Tanner unknowingly began his career in his early college years when he started to work for a small nursery in Lawrence, Kansas. He spent his winter planting thousands of bulbs in pots and sowing endless trays of seeds in a tiny hop house. It was this grueling, dirty hard work that made Tanner fall in love with working with plants and greenhouses, and this love drove him to turn his passion into a career.
Tanner has experience working with a variety of different crops; in the Midwest he grew and propagated tropical green plants, as well as growing seasonal plants such as poinsettias and garden mums. He worked for several years in propagation and young plant production for a seasonal bedding plant company, and in Northern California where he would grow hundreds of different cut flower bulb crops.