Florida’s fern and foliage farmers were recognized for their Herculean efforts in bouncing back from the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew with a special flag dedication ceremony during last week’s annual Wholesale Florist and Floral Supply Association (WFFSA) convention at the Miami Airport Convention Center. An American flag designed from all American Grown Flowers was commissioned by the Certified American Grown Flower program to show its support and solidarity for fellow farmers who suffered damage to their farms and crops. Designed by Christy Hulsey of the Colonial House of Flowers, the flag was dedicated just prior to the opening reception of the conference.

America’s fern and foliage farmers in Volusia County Florida, known as the world’s fern capital, were hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, resulting in the loss of production and significant damage to their farms.

In a matter of days, farmers were repairing structures and harvesting fern from unaffected plants, all in an effort to keep their fern and foliage supply coming.

“We are grateful for the efforts of Florida’s fern and foliage farmers who have been working day and night to continue to serve the floral industry,” said Kasey Cronquist, administrator for Certified American Grown. “Despite this life-altering event, these farmers put others’ needs first. It’s been an amazing effort and a significant display of the resiliency of America’s farmers.”

David Register, executive vice president of FernTrust Inc., said that while fern and foliage farmers are accustomed to hard work and hits from Mother Nature, Hurricane Matthew was a significant obstacle to overcome. He, too, applauded efforts to keep ferns and leatherleaf flowing to the marketplace.

“We appreciate the industry’s patience as we tackle the significant damage from the storm. We are grateful for our colleague’s patience and support and we look forward to bouncing back, stronger than before,” Register said.

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