Long-time members of the organization will remember when The Cut Flower Quarterly was no more than 24 pages long, printed in black and white with few interesting graphics or eye-catching display ads.  Photo quality was often less than stellar.  Compare those early – but earnest – efforts with recent issues, and you’ll understand how much work goes into the production of a magazine.
This Winter issue is an example of the terrific cooperation between the ASCFG and its supporting suppliers, who provide information for the New Varieties section and help offset our production and distribution costs with their advertising revenue.  As the reputation and importance of this issue spreads, more young plant and seed companies will become involved, making sure their cultivars are seen by as many growers as possible.  
This year we are pleased to welcome several companies to the ASCFG family – Zabo Plant, Ednie Flower Bulb, Bartels Stek, Kieft Seed, Abbott-Ipco, Osborne Seed, Renee’s Garden, and Newflora. Please take the time to contact these companies about their products, and lend them the same support they’re providing the ASCFG.
Contributing writers Gay Smith, Stanton Gill, Janet Foss and Megan Bame add their own personalities to their columns, even without lavish compensation.  Regional Directors, many of whom are initially as terrified at writing a Regional Report as some of us are speaking in front of an audience, end up sending charming pieces, full of useful information and unique perspective.  The President, of course, has his soapbox; fortunately we have not been burdened with any long-winded executives.  Sometimes I miss paging through Bartlett’s to translate Will Fulton’s more oblique references.
This year we hope to take some of the massive burden of coordinating the ASCFG Seed and Young Plant Trials from John’s Dole’s shoulders.  The early-season administration will be handled through the ASCFG office, while John will continue to receive Trials results and produce the Reports.  You’ll see here that he continues to produce quality information from a huge amount of data.  
Make this your year to become more involved with your organization.  You don’t need to write for the Quarterly, but you can contribute your own postings to the Bulletin Board.  Apply for a Grower Grant from the Research Committee; you’d be surprised how simple the procedure is, and how rewarding the outcome can be Attend a couple Regional Meetings, not just in your Region.  When you get a “Short Cuts” from the office, read the whole thing.  Call your Regional Director – they’re always asking for your ideas.  They’re growers just like you, and are always interested to hear what you think about the ASCFG, and what you’re doing right – or wrong – in your business as well.
Hope your 2006 growing season is even better than the last.