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Local flower farmers working to promote domestically grown flowers

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ARCATA- After California iris' were featured at the White House's most recent State Dinner a local CEO hopes consumers will start to focus more on domestically grown flowers.

Sun Valley Group is one of the top producers of iris' in the state said company President and CEO Lane DeVries. DeVries said it is most likely that some iris' grown in Arcata were at the dinner.

This is the first time, he said, American flowers have been featured exclusively in the White House. DeVries said most people do not realize they are buying imported flowers. "Most people assume that the flowers sold in America are actually American grown."

In response to the change at the White House, Congressional leaders in the House of Representatives have organized a Flowers Caucus that will promote domestically grown flowers.

"We are looking forward to working with many members of congress and to be able to talk about our concerns and opportunities in our industry, said DeVries.

DeVries hopes the political attention will help bring awareness to the problems flower farmers have faced, such as no labels for domestic flowers and regulations that make it easier for foreign farmers to sell products from out of the country.

"Their is a choice between flowers grown off shore and there is a choice between American grown flowers, grown on American soil, by American farmers, by American families," said DeVries.