A Year Like No Other

The year 2020 seems to be lasting a decade, and it’s only midsummer. We started with great hopes:  an ASCFG membership exploding with new creative and successful growers, a dynamic and committed Board of Directors, and a Strategic Plan that would help us find and collaborate with experienced partners to create new educational and research programs for our members.

All those positives are still in place, but as the country—and much of the world—lurches from crisis to crisis, we’ve been sidetracked by a global pandemic, an economic recession, record unemployment, and calls, increasingly from voices not heard before, for social justice. As you’ll read in these pages, ASCFG members were swift to pivot (are we tired of that word yet?) to new marketing systems, and taught themselves to adapt—not without sacrifice—to unfamiliar methods.

We couldn’t be prouder of their initiative and energy, and believe their successes will carry them through this season and beyond. We know, though, that not all cut flower growers were able to surmount the challenges they faced, and hope they’ll be able to turn around their businesses in the future.

Given the constantly changing nature of the pandemic’s spread, and the disparity in reporting data, it’s virtually impossible for an organization like ours to now provide accurate information on COVID-19, but in early days, we organized as much as we could from national and state agencies to share with members.
After the horrific events of late May, and the days that followed, the ASCFG Board of Directors quickly met via Zoom to set a course for the organization to more transparently address social injustice, as well as the disparity of diversity in the Association. This topic had already been included in the Strategic Plan, but will now play a more prominent role moving forward.
The basis for the action items outlined in the Strategic Plan was a survey sent to all members last fall. Two topics members mentioned frequently as those they’d like to learn more about were organic production of cut flowers, and cooperative marketing. We’re happy to present articles, each of which we hope will be the first in a series, on these subjects in this issue of the Quarterly

We look to the second half of the year with cautious optimism, and with gratitude for the generosity and goodwill of our members. We know that working with the soil provides a life balance and a positive purpose not always afforded our fellow humans, and hope that you’ll share that privilege and peace with others.