Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
In my last blog post you met Michelle a cut flower farmer located near Carlisle, PA. One piece of advice that she had for new flower farmers was to join the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG). I thought I would take a few minutes and talk about what a great organization this is.
The ASCFG was formed thirty years ago to connect growers from across the country (and across the seas!). The primary goals of the ASCFG are to help growers connect and provide information on production, marketing and research.
They have tons of information on their website if you are a current member. There are bulletin boards to connect with other growers, access to back issues of their magazine, "The Cut Flower Quarterly," as well as videos from previously held conferences over the last decade. They hold several conferences every year with a national conference every other year. Becoming a member of the ASCFG is a great way to network with others in the same field and as a new grower it has been extremely beneficial to me in every aspect as I start my business.
One really cool program that the ASCFG offers is its Mentorship Program. They select five new growers and pair them with an experienced grower based on location and business models. This is a way for the more established farmer to help fast track the new farmer through the early years that can tend to be a struggle.
I was selected as a recipient for the 2018/2019 cycle! My mentor is Dave Delbo from Catawissa, PA. You'll get to meet him later this year in a future blog post.
We do have some requirements that we have to fulfill such as keeping in regular communication and contact with each other. Visiting each others farms at least one time during the two years and completing an annual evaluation/report on the program.
Another cool benefit of the mentoring program is that the ASCFG will pay for one conference tuition during the two year period for each the mentor and mentee. This year I will be attending their Grower's School in Berlin, Ohio in just over a month. I am hoping to take away a wealth of information that I can use this upcoming season.
I will be sure to do a blog post on this event at the end of February.
Spring is just around the corner!!