Alan has been growing orchids since 1969 when an aunt gave him three cymbidiums. In 1977 he and his wife, Cheryl, opened Koch Orchids in Newbury Park, California. At this location they concentrated on orchids that grow outdoors in California including some cattleyas. Soon the cattleyas became their major interest, and they found themselves requiring more greenhouse space. A 16 x 30 foot greenhouse and two 10 x 60 foot lath houses where quickly outgrown and a new location was needed. In 1983 Alan and Cheryl moved their business to the Sacramento Valley, and in 1985 they purchased 10 acres in Lincoln, California and renamed their nursery Gold Country Orchids. They have three modern greenhouses with rolling benches and computer controls to house the collection. With 16,000 square feet of growing area and three climate zones they have plenty of room for their plants. Alan is recognized as an expert in Brazilian cattleyas and is a trendsetter in miniature Cattleya breeding. He has been published in the Orchid Digest, in Orchids, the American Orchid Society magazine, and the proceedings of the World Orchid Conference. He is also an AOS accredited judge. Currently, he is Vice-Chair and Training Coordinator for the California Sierra Nevada Judging Center, a member of the Board of Directors of the Orchid Digest and a Trustee for the AOS.