When a company has an over 100-year history, you can bet it has seen (and withstood) just about everything. Market changes. Innovations. Recessions. Reinventions.
That’s why the fact Ball Horticultural Company has signed on as a founding member of the reimagined Certified American Grown makes all the difference.
As President and CEO Anna Ball puts it,
Cut flower growers need our help right now. I say let’s give it to them.
Ball, a third-generation leader at Ball Horticultural, notes that her grandfather was a cut flower grower for 40 to 50 years, making cut flowers part of the company’s DNA.
Launched in 1905 as a wholesale cut flower operation, Ball Horticultural has grown into a global family of companies that includes breeders, research and development teams, seed and vegetative producers, and distribution companies. Among those operations is Ball SB, known to cut flower growers as an innovative supplier of cut flower propagation material.
Ball Horticultural supplies cut flower growers in the U.S. and around the world with seeds, cuttings, plugs and tissue cultures for flowers, including snapdragons, lisianthus and delphinium – all the unique varieties that make a bouquet special – through its distribution companies like Ball Seed, which serves North America.
Today, the company is the only American-owned and family-owned global horticultural breeding company. And it’s a company that believes in giving back.
“We believe in organizations like Certified American Grown because we think it’s important to support the industry. If you can afford to give, you should. And I hope if we were ever in the position of needing help, people would give to an organization that could do so,” Ball says.
In addition to supporting the new Certified American Grown, Ball Horticultural has sponsored the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour since 2015. Ball says the event provides everything you want in life: “flowers, wonderful people and a unique environment.”
“And the dinners expose the cut flower industry to people who really don’t know where flowers come from,” she adds. That’s key to the future of the industry.
Ball Horticultural has also supported the cut flower industry through advocacy efforts. “During the first few months of the pandemic, some members of our team worked full-time, along with trade organizations, to have flowers deemed essential with various governors,” Ball says. “When things get rough, you depend on your trade organizations and that’s why we support them.”
This support takes place in tandem with innovations at Ball Horticultural Company that will also bolster the cut flower industry. The company is currently building an R&D advanced technology center in West Chicago, with an expected completion date in March 2021. As a central hub for horticulture research, it will also support the company’s partnerships with research, breeding and production locations worldwide.
“Our main investments are currently in R&D, that’s where we’re putting our resources right now,” Ball says. The focus is on creating more flower varieties and products that are even more interesting, easier to grow, and more disease resistant.
Proof, once again, of Ball Horticultural Company’s commitment to a healthy, resilient cut flower industry.