David L. Pruitt, a horticulture consultant and former flower farmer, has been named the interim CEO and ambassador of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) by the organization’s board of commissioners. Pruitt, a past chair and one of the founders of CCFC, will take the helm on July 15. 

Dave Pruitt is welcomed as the interim CEO and ambassador
by June Van Wingerden, Chair of the CCFC Board.

For the past five years, Pruitt has represented International Horticultural Technologies in business development, sales and technical support. He was previously the general manager of Ball Tagawa Growers, and spent 25 years as a flower farmer and owner of Sea Coast Greenhouses in San Diego County. 

He currently serves on the board of the Kee Kitiyama Research Foundation, the Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association and the Agriculture Liaison Advisory Board that advises the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, along with a host of other volunteer roles in the agriculture and cut flower industries. He’s also served on the Growers Council and Membership Committee for the Society of American Florists, and is a past member of the Cal Poly Advisory Council for Horticulture and Row Crops.

During his time as a flower farmer, Pruitt helped establish the San Diego Flower Auction and served on its board of directors. 

As one of the founders of the CCFC, Dave Pruitt shared the history of the Commission
at the celebration of the CCFC’s 25th Anniversary in 2015. Photo by Linda Blue.

“I’m thrilled to have Dave come on board as the interim CCFC executive officer. He has a depth and breadth of experience in the floral industry and a strong connection to the commission. We feel very fortunate that he was available to step into this role,” said CCFC Chair June Van Wingerden.

“As one of the founders of CCFC, I take pride and passion in coming back to support my fellow farmers as the interim CEO. I’ll continue the work to build on the incredible momentum the CCFC has created in the promotion of and advocacy for our flower and foliage farms,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt will lead CCFC until the search for a new executive, currently underway, is complete. 

# # #

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org. 

These Videos Are A Feast For the Eyes!

Life’s celebrations always require a few things. Photos, videos and flowers! 

As California Grown Flowers Month comes to an end, we just had to share some of the most gorgeous videos featuring California Grow Flowers. 

These videos showcase the quality, diversity and breathtaking nature of the flowers and foliage grown by California flower farmers. 

Why not take a few minutes to bask in the beauty? 

Think of it as a meditation on the flower bounty grown right here in California! 

Watch now and get inspired!

June is California Grown Flowers Month
Meet Your California Flower Farmer
What Makes California Unique!
Flower Farmer Family Stories

Dutch Lane’ Tulip Named In His Honor

A special breed of tulip has been named after Lane DeVries, president and CEO of The Sun Valley Group, at the International Floriculture Expo (IFE) in Miami Beach. This is the first time a flower farmer has been recognized with this honor.  

Called “Dutch Lane,” the new tulip is a crossbreed of Prominence X Ballerina and X Tres Chic from Vertuco BV.

Photos courtesy of The Sun Valley Group.

According to IFE, “Flower-naming events are a venerated tradition in Europe and the International Floriculture Expo feels privileged to bring this tradition stateside at the 10th Annual Flower Naming Ceremony! This ceremony honors floral industry pioneers who have made a significant impact over the course of their career.”

Honorees are chosen by a panel of floral industry leaders.

DeVries is a fourth generation tulip farmer who was born in Holland and immigrated to the U.S. in 1983.  

During the flower-naming ceremony, DeVries was recognized for being a “humble and gracious person with a continuous positive attitude, even when faced with some of the greatest challenges a business or person can face.”

Also noted were his constant innovation in the flower industry, his service to many flower-related organizations, his pioneering sustainability efforts, his love for data to drive decision-making and his award-winning effort to establish Women’s Day in the U.S.

DeVries helped usher in the American Grown Flower movement by becoming the first farm to become Certified American Grown. He’s also a past chair and a Commissioner of the California Cut Flowers Commission (CCFC) and a member of the Certified American Grown Council.

After 12 years of leadership, Kasey Cronquist is stepping down as CEO and ambassador of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). His last day will be July 12.

Kasey Cronquist has served the flower flowers of California for twelve years as the CEO and ambassador of the CCFC.
Photo by Ashley Noelle Edwards

The CCFC Board of Directors will appoint an interim leader to handle the day-to-day operations of the commission as it begins a search for a new executive.

“The CCFC has been fortunate to have had such an outstanding leader in Kasey for more than a decade. So much has been accomplished on behalf of California’s flower farmers under his direction. We wish him and his family all the best!” said CCFC Chair June Van Wingerden.

“For the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of serving a dedicated group of flower farmers here in California,” Cronquist said. “We’ve accomplished so much and the CCFC is in a great position to leverage the momentum we’ve been able to generate with our marketing, sustainability and advocacy programs. I’m grateful for my time at the CCFC, for the successes we’ve shared and for the friendships we’ve established.”

Cronquist has been named president of the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC). In his new role, starting July 29, he’ll serve all blueberry industry members by providing oversight and insight on the USHBC’s robust national and international promotion, health research and education programs.

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.

Hundreds To Dine On Lawn Of State Capitol

California Grown Flowers Month is being celebrated throughout June with recognition from the California Legislature, in stores with California Grown Flower displays and promotions, and by florists and consumers who are relishing the abundant varieties of homegrown blooms available this month.

But there’s one more way we’re recognizing the month! An American Grown Field to Vase Dinner on the lawn of the State Capitol building in Sacramento on June 12.  

Guests will enjoy a multi-course artisan meal at tables overflowing with California Grown Flowers and Greens from up and down the state. And they’ll hear from flower farmers about the tradition of flower farming in the Golden State and the importance understanding the origin of flowers and the use of sustainable growing practices.

It’s going to be a glorious celebration of the bounty of flowers and greens that come from the Golden State!

And as part of the evening, legislators will compete in a floral design contest where they’ll take their best shot at creating a breathtaking bouquet. For the last four years, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) has hosted this design competition to bring even more attention to California Grown Flowers Month. Combining the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner with this annual tradition by CCFC helps guests, including California’s lawmakers, understand just how valuable the American Grown Flower movement has become.

Participating are: Senator Mike McGuire, Assemblywoman Monique Limón (2018 champion!), Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, Assemblymember Devin Mathis and Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The winner will receive a delivery of fresh American Grown Flowers each month for an entire year to display in their office! Now that’s worth battling for.

If you’d like to join the celebration, there are still a few seats left!

Several major retailers representing hundreds of stores have signed on to celebrate California Grown Flowers Month with in-store displays and promotions throughout June that draw attention to the wide variety of flowers from the Golden State.

Consumers are increasingly interested and concerned with the origin of their flowers. NorCal Safeway’s blue bucket campaign helps highlight their company’s commitment to buying California Grown Flowers to their customers.

Participating retailers are: Vons, Safeway, Gelson’s Markets, Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres Natural Market.

In these stores, customers will find large displays, California Grown Flowers Month signage, California farmers’ stories, flower-centric special events and even flowers, wine and cheese pairing suggestions.

California Grown Flowers beautifully displayed in Vons in Santa Margarita, CA.

The campaign not only draws attention to the importance of buying the flowers produced by California’s flower-farming families and celebrates California Grown Flowers Month, but also drives sales.

Northern California Safeway stores that have regularly displayed and promoted California Grown Flowers and greens have reported double-digit sales increases due to their efforts.

The in-store celebrations are supported by a resolution by State Sen. Mike McGuire that declares June California Grown Flowers Month.

Senator Mike McGuire showers the Senate chambers with flowers each June to help declare June as California Grown Flowers Month.

McGuire’s annual resolution points out California’s leading role in flower-growing and the economic impact of the industry. The state’s growers produce three-quarters of the cut flowers in the U.S., provide 145,665 jobs and account for a total economic impact of $12.2 billion.

Celebrate California Grown Flowers Month!

Policymakers, Retailers Recognize Value of Cut Flowers, Flower Farmers

For the fifth year in a row, the California Legislature will honor the state’s flower farmers and recognize their contributions to the state’s economy and workforce by declaring June California Grown Flowers Month.

State Sen. Mike McGuire is again putting forth the resolution to “honor the men and women of the California grown flower industry for their dedication and productivity.”

“California is America’s premiere growing region for high-quality cut flowers,” McGuire said. “No one does it better than Golden State flower farmers, and because of their hard work, California accounts for 75 percent of all domestically supplied cut flowers in America.”

“To top it off, we are leading the world when it comes to sustainable growing practices and we couldn’t be more excited to recognize the hard work of the thousands who make California the best flower state in the nation.”

McGuire, who comes from a family of farmers in Sonoma County, represents a district that stretches from Marin County up to the Oregon border.

His resolution points out California’s leading role in flower-growing and the economic impact of the industry. The state’s growers produce three-quarters of the cut flowers in the U.S., provide 145,665 jobs and account for a total economic impact of $12.2 billion.

Members of the state Senate acknowledged California’s flower farmers for the value they bring to their communities and the state’s economy after the resolution was passed in 2018. Pictured left to right: Sen. Bill Monning, Sen. Henry Stern, California flower farmer Anthony Vollering (back), Sen.Hannah-Beth Jackson, Sen. John Moorlach, California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Sen. Kevin de Leon and Sen. Mike McGuire.

In addition to the resolution, retailers statewide will mark California Grown Flowers Month with in-store displays and promotions that draw attention to the wide variety of flowers from the Golden State they sell. So far, Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s Markets, Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres Natural Market have announced plans to share the origin matters message with customers in their floral departments.

At Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres Natural Market, floral director Kristin Lares is planning to feature displays that emphasize the California Grown varieties of flowers and bouquets within her stores. The company has long been a champion of California Grown flowers, with 85 percent of its flowers coming from California. There are 13 Bristol Farms stores and five Lazy Acres markets in California.

To further emphasize Lazy Acres’ and Bristol Farms’ commitment to California, Lares plans to include signs that tell customers more about the farmers the source from.

“We offer California Grown Flowers and Greens year-round,” says Lares, “but we’re going take the month of June to celebrate the relationship we have with our California flower farming families.”

The stores also will feature flower-centric events including a free flower crown making workshop, which was a big hit with customers last year.

“Such events create an opportunity to engage customers one-on-one about California growing practices and our stores’ “farm-to-floor” flower practices,” Lares said.

Northern California Safeway stores plan to ramp up their ongoing “Blue Bucket Campaign” that displays dozens of California Grown Flowers in blue containers with coordinating California Grown Flowers month signage and flower farmer stories. Northern California Safeway stores will be celebrating California Grown Flower Month by providing a “pairing guide” highlighting fun ways to pair California Grown Flowers with California wine and cheese.

Safeway’s blue bucket campaign has drawn consistent attention to the beautiful CA Grown Flowers in each of their Nor Cal locations.

The campaign not only draws attention to the importance of buying the flowers produced by California’s flower-farming families and celebrate California Grown Flowers Month, but it also drives sales.

Safeway’s Northern California have seen double-digit increases in sales of California Grown flowers – think 12 to 16 percent – since the blue bucket campaign was started in 2017.

Watch this short video to learn more about California Grown Flowers Month and Safeway’s California Grown blue bucket program.

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) and the California State Floral Association (CSFA) teamed up to make a special delivery of California Grown flowers to Gov. Gavin Newsom on “Ag Day,” March 20.

Ben Dobbe of Holland America Flowers and CCFC CEO and Ambassador, Kasey Cronquist, made the special delivery to Gov. Newsom.

 

The delivery of the arrangement was a friendly (and beautiful) reminder to the governor of the importance of California flower and greens farmers to the state’s economy and their local communities.

California Agriculture Day is hosted in partnership with California Women for Agriculture and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. This an annual celebration recognizes California’s agricultural community by showcasing the bounty of crops and commodities produced in the state. It’s also a day for farmers and ranchers to rally awareness and celebrate California’s agriculture with state legislators, government leaders and the public.

2019 marked the centennial celebration of the event!

FFA Students helped pass out California Grown bouquets to people gathered on the Capitol lawn.

 

Sacramento flower wholesaler Flora Fresh anchored the event and also helped lead FFA teams in providing California Grown bouquets to those gathered on the Capitol lawn for the event.

In addition to the flower delivery, CCFC and CSFA joined forces to hand out postcards touting the economic and employment benefits California Grown Flowers bring to the state.

Special thanks to Holland America Flowers, Mellano & Company, Pyramid Flowers and Westland Floral for generously providing the flowers and greens for all of the bouquets.

CA GROWN Certification Ceremony

Kicks Off Rose Parade Festivities

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 21, 2018 — Entries from Cal Poly Universities, Blue Diamond Almonds, FTD Companies Inc., Wells Fargo Stagecoaches, California Highway Patrol Mounted Patrol Unit, Blue Shadows Drill Team, Mini Therapy Horses and the Tournament of Roses Pasadena Police Department’s motorcycle unit will be celebrated by the California Cut Flower Commission for their efforts and commitment to bringing the tradition of using California Grown Flowers back to the Rose Parade. The eight Certified California Grown parade entries marks a record for Certified entries on January 1.

For the second year in a row, the Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles will join among the ranks of those being certified as CA Grown.  Photo of the 2018 Certification Ceremony by Linda Blue Photography.

In a nod to the 1889 origin of the parade – created to showcase the bounty of what’s growing in California when the rest of the country is snowbound – the California Grown certified floral-adorned motorcycle unit will be the first entry in the parade, leading off the entire event.

The four parade entries being decorated at Rosemont Pavilion will receive their official

California Grown certification at a ceremony officiated by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Dec. 31 in Pasadena. The equestrian units from Wells Fargo, Blue Shadows, the CHP and Mini Therapy Horses, all being certified for the first time, will be presented with their certification Dec. 29 during the Tournament of Roses Equestfest.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross officiated the CA Grown certification ceremonies for the 2018 Tournament of Roses and will do so again this year. Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The California Grown Certification ceremonies were created to recognize parade floats and entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State.  The Cal Poly Universities entry is earning its California Grown certification for the eighth year in a row, FTD for the fifth year and the motorcycle unit for the second year.

Cal Poly students celebrate the certification of their 2018 entry, “Dreams Take Flight”. Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The eight Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles are expected to feature red and white roses and a variety of other California Grown flowers and foliage.

FTD, the Official Floral Partner of the Tournament of Roses, has a 60-year history of participating in the Rose Parade. The storied floral and gifting company will use California Grown flowers to decorate its eight VIP parade vehicles, including vehicles for the grand marshal, president, hall of fame and mayor, as well as the Honda sound car, Honda pace car and two additional Hondas leading the parade.

Beautiful CA Grown flowers will adorn FTD parade vehicles for the fifth year in a row.
Photo of the Grand Marshall vehicle for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade
by Linda Blue Photography.

The float from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona is titled “Far Out Frequencies” and will feature two giant astronauts who are rocking out with a group of green aliens.

At the front of the float will stand Morgan, a 12-foot astronaut who strums an electric guitar, and his new alien friend “Ketchup,” who plays air guitar. The space concert also includes Astronaut Sally on tambourine, two aliens on accordion and Tuba Head, a little alien whose head is stuck inside the instrument.
In addition to the featured characters playing their instruments, animation on the 2019 float includes the movement of eyes and arms on some of the aliens. LED lights will add sparkle to the planet’s crystal formations and the guitar amp.

Students from Cal Poly Universities recently harvested marigolds, strawflower and statice which, after being dried, will adorn the 2019 float entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

More than 91 percent of the float will be covered in California Grown flowers that were donated by many of the state’s flower farmers. Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grew marigolds for the float, while Cal Poly Pomona students grew strawflower and statice, all of which was dried for use on the float. This year students explored a new use for CA Grown flowers – drying light and dark blue delphinium for the first time.

The Cal Poly Rose Float, the only student-built entry in the parade, has been invited to participate for 71 consecutive years. The students’ commitment to creating the entry is a testament to the Cal Poly “learn by doing” philosophy.

The Tournament of Roses Parade® is a New Year’s tradition where nearly a million visitors line Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to view the beautiful floats first hand, and millions more watch from their homes across the country. The California floral industry has a $12.2 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. California’s flower farmers represent over 4,500 jobs and contribute $1.7 million to California’s economy every day.

To view the full press release, click here.

California Flowers Front and Center

on Tournament of Roses Parade ® Entries

CA GROWN certification ceremony kicks off Rose Parade festivities

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 27, 2017— Entries from Cal Poly Universities, FTD Companies Inc., Mane Attraction Drill Team and the Tournament of Roses Police Department’s motorcycle unit will all be adorned with California Grown flowers when they take to the parade route in Pasadena Jan. 1, 2018, for the annual Rose Parade.

 In an appropriate nod to the origin of the parade – created to showcase the bounty of what’s growing in California when the rest of the country is snowbound – the floral-adorned motorcycle unit will be the first entry in the parade, leading off the entire event.
“The Tournament of Roses takes pride in supporting California Grown agricultural products showcased in the Rose Parade. The founding members of the Tournament of Roses began the parade to tell the world about our paradise. Now, 129 years later, we’re still making California proud,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO, Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross officiated the CA Grown certification ceremonies
for the 2017 Tournament of Roses and will do so again this year.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The four parade entries will receive their official California Grown certification at a ceremony officiated by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Dec. 31 in Pasadena. The California Grown Certification Program recognizes parade floats and entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State.

The ceremony will recognize Cal Poly Universities for the seventh year in a row and FTD for the fourth year. The motorcycle unit and the equestrian unit will be Certified California Grown for the first time.

The eight Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles are expected to feature roses, iris and chamomile.

FTD, the Official Floral Partner of the Tournament of Roses, has a 60-year history of participating in the Rose Parade. The storied floral and gifting company will use a variety of California Grown flowers to decorate its five VIP parade vehicles.

Beautiful CA Grown flowers will adorn FTD parade vehicles for the fourth year in a row.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The float from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona is titled “Dreams Take Flight” and will feature baby animals flying airplanes amid a whimsical landscape.

The float will showcase more California Grown flower varieties than ever before thanks to a deck design that allows for large mixed arrangements in addition to the chrysanthemums and gerberas that cover the float’s characters. More than 97 percent of the float will be covered in California Grown flowers that were donated by many of the state’s flower farmers. Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grew and dried the statice and straw flower used on the float.

Secretary Ross joined Cal Poly students as they celebrated
the certification of their 2017 float entry, “Dreams Take Flight”.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The Tournament of Roses Parade® is a New Year’s tradition where nearly a million visitors line Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to view the beautiful floats first hand, and millions more watch from their homes across the country. The California floral industry has a $12.2 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. California’s flower farmers represent over 4,500 jobs and contribute $1.7 million to California’s economy every day.

# # #

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.

(more…)

While the wildfires in Southern California approached some of the nation’s largest flower farms and hampered the ability for some employees to work, the Golden State’s farms are open and operating.

“We haven’t received any reports of production loss or farms lost due to the fires in Southern California,” explained California Cut Flower Commission CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “We’re in close contact with our farms in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Diego Counties and so far our farms are checking in as safe and continuing to operate.”

The Thomas Fire

Flames could be seen on the hillsides from the nurseries in Carpinteria Valley on Monday morning. Photo by Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom, Inc.

The Thomas Fire near Carpinteria, known as the nation’s flower basket, appeared to get dangerously close to (more…)

Cal Poly Float to Feature More CA Grown Varieties Than Ever Before

 

Plans for the first two Certified CA Grown entries at the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade are already underway, and the ramp up to the New Year’s Day tradition has just begun.

The entries from Cal Poly Universities and FTD Companies Inc. – the first to announce so far – will both feature CA Grown flowers and foliage. Additional CA Grown entries will be announced in coming weeks.

Cal Poly Universities’ float is titled “Dreams Take Flight” and will feature baby animals flying airplanes amid a whimsical landscape. Cal Poly students are currently working on the miniature scale model of the float, and the chrysanthemums that will adorn it are already in the ground due to their 18-week growing cycle.

Ashley Nally of Calla Co, adding one of their beautiful callas to the 2017 Cal Poly float.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography

This year’s float will showcase more CA Grown flower varieties than ever before thanks to a  deck design that allows for large mixed arrangements in addition to the chrysanthemums and gerberas that cover the float’s characters. The chrysanthemums have been generously donated by GroLink Plant Co., while students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are growing (and will dry) the statice and straw flower for the float.

Anna Kalins speaking to guests about the gorgeous California grown flowers being placed on the Cal Poly float.

The California Cut Flower Commission’s (CCFC) Anna Kalins, who leads the organization’s Rose Parade efforts, is seeking additional flower donations for the Cal Poly float. In the past, 25 farms have donated flowers to the effort.

Our Ambassadors enjoy the experience of getting to go behind the scenes and talking with the public about our amazing California Grown flowers.

Also needed are Rose Parade ambassadors to help at the event itself and in the days leading up.

To donate flowers or volunteer, email Kalins at akalins@ccfc.org.

Many thanks to the following farms who have already graciously planned to donate flowers and greens:

 

  • Glad-A-Way
  • Joseph & Sons
  • Kitayama Brothers
  • Mellano & Company
  • Ocean Breeze Farms
  • Ocean View Flowers
  • Pyramid Flowers
  • Sun Valley Floral Farms
  • Sunshine Floral
  • Topstar Floral, Inc.

Send Us Your Suggestions For American Grown Field To Vase Dinner Tour Stops

If our map has a blank look on its face, it’s because we’re just getting started with identifying stops for the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour.

As we ramp up for our fourth year of this wildly successful tour – bragging timeout: the tour just won Marketer of the Year from the Society of American Florists (SAF)! [“Field to Vase Dinner Tour Wins Marketer of the Year“] – we’re busy asking flower farmers, florists, wholesalers, flower designers and our sponsors where we should stop in 2018.

We’re canvassing the country, checking out locations and looking to shine the spotlight on America’s best flower farms, floral designers and communities that exemplify the growing support and movement for American Grown Flowers.

Got a suggestion for the perfect location? Email us at  info@AmericanGrownFlowers.org and tell us why the American Grown Dinner Tour should stop in.

Kasey Cronquist, CEO and ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), will be a panelist for a session at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in New Orleans Oct. 19-21.

Cronquist will be speaking about trends in flower farming.

The summit draws 19,500 attendees from 60 countries who meet with experts, leaders and decision-makers from every link in the produce and floral supply chain. The event is also a professional learning opportunity where attendees hear about today’s bright ideas that will reshape tomorrow’s produce and floral landscape.

Representatives from Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, recently traveled to South Africa to participate in the International Protea Association’s Conference (IPA) and pre-conference tour.

Diana Roy, business manager for Resendiz Brothers and chair of the California Cut Flower Commission, was one of five protea farmers representing the United States and California at the event. During the IPA Grower’s Day, both Diana and Ismael Resendiz presented a report on growing protea in the Golden State, covering the number of stems grown, varieties, the state of protea farming and the increasing demand for the flowers.

She also submitted findings and data for an USA Area Report covering industry trends, demand and sales of protea, issues with labor and wages and drought conditions. This report will become part of the conference proceedings published by the International Society for Horticulture Science (ISHS) in ACTA Horticulturae after the conference.

Roy was asked to take on a new role with IPA leading its member communications. She plans to create a community of protea growers on social media and start a new quarterly newsletter that will include coverage of news items, research grant findings and details on IPA’s future conferences.

“The conference is an amazing chance for protea growers to come together, gather ideas and get inspired,” Roy explained. “There’s a lot of opportunity for these flowers in California, so it was essential for us to be there and share our experience and the positive news about demand from wholesalers, retailers and farmers.”

Also during the course of the conference, Resendiz Brothers owner Mel Resendiz was elected president of IPA.

All big leadership wins for California flower farmers.

We’re beyond thrilled to share that the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has earned the 2017 Marketer of the Year Award from the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Floral Management magazine.

American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour earns front page attention in the June issue of Floral Management.

The prestigious award recognizes original, highly successful marketing campaigns that increase awareness and the overall sales of cut flowers.

What made for the winning entry? We’ve since heard that Marketer of the Year judges were impressed with the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner campaign on several fronts: its professional execution, its distinct branding and its impressive media pick up.

But what the judges really liked was the dinner tour’s smart and effective use of experiential marketing that immerses the consumer in a floral experience in such a unique way – they’re on the farm with the farmers and the designers, and then they’re surrounded by the beautifully designed flowers during the dinner, and then they leave with their own bouquet.

As one of the judges commented, “When a consumer experiences flowers in this way, it’s a win for the industry.”

For the uninitiated and the yet-to-attend, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a cross-country series of elegant, intimate pop-up gatherings located on flower and foliage farms from coast to coast. Seasonal, homegrown and sustainable blooming flowers dazzle on beautiful tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while scrumptious meals are prepared by local farm-to-table chefs.

Photo by Linda Blue Photography

At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tour and design demonstrations, guests make a personal connection between flowers and agriculture as part of America’s floral landscape. Along the way, they experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served platters of delicious, seasonal and locally grown fare through four courses, including specialty desserts accompanied by vintage wines, micro-brewed beers and floral-inspired cocktails.

Guests enjoyed a stunning tablescape at an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon, WA. Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

Each event includes a tour of the host farm by the resident farmer and a floral design demonstration with one of the nation’s premier floral designers.

As the Marketer of the Year Award winner, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is the cover story on the September 2017 issue of Floral Management. [See the full story here.]

The recognition is truly an honor. And what it means for flower farmers – now that’s the big news!

To view the full press release, click here.

California’s Legislature Declares June California Grown Flowers Month

Today, California Sen. Mike McGuire took to the floor of the Senate to urge his colleagues to support California’s flower-farming families by passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 58 declaring June “California Grown Flowers Month.”

In presenting the resolution, McGuire acknowledged California’s hardworking flower farmers for the beauty, variety and economic value their flowers bring the Golden State.

Bouquets filled with CA Grown flowers adorned each Senator’s desk to welcome them as they entered the Senate, prior to passing the Senate’s resolution declaring June as California Grown Flower Month.

 

“Today, we are recognizing California as America’s best source for high-quality cut flowers,”Senator Mike McGuire said. “The industry has blossomed since its inception back in the late1870s. California flower farmers, distributors and florists generate thousands of jobs and drive$12.2 billion in economic activity every year. Our own Humboldt County is one of the largestflower producers in America, growing more fresh tulips than anywhere else in the nation.”

As part of the announcement, each senator received a bouquet of California Grown Flowers from McGuire to help commemorate the occasion.

“The month of June is the perfect time to celebrate the beauty and bounty of what our farms grow in California,” explained California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “The resolution helps to remind people that the origin of your flowers does matter and buying California Grown Flowers does make a difference – not only in the quality of the flowers, but also by helping the state’s economy.”

Members of the Assembly and Senate joined Senator Mike McGuire and CCFC CEO Kasey Cronquist for a photo on the Senate floor after Senator McGuire’s remarks urging his colleagues to support Senate Resolution 58 declaring June as California Grown Flowers Month.

In addition to the resolution, the CCFC is recognizing California Grown Flowers Month with a social media contest on Facebook and Instagram where consumers can enter to win a bouquet of California Grown Flowers each week through the month of June.

The CCFC will also feature retailers like Safeway and its “Blue Bucket Campaign” that highlights the company’s support for and commitment to providing customers with California Grown Flowers.  The CCFC recently debuted a video highlighting Safeway’s California Grown Flowers campaign, a promotion that has been wildly successful in spotlighting California Grown Flowers in its stores.

Click to watch the video featuring NorCal Safeway’s California Grown Flowers program.

 

The video explains that 74 percent of consumers don’t know where flowers come from, and yet 58 percent would prefer to buy California Grown Flowers. Consumers are in awe of the freshness and variety of California Grown Flowers, explains Crystal Hedgpeth, floral sales manager for Safeway’s NorCal division.

In Northern California Safeway stores, Hedgpeth reports that California Grown Flowers are outselling non-California grown flowers. She says Safeway is proud to support California’s flower farmers and hopes the trend of promoting CA Grown Flowers continues to inspire others to feature the beauty and bounty of California.

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About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.

 

Media Contact:

Kasey Cronquist

CEO & Ambassador

916-441-1701

kcronquist@ccfc.org

This year’s First Lady’s Luncheon, hosted annually by the Congressional Club, was an all American Grown Flowers affair. In support of Certified American Grown Flowers’ sponsorship of the event, flower farmers shipped over 18,000 stems of beautiful domestic flowers to a team of over 20 volunteer professional floral designers led by Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, Christy Hulsey of The Colonial House of Flowers and Margaret Lloyd of Margret Joan Florals.

This year’s lead designers, (pictured left to right) Kelly Shore, Margaret Lloyd and Christy Hulsey.

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The word “magical” comes to mind as the best description of the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour. It’s a word we’ve heard over and over from guests who have attended the first three of seven dinners on this year’s tour.

The magic continued on the third stop of the tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad last month where a sold-out crowd enjoyed a wonderful dinner by Chef John Miller of Bistro West while overlooking a sea of ranunculus that seemed to trail off into the Pacific Ocean.

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