Advocacy Delivers in 2019
AmeircanHort’s advocacy program grew by leaps and bounds in 2019 with new staff, new tools, and new outreach to members and officials alike. The results have been impressive— our members’ input on federal legislation and regulations being sent directly to elected and cabinet officials, personal relationships built between our members and their elected representatives, and keeping our work front and center in our push to address industry priorities.
This year we introduced a new tool to engage with members of Congress and the Administration—AmericanHort’s MemberVoice. This easy-to-use platform lets you send messages to legislators and comment on regulations with just one click. Reception has been great, with some campaigns mobilizing over 50% of our advocates on the issue! In the last two months alone, our members have sent over 800 messages to Congress in support of legislation to reform H-2A and increase the H-2B visa cap.
Using this new technology, AmericanHort members also submitted over 75 comments– half of all comments submitted—in support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s work to redefine “agriculture” as it relates to trucking regulations, specifically including horticulture in the definition. The current rule’s ambiguity has been a point of great concern for many operators and shippers.
Engaging public officials at home is a great way to introduce yourself to members as a knowledgeable resource on the issues that matter and build a relationship that pays dividends later. In 2019, our members met with many Members of Congress, including:
- Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL26) at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla.
- Sen. Jodi Ernst (IA) at Hughes Nursery and Landscaping in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA01) at Plantpeddler in Cresco, Iowa
- Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA05) toured Mostardi Nursery in Newtown Square, Pa.
- Rep. Elaine Luria (VA02) at David’s Nursery and Hermitage Farms in Exmore, and Franktown, Va.
- Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA07) at Battlefield Farms in Rapidan, Va.
AmericanHort in the News
AmericanHort also worked to bring your voice to the media, with our work highlighted in several key publications. Most recently, Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge co-authored an opinion piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on the need to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and Nursery Management Magazine spotlighted AmericanHort’s work to improve trucking regulations in their December issue.
More to Come
While 2019 saw progress on many fronts, much remains to be done. Stay tuned to the Impact Washington newsletter in 2020 to learn more about our work for you in the coming months.