Flying With Flowers Matters

Another Super Happy Flight Attendant

On Friday’s flight home from Washington, D.C., I boarded our American Airlines flight with an armful of the flowers we had provided for the California State Society’s Presidential Inauguration Luncheon.

CCFC Chair Diana Roy captured this photo of me and the American Airlines flight attendant who I presented the flowers to.

As I have written about before, I enjoy flying with flowers and immediately presented one of my bouquets to the flight attendant that greeted us upon boarding. “These are for you,” I said.

The reaction is almost always the same.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Nope, these are for you. Thank you for all you do.”

It’s a small gesture of appreciation for the tough job flight attendants have, working with all different types of travelers. “Just because” flowers really do go a long way in brightening someone’s day, or flight, as the case may be.

I captured the response of one happy Southwest Airlines flight attendant in this clip on YouTube, “Why I Fly With Flowers & You Should Too.”

Have you ever flown with flowers? I’d love to hear your stories and any kind of reaction you might have gotten for giving “just because” flowers. Feel free to share your story in the comments section below.

CCFC Helps Bring the California Culture to Inauguration Luncheon

California State Society's Presidential Luncheon Celebrate's the State's Culture

CCFC Chair Diana Roy with Andrea Gagnon of Lynnvale Studios and me on the stage at the California State Society’s Presidential Inauguration Luncheon.

Thank you to our California flower farmers who helped provide the California Cut Flower Commission with the flowers needed to make the Presidential Inauguration Luncheon for the California State Society a beautiful one. The theme of this year’s Inauguration Luncheon was “A Celebration of California Culture.” Obviously, flowers are a big part of California’s culture and economy, so the CCFC did its part to represent that culture by bringing together some amazing California Grown Flowers for people to see and enjoy.

CCFC Chair Diana Roy with Andrea Gagnon during the luncheon’s reception.

Displayed with little place cards highlighting their CA Grown origins, the flowers were appreciated by the members of Congress and fellow Californian’s in attendance.

Virtually all of the centerpieces walked out the door with the luncheon’s guests.

A big thank you also goes to Certified American Grown flower farmer and floral designer Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios for her beautiful design work for the event. Gagnon worked with Anna Kalins on sourcing all of the flowers needed to fulfill our obligation the State Society.

Thank you to the following farms for contributing all of the beautiful California Grown Flowers for this great sponsorship opportunity with the California State Society’s Inauguration Luncheon. With the California Wine Institute and Western Growers also sponsoring, we were in good company.

  • Dramm & Echter
  • Myriad Flowers
  • Westland Orchids
  • Mellano & Co.
  • Holland America Flowers
  • Joseph & Sons 
  • Pyramid Flowers 
  • Resendiz Brothers Protea
  • Sun Valley Floral Farms 
  • Ocean View Flowers 
  • Green Valley Floral 

Setting the Table in Washington, D.C.

Meetings in Advance of Meetings Make for Better Meetings


This week, CCFC Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea and I traveled to Washington, D.C., together to meet with members of the new Congress and their staffs to discuss some of our goals and objectives for 2017. With a new administration and a lot of new members in key flower-farming regions around the country, it was an important opportunity to

Planning a California Grown Valentine’s Day? We Want To Talk To You!

Are You Planning to Source, Sell California Grown Flowers This Valentine's Day?


Contact us and share your marketing plans!

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is almost here again. This year, we’re looking to highlight floral designers and florists who will be making a point of offering California Grown Flowers. We really want to talk to designers who are going to be marketing California Grown Flowers, specifically. We often receive calls and questions about how to source and find California Grown Flowers, and we want to be able to share your examples of people dedicated to California Grown Flowers this Valentine’s Day.

We also want to write about you and do some social media highlighting your work in advance of the big day.

If this is you, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

CCFC Sponsors California State Society’s Inauguration Luncheon

California Grown Flowers to Adorn Tables During Inauguration Events

California Grown Flowers will take center table during this year’s California State Society’s Inauguration Luncheon on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The CCFC and the Wine Institute are once again sponsoring the California flowers and wine, respectively, for the Society’s luncheon January 19.

Thank you to the following farms for contributing flowers to this special event:

  • Green Valley Floral
  • Myriad Flowers
  • Dramm & Echter
  • Mellano & Co.
  • Ocean View Flowers
  • Westland Orchids
  • Holland America Flowers 
  • Joseph & Sons 
  • Pyramid Flowers
  • Resendiz Brothers Protea
  • Sun Valley Floral Farms

CCFC Chair Diana Roy and I will be attending the event to represent our California farms and flowers.

Be sure you register to join us in Washington, D.C., during our annual fly-in, Feb. 28 – March 2.

Register Here!


We Reached Thousands Of Consumers During Post Parade Event

Rose Parade Floats Draw Thousands After the Big Show

This year’s Rose Parade efforts to promote California Grown Flowers didn’t end when the parade was over.

In fact, besides the thousands of consumers who come early to see the floats being decorated, even more people come to the

A Beautiful Album of Effort From the Rose Parade

Our Farmers, Our Flowers, and Certifying California Grown Floats

Officiated by Secretary Karen Ross, Cal Poly’s float was Certified California Grown. Cal Poly’s float went on to win the Founder’s Trophy.

We recently loaded up an album of beautiful images taken by Linda Blue of our time at the Rose Parade in Pasadena last week. Each year, we have Linda capture the efforts our farmers serving as ambassadors, the flowers going onto the floats, and of course the certification ceremonies with California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

Mike Crosby of Mellano & Co talks with people about flower farming in California and the Cal Poly float.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a week since the parade, but I encourage you to

Rose Parade Coverage Continues

Examples of Winning Efforts to Raise the Profile On California Grown Flowers

We certainly go to Pasadena each year to support Cal Poly Universities, providing farmers to help answer the questions of thousands of people who visit. We provided over 54,000 stems of flowers for Cal Poly’s float, and California farmers provided hundreds of thousand more stems on the different floats throughout the parade. Miracle-Gro won this year’s Queens Trophy, and during media interviews, repeatedly mentioned that they used 32,000 California Grown roses on their float this year.

We also certify the California Grown floats, which helps us draw media attention that highlights those teams that 

Celebrating California Grown Certifications With CDFA Secretary Karen Ross

Four Rose Parade Entries Were Honored For Their Commitment to California


CDFA Secretary Karen Ross with California Cut Flower Commission Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea.

For the past six years, we’ve been kicking off the new year in Pasadena by acknowledging those float teams who make it a priority to source and feature California Grown Flowers during the Rose Parade. These certifications acknowledge those teams who worked to ensure that over 85 percent of the flowers on their floats were sourced from California.

Why is this important? Aren’t all of the flowers in the parade from California?

The Rose Parade is a lot like the floral market in the United States today. Currently, imports make up the majority of flowers sold in the U.S., and even though the parade was started in Pasadena to reflect the beauty and bounty of California in December and January, the realities of today’s business environment and international trade dealings mean that almost all of the roses and other flowers used on the floats are imported from Colombia and Ecuador.

California Milk Advisory Board California Grown Certification Ceremony with CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. Photo by Florists’ Review

So, a tradition of gratitude was born, and together with California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross, our flower farmers from up and down the state and the float teams dedicated to showcasing California, we celebrate what we can grow and accomplish by working together here in California.

Click to watch the California Grown certification for Cal Poly on Facebook.


Click to watch the California Grown Certification with FTD Flowers on our Facebook page.

This is a beautiful way to ring in the new year, and I want to thank Secretary Ross for her years of support for this wonderful tradition. She does a wonderful job officiating each ceremony, highlighting the value of California agriculture and connecting with the teams we work with.

This year, for the first time, we live-streamed a couple of the ceremonies via Facebook.

Secretary Karen Ross certifies Miracle-Gro’s float California Grown.

CDFA Secretary Ross and I during the certification ceremonies at Fiesta Floats.

Thank you to Miracle-Gro, the California Milk Advisory Board (our dairy farmers), Cal Poly Universities and FTD for their commitment to California Grown Flowers this year.

And a big congratulations to Cal Poly and Mircle-Gro on their award-winning float designs. We also take great pride in seeing these Certified California Grown floats become award winners. Cal Poly Universities took home the “Founders Trophy” for most beautiful float decorated by volunteers of a community organization. Miracle-Gro won the coveted “Queens Trophy” for best use of roses. Miracle-Gro sourced over 32,000 roses for its float this year, celebrating the California Grown rose as part of their design.

Miracle-Gro’s Certified California Grown float was award-winning.

Cal Poly Universities’ Certified California Grown float was award-winning and flower farmers donated over 54,000 stems of flowers to the program.

We were proud to partner with the California Milk Advisory Board on certifying its float California Grown this year.

FTD had each one of  its parade vehicles certified California Grown. I especially liked this mule-and horse-drawn wagon that featured California’s beautiful flowers.

Thank you to all of our farmers who joined over the course of the past week to help speak with thousands of consumers who came by to see the floats being built. Equally important are the flowers they continue to grow that give reason for the season and inspire us to continue our efforts to bring California Grown Flowers back to the Tournament of Roses Parade, one float at a time.

Happy New Year!

P.S. – If you would like to volunteer or support our efforts next year, please let me know. Just email me. Planning for 2018’s parade is already under way.

These wagons were huge!

Thank You Rose Parade Ambassadors

Farmers Speak to Thousands During 'Deco Week'

Every year, I seem to forget what a powerful opportunity the Tournament of Roses Parade is for driving awareness for California Grown flowers, until I’m back in Pasadena watching our farmers working the crowd and talking about flowers.

It’s amazing, and we simply couldn’t do this without the volunteer commitment of our farmers.

We’re not talking to hundreds of people, we’re talking to thousands. Sharing California’s passion for flower farming in the Golden State.

We handed out so many CA Grown stickers to people who had questions, comments and appreciation for what California farmers do to bring flowers to market. Our farms donated over 54,000 stems of flowers for Cal Poly’s float, and it turned out beautifully.

Thank you to all of our farmer ambassadors who came out to talk about California Grown flowers and their passion for flower farming. It made a difference. Hundreds and hundreds of people from Pennsylvania (Penn State University is in the Rose Bowl) learned a lot about where America’s flowers come from this past week because of this effort to educate.

A big thank you to Ashley Nally of CallaCo and Linda G. with Mobi’s for their leadership in organizing the volunteers. Thank you Anna Kalins and Andrea Philpot for helping make sure we kept the wheels on the bus this year between our promotion efforts and our California Grown certification ceremonies. Everything came together wonderfully.

CallaCo’s Ashley Nally, a CCFC Promotion Committee member.

Today is the Rose Parade. I’m confident that we have some California Grown award winners. Cheers to a promising 2017.

A proudly displayed CA Grown license plate was affixed to the back of Cal Poly’s float this year. Photo by Keith Humphrey, VP of Cal Poly Student Affairs.