White House State Dinner Features American Grown Flowers Print E-mail

White House State Dinner Features American Grown Flowers

SANTA BARBARA, CA—The White House has had a long-standing tradition of featuring and celebrating American grown food and wine during its state dinners.  Menus and wine pairings are carefully selected months in advance to ensure that only the freshest and finest American grown ingredients are used during these important special events.  According to a recent blog post [http://1.usa.gov/1m9Ipj7] by USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, the Obama White House made a deliberate effort to not only feature the diversity and bounty of American grown agriculture, but also its beauty.  Deputy Secretary Harden’s post highlighted the extra effort by the Obama Administration to feature American Grown flowers and greens that were proximately displayed during last week’s state dinner with France’s President Francois Hollande.

“The dinner celebrated the ‘best of American cuisine’ and featured dry aged rib eye beef from Colorado, trout from Maine, cheese from Vermont, chocolate from Hawaii, and potatoes from New York, Idaho, and California.  The wines served at the dinner included excellent selections featuring California, Washington State, and Virginia offerings,”shared USDA Deputy Secretary Harden on the Department’s blog.  “However, beyond the menu itself an equally impressive feature was the visible presence of American cut flowers.”

Extending the White House’s rich tradition of featuring American Grown food and wine to include flowers is a timely sign of support for U.S. flower farmers.   Flowers from California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida were all included.  

“We very much appreciate President Obama and his Administration’s decision to showcase American grown flowers at this recent state dinner,”said California Cut Flower Commission’s CEO/Ambassador Kasey Cronquist.  “Having the White House ensure that the flowers at the center of the table are as fresh, sustainable and local as the food during a state dinner shows great support to our family flower farms in California and across the country.  The decision by this Administration to source and feature locally grown blooms is a significant affirmation of the growing momentum among consumers for more American grown flowers.”

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The CCFC is a state commission, created by the state legislature to promote California-grown cut flowers and foliage. The CCFC is overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and is funded by assessments on flower farms with gross sales over $500,000. There are approximately 225 flower farmers throughout the state. They produce and market approximately $273 million worth of flowers and foliage each year and have an economic impact of $10.3 billion to the state’s economy. California’s cut flower farms employ approximately 14,000 people directly.