orchids, within the judging center there is a wide range of knowledge which is shared to come to appropriate award levels. And there is research into each orchid flower that is presented, whether a hybrid or a species, to determine what is the norm, and what is extraordinary. AOS maintains records of all their awards, with descriptions and photos for most. After looking at tens of thousands of orchid flowers over the course of 7 or 8 years, a student is ready to have the discipline and knowledge to judge.

Sounds great but in practive leaves MUCH to be desired. Orchids are too diverse for an individual to accurately judge. On top of that there is really no selection criteria to weed out judging candidates. For example If you want to go to med school you have to get around a 3.7 GPA and a 32 on your MCATS. Want to get into some specialties you have to probably score in the 99 percentile on your boards to have a good chance. You want to complete your training you better do well on specialty boards. You want to go to a top ten law school you better shoot for a 170 on your LSATs. There really is nothing like that for judging. There is nothing to really weed out talent to get to the point of attempting to be a judge. The AOS needs judges. No one is getting paid so it is not like people are knocking down the door to be judges. Judges usually dont see the highest quality plants unless they are breeders also or serious collectors and even then it is usually in one type. I would say the best stuff purposely never goes to judging. So, you have selection bias. Even people with the most natural talent at looking and judging orchids the task is daunting.You need talent and experience. So many species and hybrids. This all leads to a process that tries to make the best of the situation and leads me to the point of the thread that orchid values at the top range are affected minimally by awards because serious collectors dont care if something has an award or not. No offense to judges, USUALLY collectors like that have better eyes and knowledge for their particular area of orchid interest. The collector interest is usually in a particular type of orchid and they are usually passionate about it. For specatacular top level plants an award could only bring the value down to some buyers. An FCC doesnt change the value of something that is exceptional and any other award to less knowledgable buyers may bring it down. So if you have something spectacular you dont show it.

Seeing 10,000 plants really isnt that much. Visit some large nurseries multiple times and/or have a large collection you could see 100s of thousands of ONE type of orchid.

Some judges are very talented Im sure but usually their interest truly is in a particular area. Many judges are lower on the natural talent range. Not every judge can be talented because not everyone is equal and there is not strong preselection criteria.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
The AOS uses photos and although there are flaws, this helps to establish a history. I learn a lot from going to judging at shows. The criteria for judging requires quite a bit of knowledge, certainly more than i could devote time to at this stage of my life. Of course there are plants that are passed at judging that could be awarded but rarely are there awarded plants that should be passed. If you want to own/breed with quality plants an don't have the means to sort through mass quantities to find the good ones awarded plants are usually a good way to get good material.

Some good points. Just depends how you define rarely.
 

cnycharles

Peloric keiki
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
9,872
Reaction score
261
Location
elmer, nj
One point; though an award may or may not increase across the board, the 'high' value (this is an unproven statement in either direction unless someone looks at all awards and sales, and can make a scientific determination), most likely awarded plants 'will' be recognized by the purchasing public, and 'will' continue to be purchased after someone's seeing its picture. Therefore it will have a higher overall value though maybe not at the extreme end of the scale
 

NYEric

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
49,635
Reaction score
794
Location
New York City Apartment
Basically, people buy what they want. Price point is the issue.
If you had the choice of buying an awarded unbloomed seedling, or one that is not awarded for the same price, which would you pick?
If you only buy blooming plants, again, you control what you buy and desire. As I mentioned above, awarded plants have already been screened for some traits that are held to be" desired". You never are guaranteed that the traits will be passed on and will supersede the cultural influences. If I really cared I would only buy awarded plants but I would rather have lots of varieties than a few select ones.
 

paphioland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
11
Basically, people buy what they want. Price point is the issue.
If you had the choice of buying an awarded unbloomed seedling, or one that is not awarded for the same price, which would you pick?
If you only buy blooming plants, again, you control what you buy and desire. As I mentioned above, awarded plants have already been screened for some traits that are held to be" desired". You never are guaranteed that the traits will be passed on and will supersede the cultural influences. If I really cared I would only buy awarded plants but I would rather have lots of varieties than a few select ones.

You mean a seedling with awarded parents? Would you buy orchid zone seedlings now or in the last 20 yrs? Almost none of their parents are awarded. Certainly most of their best breeders didnt have awards. Even if they had awards they dont put the award in the parental name. Terry didnt even know or care which had awards.

I strongly disagree with this idea that awards help breed. Maybe more than randomly breeding plants. Awards may help more for breeding species than complex hybrids. Breeding based on awards is a bad idea and definitely will not represent the best of paph breeding in any consistent way. Thoughtful and experienced breeding will win over the long run. Awards or not.
 

NYEric

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
49,635
Reaction score
794
Location
New York City Apartment
I have bought OZ plants, mainly because i assume they may be better than the same plants from a non-select vendor. (unless it's something I've seen an example of and want one. Phrag Prissy Z5544!! :)) I know that unless i am getting awarded plants or plants in bloom they may well be culls but I am hoping the chance is that they will be good. Unless it's in bloom how would you know?
 

Latest posts

Top