In March, the ASCFG Board of Directors traveled to San Antonio, Texas for our spring meeting. Being on the Board has shown me a whole new side of this organization. As I boarded my connecting flight in Charlotte, I was inching down the aisle trying not to hit anyone with my carry-on bag when someone squeezed my arm. I looked up to see the smiling face of Southeast Regional Director Charles Hendricks. We exchanged “see you in a little while” greetings and I took my seat.

Once in San Antonio, we shared a cab to the hotel and talked flowers and growing. It never gets old. When we arrived at the hotel, I was sleepy from being awake past my 9:00 bedtime and Charles was exhausted from an extremely long day of traveling. We walked into the lobby to enthusiastic “hellos” from the rest of the board members who were seated around a table having an informal pre-meeting to maximize our brief time together. We joined in and I was re-energized hearing about ASCFG President Polly Hutchison’s recent trip to our nation’s capital (with several other ASCFG growers) to better the cut flower industry.

The next morning I enjoyed a peaceful 45-minute stroll—something I never seem to find time for at home—enjoying San Antonio and proving that I can find a Starbucks anywhere. I returned with latte in hand, ready for our 8:30 meeting, and was greeted by hugs and the smiling faces of Polly and Mike Hutchison, Josie Crowson, Barbara Lamborne, Paula Rice, Rita Anders, Judy Laushman, Jeriann Sabin and of course, Charles. Missy Bahret joined in via online connection (with new baby cooing on occasion), as did Kent Miles. All of these folks I barely knew two years ago, I now consider friends.

We proceeded to spend the day covering numerous topics including regional reports that told of a better financial outlook in many areas with the economy looking a little brighter, although lots of drought and tough weather for flower growers was also in the mix. Our agenda was lengthy and Jeriann kept us on task. Making our community of growers stronger and more prosperous was the overlying theme and directed most decisions we made that day. We talked hoophouses, crops, and life as a grower over a quick lunch out in the San Antonio sun, and then deliberated over grant proposals and scholarship applications in the afternoon. Each board member brought great perspective to the conversations, as all of our farms, climates and demographic areas are quite different. A Monday morning meeting back home kept me from being able to join the rest of the board and about 100 other ASCFG growers at the Arnosky’s farm the next day, but I heard it was absolutely amazing.

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes in this organization. Judy and Linda are in the office daily gathering information to compile The Cut Flower Quarterly, keeping our website up to date and doing 1,000 other things to make this organization awesome. Our board has had our first series of virtual meetings this year, with both our budget committee and full board meeting online during the off-season. Regular email conversations hash out the details of conference planning and our Northeast Regional Super-Meeting for this fall is shaping up nicely. I am really looking forward to traveling to Polly and Mike’s Robin Hollow Farm for a growers’ school style mini conference.

I’m so glad to be a part of this organization and would encourage all of you to get more involved. Attend some of this year’s meetings to take advantage of our new conference format for the year and get to know some other growers. Submit ideas for articles for the Quarterly, or better yet, write an article! Your life as a grower will be better for it.

Becky Devlin

Roost Flowers & Design

Becky Devlin Roost Flowers & Design [email protected]