2018 Seasoned Growers' Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The ASCFG presents a meeting designed specifically for cut flower growers well established in their careers: those considering expansion or retirement, farm transition, and long-term planning. This intensive two-day event is limited to 50 attendees; registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Moderated by Lynn Byczynski, founding publisher of Growing for Market, author of The Flower Farmer

Cancellation policy: A full refund will be paid if cancellation is received prior to January 15, 2018; one-half refunded prior to February 1, 2018; after February 1, no refund can be made. No exceptions.

Register using this form.

Online Registration



6:00 – 8:00 p.m.    
Icebreaker reception with bouquet bar
Grab a cocktail and then grab your clippers! Join us in the courtyard for a relaxed evening of conversation around the bar…the Bouquet Bar, that is! Buckets of locally-grown blooms and a selection of vases will be available during this cocktail reception for you to create an arrangement for your room. Enjoy flowers just for the fun of it! And while you play with the local fare, take time to chat with fellow attendees and start building the supportive community that will make the next two days unforgettable.


8:00 a.m.  
Coffee and beignets

8:30 a.m.  
Succession, Retirement, and Estate Planning I—Elements of Succession and Estate Planning, Poppy Davis
This first session will introduce the common models for passing a land-based business through a succession and estate plan. We will introduce the important tools of estate planning, and discuss ways assets are wholly or partially transferred during life or upon death, or over time. The second half of the session will focus on the legal and accounting  structures used to keep the land or facility where you operate as legally and financial distinct from the business itself, and the business structures and legal agreements used to transfer a business.

10:00 a.m.   Break

10:30 a.m.  
Deep Sustainability, Mark Cain
You need to make money, but money alone is not life-sustaining. Hear how a farmer who has been running a successful farm enterprise for over 30 years incorporates important factors like physical and mental health, quality of life, and personal values into his farm business, while also ensuring that it stays financially viable. This popular presenter will cover this less talked about, but equally important, aspect of farming.

11:30 a.m.  
Study Hall Session One
Each attendee will receive electronic files to create her or his own Action Book. Over three study hall sessions you can work in small groups or on your own to translate speakers’ sessions into action items for yourself. Poppy Davis will be circulating  through the session and available to answer questions. 

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.   Lunch included 

1:30 p.m.  
Demystifying Grant Writing, Mimo and Miranda Davis-Duschack
Growers looking to expand production, experiment with new processes, and add new systems to their farm often shy away from the sometimes-daunting prospect of finding, applying for, and implementing agricultural grants. Two flower growers have successfully obtained USDA funding for projects on their Midwestern urban farm, and will break down the process for you.

3:00 p.m.  
Transitioning to the Next Generation, Alex Hitt
Farm transition is a popular subject in the farm community as many farmers are getting older (average age is 59) and are trying to figure out what they are going to do with their businesses, properties, and themselves as they get even older. Hear the personal story of how after 35 years, Alex and Betsy of Peregrine Farm are transitioning their farm business to a non-family member while phasing into retirement.

4:30 a.m.  
Study Hall Session Two
During this time you can use the Action Book to start to describe your current land-based business, and the key people in your life who will be part of your succession or estate plan.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  
Happy Hour
Relax in the hotel courtyard with a drink, and let your brain rest for a while, before heading out to explore New Orleans with your colleagues.


8:00 a.m.   Coffee and beignets

8:30 a.m.  
Training the Next Generation, Mark Cain
The apprenticeship model of live-in, on-farm training is as old as the hills, and can regularly infuse a farm with fresh youthful energy. But there are important distinctions between training young people who live and work on the farm, and having more skilled hourly farm workers who come and go. Do you have the temperament, patience, facilities, and kind of operation where apprenticeship arrangements can work? In this session, we’ll explore the basics of acquiring interns, daily work organization, social aspects, housing, pay, meals, as well as important pitfalls to avoid.

10:30 a.m.  
Succession, Retirement and Estate Planning II—Matching Your Tools
to Your Purpose, Poppy Davis

The second session will discuss processes for matching your goals for the people and assets in your life with the tools used to transfer assets, and the various roles people assume either to take over business management or to administer your affairs if you are incapacitated or deceased.  We will discuss family meetings, the roles of accountants and attorneys, the use of trusts, powers of attorney, and buy-sell agreements and how to think about the difference between fair and equal in estate planning. 
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.   Lunch included

1:30 p.m.  
Study Hall Session Three
In this final study hall session you will match estate planning tools with the assets and people you identified in earlier sessions and there will be time for additional questions, small group discussion, and synthesis.
3:00 p.m.   Break

3:30 p.m.  
Hive Mind:  Dealing with Market Saturation and Competition
Join this Q and A group session as attendees share strategies and solutions needed to succeed and survive when faced with competition from start-ups, eroding market share, or other obstacles that can impact your bottom line.  

4:30 p.m.   Conclusion    

Videos of this event will be available to attendees only.


Lynn Byczynski founded Growing for Market, a national periodical for market farmers, in 1992 and operated it for 25 years until she sold the business in 2016. Throughout that time, she and her husband, Dan Nagengast, ran a small organic vegetable and flower farm near Lawrence, Kansas, and sold through a cooperative CSA, at farmers’ markets, to chefs, florists, and natural food stores. Her farming experiences provided constant fodder for her writing career, which included her books The Flower Farmer and Market Farming Success, both still in print. She recently assumed the role of head honcho at Seeds from Italy, a garden seed import business she and Dan bought in 2011 and are planning to pass on soon to their two adult children, Will and Laurel. It’s a difficult job that requires her to grow Italian vegetables in her home garden, go to Italy every other year, and dine at Italian restaurants. Once she has transferred her business knowledge to the next generation, she plans to retire back into her true calling of writing about horticulture and the people who are passionate about it.

Mark Cain, co-owner of Dripping Springs Farm in Huntsville, Arkansas, came to organic market gardening through his interest in all things biological, with a degree in biology from the University of Illinois and subsequent study in organic horticulture at the Farm and Garden Project of the University of California Santa Cruz in 1978. Mark is an active member of the Fayetteville Farmers Market Board of Directors, and often an invited speaker at local and regional sustainable agriculture conferences.

Mimo and Miranda Davis-Duschack carved a one-acre urban flower farm into the middle of a St. Louis neighborhood. Now in its sixth year, their intensive, almost year-round operation produces more than 85 kinds of cut flowers, sold at farmers’ markets, and for weddings and events. They have also been awarded several grants that have helped have helped them expand their business dramatically.

Poppy Davis teaches and advises on agricultural business and policy issues affecting family-scale farms and ranchers and community interests in healthy food and farming systems. She regularly provides formal and informal training and technical assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers on a variety of agricultural business issues including business formation, land tenure, credit, cash flow, taxation, legal liability, including regulatory compliance, and marketing.  She is adjunct faculty at the University of Arkansas Law School teaching a course in agricultural taxation. Recent projects include providing workshops and technical assistance under the University of California at Berkeley’s BFRDP project “Growing Roots”, developing and presenting a special curriculum on food safety and inventory accounting for niche meat producers at the NC Choices Women in Meat Conference (funded by the Wallace Center), and ongoing affiliations with the University of California at Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Farm Apprentice Program, the Center for Land Based Learning’s California Farm Academy, The  National Farmers Union Beginning Farmer Institute, and California Farm Link. She worked eight years at the USDA from 2004-2011, most recently as the National Program Leader for Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Previously she was a California CPA with an emphasis in agricultural enterprises and non-profits. She holds a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School, a Masters in Journalism from Georgetown, and a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis.

Alex Hitt has been farming outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina for 36 years with his wife Betsy. An extremely diversified operation, they produce cut flowers, small fruits, and vegetables. The majority of their income is from a two day a week farmers' market and the rest in direct sales to a number of restaurants. They have also marketed crops by pick-your-own and roadside stands, and to grocery stores, florists, and floral wholesalers. They have both been full time on the farm since 1990 and make their entire living off of 2 ½ acres in production. Alex graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in soils. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is also the Board Chair of the Rural Advancement Foundation International—USA. Alex is the past Chair of the Administrative Council of the Southern Region on the USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program. Betsy and Alex were named 1995 Small Farmers of the Year by N.C. State A & T Univ.; 1995 Farm Stewards of the Year by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; and in 2006 awarded the Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2008 they were inducted as Fellows in the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs. Peregrine Farm was included in the National Academy of Sciences report “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century” in 2010.


Chateau LeMoyne
301 Rue Dauphine, New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 581-1301

Reservation Procedures:
Call: 1-800-747-3279
Refer to Group Code:      AGU                  
Group Name:                    Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
Group Rate applicable:   3/11 - 16/2018
Cut Off Date:                    2/24/2018