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.

Rose Parade Coverage Is Coming In

We're Bringing CA Grown Flowers Back to the Rose Parade

Media coverage of the Commission’s efforts to raise the profile of California Grown Flowers during the Rose Parade has begun.

CBS Channel 8 did a long segment that included a tour of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, highlighting Mel’s passion for flower farming and his support for bringing more California Grown Flowers back to the Rose Parade.

Reporter Shannon Handy toured Resendiz Brothers and brought flowers back to the studio to share with the audience during their live broadcast.

Another great feature was recently published in the Times Standard in Humboldt County. The article highlighted Sun Valley Floral Farms and its tradition of support for the Commission’s efforts in Pasadena.

Sun Valley’s Bill Prescott, a CCFC Promotion Committee member, was quoted in the paper saying, “It’s a real honor to have our flowers in the Rose Parade.”

Pasadena Now also covered the commitment of Rose Parade float teams who have elected to become Certified California Grown. 

The article highlights John Sass, vice president and general manager of Miracle-Gro®, saying, ““We are happy to continue our support for California’s farmers through the California Grown Certification program.”

You can help us spread the news by sharing these recent news stories on your social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These are great examples of the collaborative efforts underway by our farms to wave the flag for California Grown Flowers at this year’s Rose Parade.  Make sure to tag us! @CaliforniaGrownFlowers on Facebook and @CAFlowers on Twitter

Behind the Scenes at the Rose Parade

'Deco Week' is Here!

A semi-truck full of California Grown Flowers arrived at the Cal Poly Universities Rose Parade float building tent in Pasadena this week.

All of the California Grown Flowers for Cal Poly’s Rose Parade Float have arrived!

The pressure is now on the students to take over 100,000 stems of these fresh California Grown blooms and

29 Farms Provided Over 200,000 Stems in 2016

Almost $70,000 in Wholesale Value

As we roll into the new year, it’s important to look back and take stock of what was accomplished in 2016. One of the efforts we put forth every year that’s easily overlooked is what our farms provide to the CCFC in order to support industry events, community projects and promotion opportunities. In the office, we call these our “procurement projects.” These are the projects that require us to reach out, organize, request and collect flowers from our farms to send to an event, project or promotional opportunity. No small task.

Some of our contributions reflect years of tradition, like the Society of American Florists Sylvia Cup Competition or the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float. Other efforts help to encourage college students to consider floriculture as a career. In 2016, we were proud to have the opportunity to work with the Certified American Grown program and the Congressional Club to provide flowers for the last First Lady’s Luncheon for Michelle Obama.

The contribution of these flowers really helped raise the profile of our farms and California Grown Flowers and to encourage future support for our farmers and their flowers. It also helps offset our annual promotion budget; using flowers to help us accomplish projects and provide support for events that we could not otherwise afford. It’s a win-win when all of the pieces can come together for these different opportunities throughout the year.

This year, we had 29 farms provide over 200,000 stems of flowers for 46 different projects. The wholesale value of these flowers was almost $70,000.

Of course that figure doesn’t reflect the value that’s created once a designer gets their hands on these beautiful blooms. At that point, the dollar value of the farms’ contribution grows exponentially. A big thank you goes out to all of those designers who worked their magic with our California Grown Flowers, designing and creating amazing arrangements and installations.

Floral designers like Kit Wertz (left) and Casey Schwartz (right) of  Flower Duet in Los Angeles did an amazing job of creating a beautiful tablescape at the Field to Vase Dinner at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

CCFC’s Anna Kalins manages the Commission’s procurement projects.

We could not accomplish all of this without the support of our farms and Anna Kalins who is responsible for our procurement projects. So, I want to thank Anna and our farms for helping us reach more people than ever before in 2016 through our procurement projects.

Thank you to the following farms for helping us accomplish a year of meaningful and engaging activities:

  1. B&H Flowers
  2. California Pajarosa
  3. CamFlor
  4. Creekside Farms
  5. Dramm & Echter 
  6. Eufloria Roses
  7. Ever-Bloom
  8. Farmers West
  9. Glad-A-Way
  10. Green Valley Floral 
  11. Calla Co.
  12. Hilltop Flowers
  13. Holland America Flowers 
  14. Johannes Flowers 
  15. Joseph & Sons
  16. Kendall Farms
  17. Kitayama Brothers 
  18. Maximum
  19. Mellano & Company
  20. Mobi’s
  21. Myriad Flowers
  22. Neve II
  23. Ocean Breeze
  24. Ocean View Flowers
  25. Pyramid Flowers
  26. Resendiz Brothers Protea
  27. The Sun Valley Group
  28. Westland Floral
  29. Westland Orchids 

My No. 1 Blog Post in 2016 …

It surprised me, too!

Well, as Google would have it, my most widely read blog post for Field Position in 2016 was written in 2013.

Why I Fly with Flowers & You Should, Too,” takes the top spot for the most unique page visits.


Why is this post the most popular post three years after it was written?

That’s a great question. But I’m not exactly sure what the answer is.

However, recognizing that people are still reading posts I wrote three years ago, I have recommitted time and made it a priority to blog more often in 2017. Blogging is a great resource for people to access information about the Cut Flower Commission, Certified American Grown Flowers, all of our efforts and what we represent as an organization.

P.S. – “They Grow Flowers in Alaska?” was No. 3!

Our 10 Most Popular Photos On Flickr

These Photos Draw a Lot of Attention

Certified American Grown and the California Cut Flower Commission use Flickr as our online photo library. Over the last nine years, we’ve amassed an amazing collection of photography that reflects the work and beauty of our farms and our organizational efforts.

Our Flick page hosts over 35,000 photos.

Our Flickr page hosts over 35,000 photos.

Today, we have over 35,500 photos on Flickr featuring efforts like our trips to Washington, D.C., Field to Vase Dinners, Open House events and our efforts at the Rose Parade. Between all of the photos, the photostream and the albums, our Flickr page has over

Meet Assemblywoman Monique Limón

Limón Replaces Das Williams in the Assembly

Not even a week into her new job, Assemblywoman Monique Limón joined our farms for a special luncheon honoring Congresswoman Lois Capps in Santa Barbara.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón (center) with California's flower farmers.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón (center) with California’s flower farmers.

Limón was sworn into the California Assembly on Monday, Dec. 5, representing the

Thank You, Mike and Chad

Recognizing Nine Years of Service

Nine years.

That’s the total number of consecutive years a commissioner can serve on the board of the CCFC before they are “termed out.” Actually, it represents three, three-year terms, meaning that they had to be elected by their peers three different times to serve all nine years.

That’s a lot of years of service.

Chad and Mike with their prints.

Chad Nelson and Mike Mellano with their prints.

So it was with great fanfare and appreciation that we honored Chad Nelson of Eufloria Flowers and Michael A. Mellano, Ph.D., of Mellano & Company for their