Third Annual Think Pink! Celebrating Life & Loved Ones involves FFA students

FFA students from New Smyrna Beach learn business techniques at the Volusia Farmers Market.

Karen Stauderman, UF/IFAS Commercial Horticulture Agent II

The third annual Think Pink! Celebrating Life & Loved Ones was held at the Volusia Farm Bureau Farmers Market on Sept. 27. The event kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) in addition to highlighting the Volusia cut foliage industry. University of Florida Volusia County Extension Services, Volusia County Farm Bureau and Fern Trust, Inc. sponsored this event.

Shoppers at the Farmers Market were treated to Icy pink lemonade/raspberry/mint slushies, and pink-themed bouquets were generously donated free-of-charge. Over 100 pink foliage bouquets were donated and handed out to fighters and survivors of breast cancer.

New to the event, Karen Stauderman, commercial horticulture agent, organized a petunia competition where students formed fictional companies and sought donations to promote FFA. Twenty-two students from New Smyrna Beach High School FFA and their instructor, Jamie Davis participated in the mock entrepreneurial nursery competition. They sought donations in return for petunia plants that they grew and learned valuable marketing, sales and production skills used in the real-world horticulture industry. They also learned first-hand about the effects of a hurricane (Irma) and how it can impact the horticulture industry.

David Register, executive vice president of Fern Trust, Inc. in Seville served as representative for the cut foliage industry at the event. Register is spearheading the American Grown Field-to-Vase Dinner, being held on Nov. 18 in Seville. For more information on this nationally sponsored event, email info@americangrownflowers.org or call 916-441-1701 or visit americangrownflowers.org/fieldtova