Yes, I admit it. Between meetings in Orlando I dashed across the street to Universal Studios to catch “The Hulk.” For those with a Universal-side view from their motel room, it was that green roller coaster that looked more like a ten-mile section of railroad track that had been pulled up, twisted and contorted, and then propped vertically into a modern-day thrill ride.
    
There really wasn’t a good way to prepare myself for such punishment. I just buckled up, closed my eyes, and held on for dear life.
    
Fortunately, as flower growers, we have a bit more control over ourselves within our business. The anticipation of growing a new crop or starting a new venture is much like the first stage of a roller coaster. A new plan, just like the tracks on a roller coaster, must be strongly supported Doing the research, taking soil samples, designing an irrigation system, planting the crop – these are just some of the steps we can take to make a new plan work- and climb even higher.
    
This is my eighth year in business, and after the National Convention, I again feel refueled for yet another year ahead. I’m taking action on several new ideas.  Many times I feel like watching, but the excitement of a National Conference propels me to get going. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to become better – climb even higher.
    
There’s no time to become complacent in our business. Take risk. Do what it takes to outsmart your competitor. Now is the time – this summer you’ll be too busy. This issue of The Cut Flower Quarterly is the annual “New Varieties” issue. Find out what you can grow that will make you stronger. Rediscover your assets as a grower and build from that – climb even higher.
    
After reaching the top,  the real thrill begins – twisting, turning, propelled even faster by all those great ideas and hard work you’ve been through. There’s no better thrill for me than to walk through a healthy crop of hydrangeas or to produce a new color of calla lily. Even the adrenaline rush I get from selling artichokes at farmers’ market is unsurpassed.  Many of you know what I’m talking about.
    
Let’s all get on, and climb even higher.