PRO Institute UCDavis

August 17-19, 2014

PRO Institute UCDavis is an intensive 2.5 day cut flower care, handling, and marketing program being held at the Hyatt Place Hotel on the University of California, Davis campus from Sunday evening August 17through Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Based on 14 previous PRO Institutes, likely attendees will represent domestic and offshore growers, mass market and traditional retailers, wholesalers, bouquet producers, postharvest product supply companies, transportation firms, refrigeration manufacturers, and companies with new postharvest technologies for the floral industry.


  • To provide attendees detailed information on how the quality of cut flowers and greens can be influenced by ethylene, hydration, nutrients, water, microbes, foliage, bunching, transportation, temperature, packing, Botrytis, flower foods, light, harvest time, storage, and dry or wet handling.
  • To provide attendees pertinent research findings and experiences that demonstrate how various factors influence the marketing of cut flowers including consumer age, price, flower foods, color, guarantees, fragrance, and floral outlet.
  • Using hands-on demonstrations and tests, to show how readily available and inexpensive tools can be used to objectively monitor factors affecting the postharvest life and quality of cut flowers and greens.

Format: Lectures, discussions, hands-on tests and demonstrations, and networking.

Facilitators: Alicia Rihn (Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Florida), Linda Dodge (Staff Research Associate, UCDavis), Karen Leggett (President, KJL Associates Inc.) and George Staby (President, Perishables Research Organization).

Dates: Sunday evening August 17 through Tuesday evening August 19, 2014

Location: The Hyatt Place Hotel on the UCDavis campus, Davis, California.

Travel: The hotel is 19 miles from Sacramento International Airport. Hence, taking a bus, taxi, car rental, or shuttle to the hotel is easy. Oakland and San Francisco International Airports are located 77 and 84 miles from the hotel, respectively.


Marketing related topics that will be addressed include:

  • Generations X and Y attitudes toward fresh flowers as gifts
  • Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for specific longevity guarantees
  • Consumer color preferences for cut flowers during holidays and non-holidays
  • Actions to improve giver and receiver preferences for cut flowers
  • How longevity and fragrance factors affect flower purchasing
  • Understanding consequences of dissatisfied and regretful customers
  • U.S. consumer choices of floral retail outlets
  • Consumer knowledge of flower foods as related to flower purchases
  • What consumers think about flowers


Postharvest demonstrations / tests that will be utilized include:

  • Determining ethylene sensitivity of various cut flowers and/or greens
  • Use of anti-ethylene products (water, cardboard, pallet, and temperature effects)
  • Objectively determining the quality of incoming dry and wet packed flowers
  • Establishing simple, accurate, and useful vase life tests
  • Preventing (and stimulating) leaf yellowing, especially with bulb crops
  • Bunching techniques and materials to help maximize vase life
  • Effects of water quality and hydration / flower food products on efficacy
  • Proper cut flower and green temperature measurements and probe calibrations
  • Rehydration as affected by dry handling and/or hydration techniques / products
  • Botrytis identification and prevention / control measures
  • Immediate and residual sanitizing capabilities of bucket cleaning agents
  • Obtaining and using a new floral crops care, handling, and marketing eManual


Sunday, August 17

5:00 - 7:00 PM – Welcoming reception (hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and soft drinks), introductions, networking, and initial presentation, test, and demonstration

Monday, August 18

6:30 - 7:15 AM – breakfast and networking
7:30 - 11:30 AM – lectures and demonstrations / tests including refreshment break
12 noon - 1:00 PM – lunch and networking
1:15 - 5:00 PM – lectures and demonstrations / tests including refreshment break
6:00 - 8:00 PM – dinner, discussions, demonstrations, tests, and networking 

Tuesday, August 19

6:30 - 7:15 AM – breakfast and networking
7:30 - 11:30 AM – lectures and demonstrations / tests including refreshment break
12 noon - 1:00 PM – lunch and networking
1:15 PM - 5:00 PM – lectures and demonstrations /tests including refreshment break
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM – dinner, review, final discussions, tests, and networking 

Wednesday, August 20

6:30 - 9:00 AM – breakfast, depart, and/or enjoy the local surroundings
7:00 - 10:00 AM – one-on-one free consultations can be scheduled with George Staby


Cost: The fee is $1495 per person, which includes three night’s hotel (single occupancy), seven meals, welcoming reception, refreshment breaks, materials, and the program itself. Double occupancy fee is $1360 per person and $1270 per person if no hotel room is needed. Fees are 100% refundable if one cancels by July 15, 2014, and 50% refundable if one cancels by August 1, 2014.

Registration and/or questions: To register and/or ask questions, contact George Staby at or 1-520-723-9705. He will provide payment option details (check, credit card, or bank wire). Invoices are available upon request.

Opportunity to showcase wares: Attendees can provide flowers, postharvest care products, and related items that can be displayed and/or used in the demonstrations / tests to allow fellow attendees to gain a better understand of their attributes.

Free eManual: Attendees will receive a free PDF copy of the Care, Handling, and Marketing Recommendations for Floral Crops eManual. Any attendee that already has a copy can have a free gift copy sent in their name to a coworker, supplier, or customer.

Attire (casual), weather (56-93F), and Wi-Fi (complimentary hotel-wide)