Ag Alert Highlights Valentine’s Day Outlook

Kevin Hecteman Interviews a farmer, a wholesaler and me

This week California Farm Bureau’s Kevin Hecteman of AgAlert interviewed a couple of us in the floral industry to get some idea of how things are shaping up, highlighting how a “mid-week” holiday can really help improve sales.

Robert Kitayama of Kitayama Brothers in Watsonville, CA.

California flower farmer Robert Kitayama of Kitayama Brothers is interviewed in the article, highlighting how much the industry has changed.

“Once upon a time, we were the country’s largest rose grower,” Kitayama said. Cost, especially in the face of cheaper overseas competition, is the reason he and others got out of the rose business.”

Robert explains that he sees a younger generation of buyers who aren’t as constrained to the red rose buying tradition and that there will be a lot of gerbera daisies, tulips and orchids for people to enjoy this holiday.

During my interview with Kevin, I explained how the U.S. now produces less than 2 percent of the roses now sold in the United States.

You can read the entire article here.

What does Valentine’s Day look like for you?

Debra Prinzing Launches Slow Flower Summit | July 2, 2017

Slow Flower Summit in Seattle During American Flowers Week

In her latest newsletter, Debra Prinzing announced she’s hosting the Slow Flower Summit on July 2 in Seattle, Washington. The summit will be held in conjunction with American Flowers Week and will take place a day into the annual AIFD Symposium, also being held in Seattle during the first week in July.

Debra is describing the summit as “a Ted Talk for flower lovers” and notes that it will feature Amy Stewart, author of Flower Confidential, as one of the event’s keynote speakers. James Baggett, editor in chief of Country Gardens Magazine, will serve as the summit’s master of ceremonies.

Floral Marketing: 2017 Outlook Report

"Could Trump Administration Help U.S.-Grown Flowers?"

Each year, I’m asked by Floral Marketing’s editor Richard Lutes to provide an outlook report and forecast for our domestic farms.

Click to read complete article.

Decisions by California’s Legislature and the governor will have some long-term consequences for our country’s largest farms. A $15 minimum wage will cause wages across the board to rise within companies, and the elimination of agriculture’s overtime exemption will decrease productivity and increase costs for flower farmers, putting them at an even further competitive disadvantage with flowers being imported from South America.

However, there is

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