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September 11 - 13, Washington, D.C.

US: Impact Washington Event to focus on green industry issues

AmericanHort is hosting its first, sold-out advocacy summit called Impact Washington in Washington, D.C., September 11 - 13.

With over 100 attendees representing 24 states across the United States as well as Canada, this is the horticulture industry’s opportunity to engage directly with lawmakers and thought leaders whose efforts will shape our future. The three-day event will be a mix of listening, learning, interacting, and influencing.

“Timing is everything,” said AmericanHort Senior Vice President, Industry Advocacy & Research, Craig Regelbrugge. “As we approach the Impact Washington event, our timing could not be more critical for the key issues that stand to impact our industry. So, we are calling on our grassroots partners to put on their citizen advocate hats and step up.”

During the summit, AmericanHort will focus on preparing attendees to meet and discuss with elected leaders and their staff three of the most pressing issues facing the industry – labor and the workforce, research and innovation, and tax reform.

Labor and the workforce
Our industry needs reforms that stabilize our current workforce, provide better visa program options, and bring clarity and integrity to the hiring process. While the Trump Administration could act to improve the situation confronting horticulture industry employers, some of the needed policy fixes depend on Congress passing legislation. As September arrives, opportunity could be borne out of the threat posed by immigration enforcement-only bills.

Horticultural research & innovation
With the 2018 Farm Bill taking shape, the focus will be on programs that drive horticultural research and innovation. These programs include the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, and the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI). Of particular importance is FNRI, a unique three-way research partnership involving the Agricultural Research Service, the horticulture industry, and university scientists. FNRI invests about $4.6 million in relevant research each year.

Tax reform
Congress wants to tackle tax reform and just about everyone would like a simpler and fairer tax code. Attendees will leverage their voices as small business owners -- providing testimony on the importance of industry accounting methods as well as identifying opportunities for tax relief.

As they learn and prepare, attendees will be hearing from elected leaders and policy experts on issues of great impact on green industry business success. Senator Thom Tillis, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Representative Rodney Davis, and Special Assistant to the President Ray Starling will all address the crowd and share their input and knowledge on these key issues.

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