News Release
Release No.STELPRD4005891
ContactSarah Pursley(530) 792-5801
(MAY 12, 2010) USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT GRANT HELPS CUT FLOWER INDUSTRY COMPETE WITH IMPORTS
Ventura, CA, May 12, 2010 --

@@ In recent years, California's cut flower and greens industry has experienced a steady decline in market share due to competition from imports. In an effort to help mitigate these losses the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) has taken steps to revolutionize their transportation network. With help from a $150,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) from USDA Rural Development, CCFC will soon begin educating their growers and customers on their New Model. Today, USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Glenda Humiston presented the CCFC Executive Director Kasey Cronquist with a certificate for the RBEG at their mid-year meeting in Ventura.

"In today's global marketplace, California's growers understand that they need to stay on the cutting edge of innovation to stay competitive," said Humiston. "These funds will help strengthen their ability to both improve quality and efficiencies that will benefit growers and consumers alike."

USDA Rural Development's RBEG funds are available to rural communities, non-profit corporations and tribes for projects that strengthen the economic conditions of rural areas through business and job development and training. CCFC will use the funds to educate growers and customers on the benefits of the New Model for shipping flowers. The training will include meeting with California growers and large flower buyers throughout the United States, as well as developing communication materials.

"I am pleased to receive this grant on the behalf of California Cut Flower Commission and all of our members," said Cronquist. "Not only will this grant provide the cut flower farmers of California an opportunity to better understand their transportation options, but help us achieve our goal to deliver more California grown flowers to more people everywhere."

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ca.

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