California Grown celebrates the Golden State in the Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It was 2011 when we first wrote about the California Grown credential awarded by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). The California Clock Company contacted us about their 2012 Rose Parade float celebrating their 80th anniversary and their most famous product, the ubiquitous Kit-Cat clock. They insisted on floral materials that were grown in California, and along with Cal Poly Universities, achieved California Grown status. In order to be certified, 85 percent of the floral materials on an entry must be grown in the Golden State.

By 2017, three floats and the Tournament of Roses vehicles carrying Rose Parade honorees, received certification, despite the years-long drought that plagued California agriculture until early 2017. The floats were Miracle-Gro “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” Cal Poly Universities “A New Leaf,” and California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) “Legacy of Generations.” We were able to attend the ceremonies at Fiesta Parade Floats for Miracle-Gro and CMAB, but there are photos of all the honorees below, along with links to more extensive articles on the Tournament of Roses entries.

At the ceremony on Jan. 1, 2017 at Fiesta, Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Continue reading “California Grown celebrates the Golden State in the Rose Parade”

California Milk Advisory Board celebrates 200+ years of dairy farming with 2017 Rose Parade float

“Legacy of Generations” sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board honored the two-century heritage of dairy farming in the Golden State. Many of the decoration materials on the California Milk Advisory Board float represent the food dairy farm families feed their dairy cows. Cows consume food byproducts (citrus pulp, almond hulls, corn stalks), which not only keeps them out of landfills, but is turned by cows into nutritious milk. Ground almond hulls, walnut shells, whole barley, flax seed and oats are used. Many of the materials on the float represent the food dairy farm families feed their dairy cows, byproducts such as citrus pulp, almond hulls, walnut shells, whole barley, flax seed and cottonseed, oats, and corn stalks.


by Laura Berthold Monteros

Quick! Which state is Number One in dairy production? Wisconsin? Texas? How about Minnesota? Nope. The top dairy state is also home to the Tournament of Roses. California produces almost 50 percent more milk with 40 percent more cows than the next state. California produced enough milk in 2015 to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium 58 times.

“Legacy of Generations,” sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), celebrated more than 200 years of dairy farming and families in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. The float, a confection of ice cream, milk, yogurt, and cheese in flowers, was designed by Art Aguirre and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. Riders were from multi-generational dairy families representing more than 1,300 dairy farm families in the state, families which own and operate 99 percent of the dairy farms in the Golden State. With one in five cows in the United States residing in California, a Holstein graced her very own satellite float.

We spoke with some of the riders who were present at the California Grown presentation at Fiesta Parade Floats on Jan. 1. More about the presentation, which honors Rose Parade entries that use at least 85 percent California grown flowers, in a later article. For now, we will focus on these folks who provide milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and all kinds of dairy products to California and the nation. There are short videos of some of them on the CMAB website. (Scroll down a bit.)

Photos of the California Milk Advistory Board float are in the gallery below, with descriptions of the materials used.

Many of the materials on the float represent the food dairy farm families feed their dairy cows, byproducts such as citrus pulp, almond hulls, walnut shells, Continue reading “California Milk Advisory Board celebrates 200+ years of dairy farming with 2017 Rose Parade float”

Dole Packaged Foods, Real California Milk unveil 2017 Rose Parade float designs

dole_0-2017by Laura Berthold Monteros

Dole Packaged Foods and Real California Milk return to the Tournament of Roses Parade and Fiesta Parade Floats in 2017 with the beautiful “Spirit of Hawaii” and the fun and whimsical “Legacy of Generations” floats. To kick off the New Year’s season—which starts in November in Pasadena—Dole has launched a sweepstakes for a vacation for two to the Big Island of Hawaii. It runs through midnight on Dec. 31, 2016. The grand prize includes hotel and airfare and there are weekly prizes. Fans can enter at or

The 128th Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017 marks Dole Packaged Foods’ seventh year in the parade. With six Sweepstakes wins, Dole has won more sweeps trophies than any other Rose Parade sponsor. The floats have showcased the various countries and cultures where Dole fruit is grown. “Spirit of Hawaii” celebrates its history in the Hawaiian Islands, dating back to 1899 when James Dole first traveled there. King Kamehameha stands at the front of the float and Pele, the goddess of fire, wind, lightning, and volcanoes towers at the back as a volcano erupts behind her. The float features the largest waterfall in Rose Parade history. Decorations will include fresh, non-GMO fruits and vegetables grown by Dole, including bananas, pineapples and mangoes.

“Hawaii is an important part of Dole’s heritage,” said Dave Spare, Vice President of Marketing, Dole Packaged Foods. “We want to share our rich history with Rose Parade viewers across the globe through this float and bring a bit of paradise to the community during the holiday season – through not only this beautiful float design, but also our charitable efforts with Feeding America and FOOD Share.”

The company will participate in “Spirit of Giving” by collecting non-perishable food items at the annual Live on Green event in Pasadena Dec. 30 – Jan. 1, Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale, and its headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif.  Donations benefit Ventura County’s regional food bank, FOOD Share, part of Feeding America, and its partners throughout the San Gabriel Valley. FOOD Share President and CEO Bonnie Atmore to ride on Dole’s Rose Parade float in honor of her commitment to feeding, nourishing, and educating the hungry.

real-california-milk-2017-cmab_0With its second Rose Parade entry, the California Milk Advisory Board will feature multi-generational California dairy farm families in keeping with the parade theme, “Echoes of Success.” “Legacy of Generations” is a reminder that the knowledge passed from generation to generation and the essential partnership between the farmers, the land, the animals and their communities have made California the number one dairy state. A life-size animated Holstein cow has center stage on a satellite float. As on last year’s float, decoration materials will utilize co-products of food production, such as almond hulls and walnut shells, products used as feed for dairy cows that would otherwise end up in landfills and that cows, as ruminants, turn into a nutritious food.

“We are honored to have this year’s Rose Parade float represent the more than 200-year legacy of California dairy and generations of farm families who have committed endless hours to working with the land and animals in their care to produce a real, wholesome and nutritious food,” said John Talbot, CEO of Real California Milk and the California Milk Advisory Board. “The float design reflects the farm tradition passed from generation to generation in the hope that successfully working together can echo throughout the community with healthy, happy people.”