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Posted on February 28, 2014 | 9:18 a.m.

Capps Launches Bipartisan Congressional Cut Flower Caucus

Source: C.J. Young for Rep. Lois Capps

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, joined Republican colleague Rep. Duncan Hunter of California on Thursday to launch the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus.

The caucus is open to all members of Congress and will be dedicated to promoting the domestic cut flower industry.

“I am thrilled to work with Congressman Hunter to launch the bipartisan Congressional Cut Flower Caucus,” Capps said. “Floriculture is our nation’s third-largest agricultural product, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity. This caucus will be a platform to highlight these contributions and for increasing awareness for the issues facing the industry.”

“Cut flowers are an important part of our local economy and offer consumers the opportunity to support American agriculture," Hunter said. "In fact, my home state of California accounts for three-quarters of all cut flowers grown here in the United States. I am proud to co-chair the bipartisan Cut Flower Caucus with my colleague, Representative Capps, to help bring attention to the issues facing American growers.”

"The establishment of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus is an important milestone for the growing momentum for American Grown flowers and our family farms that grow them," California Cut Flower Commission CEO/Ambassador Kasey Cronquist said. "We are grateful for the leadership of Congressman Duncan Hunter and Congresswoman Lois Capps to establish the caucus in support of our American flower farmers."

The caucus celebrated the launch with a roundtable discussion with industry leaders in the Capitol complex. Looking forward, the group will focus on educating members and staff on the economic and cultural importance of America’s cut flower and greens farmers, as well as the challenges the industry faces. The caucus will sponsor events to provide a greater understanding of the issues and opportunities facing America’s cut flower farmers, their families and their flowers.

Other attendees of the caucus launch included Kasey Cronquist, CEO of the California Cut Flower Commission; Lane DeVries, board member and 2013 California Cut Flower Commission chair; Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet and local flower advocate; and Diane Szukovathy, a flower farmer from Mount Vernon, Wash.

C.J. Young is a press assistant for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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