Weeks after dozens of growers, wholesalers, suppliers and retailers traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Society of American Florists’ Congressional Action Days (CAD), lawmakers are giving heightened attention to key industry issues, thanks to the ongoing efforts of SAF and its members.
Since the mid-March event, SAF has coordinated with 21 congressional offices on follow-up requests for more information on the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative and the Floriculture Crops Summary. During CAD, SAF members met with lawmakers and staff to explain the value of FNRI research and statistical reporting to the industry.
Before taking to the Hill during CAD, Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, research coordinator for the American Floral Endowment, briefed SAF members on the research and how it has played a central role in creating new technology and best practices in pest and disease management.
“Research is all about your business, it doesn’t matter the segment,” he said. “Money toward research makes it happen.”
Marvin Miller, Ph.D., AAF, of Ball Horticultural in West Chicago, Illinois, stressed the importance of the Floriculture Crops Summary during the briefing, noting that it provides the floriculture industry with critical information, including data on which crops are being sold, and in what quantities, along with where the crops are grown. All of this information, Miller pointed out, helps industry members plan ahead.
Within days of CAD, SAF began fielding inquiries from lawmakers’ offices for more information on FNRI and the report. SAF staff also reached out directly to specific staff to keep the momentum generated from the visits going.