March 18, 2015
H-2B Situation Goes From Bad To Even Worse
On March 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will no longer accept or process H-2B labor certifications or requests for H-2B prevailing wage determinations in light of a March 4 decision. Shortly after the DOL announcement, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Services followed suit, announcing it will at least temporarily cease approving visa petitions. These announcements essentially shut down the H-2B program for any company that has not completed the DHS H-2B visa petitioning process.
April 8, 2015
AmericanHort And State Associations Advocate For Workforce Solutions
AmericanHort, along with roughly two dozen other state association partners, joined nearly 140 organizations in a letter to the House of Representatives responding to the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.1147), which is being voted on without provisions that would ensure legal workforce options for agricultural and seasonal employers. H.R.1147 would mandate that all U.S. employers use the federal E-Verify program.
March 4, 2015
H-2B Cap Hit, Adding to Visa Program Woes
The H-2B visa cap for the first half of fiscal 2015 was hit late in January. As a result, some growers may not have access to the H-2B workers they need during the months ahead. The visa cap and resulting labor shortages will have impacts throughout the horticulture industry.
December 9, 2014
Immigration — Obama Acts Without Congress
On November 20, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration policy, which are already proving to be politically divisive, and many Republican legislators say this unilaterally "poisons the well" for reform. In AmericanHort's view, that dire prediction need not be the case.
November 17, 2014
USDA Names First Liaison For Veterans Interested In Agriculture Careers
The new Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison position will coordinate ongoing USDA support for active duty military and veterans.
September 26, 2014
GROW Perspective: Government Compliance Issues On The Horizon
Lack of focus on human resources can sink your ship
July 22, 2014
Proposed Worker Protection Standard Changes You Need To Know About
The comment period for the proposed Worker Protection Standards ends on August 18, 2014. Find out how the proposed changes will affect your greenhouse operation.
July 8, 2014
Consider Hiring Non-Traditional Growers To Secure Our Industry’s Future [Opinion]
Your operation can benefit from hiring returning veterans, professionals changing careers and non-traditional students, in addition to horticulture graduates. Where have you had luck recruiting?
February 20, 2014
Healthcare Law, Immigration Reform Are Top Priorities For Congressional Action Days
The event, being held March 10-11 in Washington D.C., will bring together horticulture industry members to lobby members of Congress to revisit legislation that is important to the industry.
April 19, 2013
Speaking With One Voice On Immigration Reform (Opinion)
I am from a family that holds widely divergent political views that are hotly debated at gatherings. My mother was once chairwoman of our county’s Republican committee, and my father cast his first presidential vote for for Franklin Roosevelt. My husband and I have agreed not to put political signs in our yard — ever — because they would just cancel each other out. You get the picture. So, it was with a great deal of interest that I attended the Society of American Florists (SAF) Congresssional Action Days in March to see government in action. I’d been to Washington before, but only as a bystander, never as a participant. Despite the cliffs and sequesters, I still believe the process works — maybe not as well as we’d like right now, but more than ever, we, as citizens, need to make our voices heard. The briefings before the event and […]
April 16, 2013
Agriculture Agrees on Immigration Package
The struggle to achieve immigration reform took a giant step forward late Friday, when an agreement was finally reached on the framework for agriculture’s portion of the comprehensive immigration bill. The Senate “Gang of Eight” is drafting the bill, which may be introduced as early as Tuesday. “Society of American Florist (SAF) members who attended Congressional Action Days (CAD) and helped lobby for immigration reform can feel proud of their work,” says SAF’s Lin Schmale. “Keeping Congressional attention focused on floriculture’s needs will continue to be of critical importance. We are delighted that the negotiators have reached agreement, and commend them on achieving what is truly a great success!” After weeks of often very intense negotiations, agreement was reached Friday between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), of which SAF is a member, the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the key senators involved in the process, on the details of agriculture’s […]
March 7, 2013
Anyone Can Automate [opinion]
Automation of production lines and greenhouses is typically thought of as something that is only an option for bigger growers, but that's not necessarily the case. Greenhouse Grower presents some realistic automation options for every size of operation.
February 22, 2013
Common Objections To Mechanization In The Greenhouse
The first thing I would say about automation is start somewhere. Even if you go with any type of sprinkler or overhead irrigation system that is stationary and not a boom system, start somewhere. Get your feet wet. Get comfortable with the fact that you are starting to rely more on machines and not people. One of the biggest hurdles we have is with small and medium size growers. They will say, “It’s going to make my growers lazy.” My response to that is, “At the end of the day, that’s a management problem. That’s not an equipment problem.” What you need to worry about when you get new machinery is making sure everyone understands why you are buying machinery. If the boom systems or any automated overhead irrigation systems are making your growers lazy, that’s not because of the grower. That’s because the grower is worried about his job. […]