Keynote Speakers


Thursday Night Keynote - Ko Klaver

Peonies as Cut Flowers on the World Stage

This session presented by floriculture marketing expert Ko Klaver will provide you with a more in-depth picture as to where Alaska Grown Peonies stands at this time, where it can go and what the future may hold for Alaska peony cut flowers.
Where do we stand as peony growers, what is our market share currently, where can it grow towards, and what do we need to do to secure that position in the cut flower  industry.  The question remains, do american flower distributors and consumers know Alaska Grown Peonies, its opportunity and what is the perception out there about Alaska peony growers. Are we making it happen? 


Friday Morning Keynote - Debra Prinzing


American Beauty: The Slow Flower Movement from Field to Vase

Award-winning author and leading American flowers advocate Debra Prinzing will speak about the resurgence of American flower farms and the emerging eco-floral design movement. Her "state of American grown flowers" presentation highlights who/what/where and why details about increased consumer demand for local, seasonal and sustainable flowers.
Meet the individual flower farmers, wholesalers, retailers and florists who are actively transforming the conventional model of floral distribution. Debra’s visually elegant presentation explores the “slow flowers” concepts featured in her 2012 book, The 50 Mile Bouquet and her 2013 book Slow Flowers. She will also share the Slow Flowers' Floral Insights and Industry Forecast, introducing the top themes for 2017.

Friday Afternoon Keynote - Nancy Fresco

Potential Effects of Climate Change on Peony Growers

Due in part to our northern climate, Alaska peony growers are uniquely placed to take advantage of the market during July, August and September. But Alaska’s climate is changing; indeed, as a result of the complex feedback loops triggered by melting ice caps, thawing permafrost, and increased forest fire, climate is changing faster here than in almost any other part of the world.  Will this change affect the peony industry?  Will impacts be positive or negative?  How might growers adapt?  Nancy Fresco will present the latest climate change research from UAF, field questions from the audience, and discuss possible outcomes.

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Saturday Morning Keynote - John Dole

Principles of post-harvest handling of Cut Flowers

We will discuss how to make the experience of enjoying Alaska’s lush and gorgeous peonies last as long as possible for those that buy them.  We will cover the principles of postharvest handling of fresh cut flowers. Proper postharvest handling starts with the plants in the field and ends with beautiful flowers being enjoyed by the consumer with many steps along the way. John Dole will include the latest postharvest research and peonies will be used as examples where information is available.