The West Region is on the map this year! With the threat of a summer thunderstorm looming we indeed did have a Regional Meeting on August 15 and were pleased that members came from far-flung parts of the region. Because it is quite hard for a farmer not to talk about the weather, here is a short little digression. We have had a dry, dry summer in a land that is dry to begin with, but within 30 minutes of the meeting wrapup the nicest summer thunder shower deposited about ¼ inch of rain. That the meeting went off nicely followed by a rain made the day nothing short of a minor miracle.
Most of California, at least geographically, was represented at our Nevada meeting. Several folks who were not members came to test the waters and I hope will consider becoming members because a lot of useful information was exchanged this day. If for our next meeting we can get most of our West region members in attendance we will have covered all the bases!  
The Saturday evening before the meeting, Jeannine Bogard, Goldsmith Seeds; Bonnie Marquardt, American Takii; Judy Laushman and myself discussed the 2006 Conference to be held in San Jose, our very own neck of the woods. We have some good ideas out on the table for making this a great gathering but this is the time for the West region members to speak up by contacting me or any of the above folks to help us create a meeting that simply can’t be missed. I know it seems like quite a long time away, but just remember how fast this summer passed and you can understand why we have to get working on the meeting now.
When I was planning this summer Regional Meeting, I was quite worried about the timing. We are all so busy, August being the height of the season for many people, I just wondered who, if anyone, would come.  But then we got 1 registration, and then a couple of more and I got excited about the prospect of getting together with growers at a time when everything about flowers is fresh on our minds. Lots of questions could be answered. In reflecting on the meeting afterwards, I realized I really needed this gathering. At a time when we start slogging through to get to the end of the season, having such dedicated members as Janet Foss, driving all the way from Washington and Al Modena, from San Francisco, to be speakers, and with attendees such as the Mollgaards from Kernville, and Jerry Thomas from Aptos, and Jeannine and Bonnie from the Salinas valley at this meeting, I was completely reenergized and ready to finish off my season with a flourish.
This Regional Meeting made me realize why I value my ASCFG membership. By and large the most useful and helpful information I have gained in my farming days has been imparted by other growers in a setting such as a Regional Meeting. It is great that flower growers have recognized the necessity of having such an organization and even more important that they have realized they needed someone to keep them together.  Judy Laushman has taken on this work of directing our grower-based organization and does a very fine job. Growers are not easily organized.  I gladly pay my annual dues so that as similar minded folks, we can have the opportunity to get together to exchange information. If we were left up to our own, I know we would say we are much too busy and would never get around to it. I am looking forward to traveling all the way to Orlando to meet with all the ASCFG members, but especially my neighbors in the West region. Hope to see you there. It will reenergize you!  

“The hardest part about going through a seed or nursery catalog is deciding what not to order.” – Texas Bix Bender