Today is lobby day on Capitol Hill for the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and the national Council of Agricultural Employers. Both American Nursery & Landscape Association and the Society of American Florists (SAF) are taking a leading role in this effort and mobilizing members to participate. SAF lobbyists Jeanne Ramsay and Lin Schmale were just featured in Monday’s edition of The Politico on this issue. For the story, visit: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0507/3912.html
More From Labor...
March 30, 2015
Aquaponics Is Making A Splash At Brogue Hydroponics
The owners of Brogue Hydroponics explain why they expanded into aquaponics, and how the shift has helped them uncover a new market opportunity.
March 26, 2015
10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments
From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.
March 25, 2015
$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities
Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.
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.
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 Agr…
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 H…
Lack of focus on human resources can sink your ship
July 22, 2014
Proposed Worker Protection Standard Changes You Need To…
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 I…
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 F…
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. […]
February 22, 2013
Immigration Reform To Help Greenhouse Labor Issues
Right now The Society of American Florists is getting ready for Congressional Action Days. We ask our members to fly into Washington, D.C., and travel around the Hill, meeting with their specific members of Congress about the issues we think are most important to the industry right now. It gives our members an opportunity to carry their messages to their members of Congress. This is really important because you can say anything in Washington as a lobbyist, but it has to be backed up by the people out there running businesses. We are grateful for the people who come in and carry that message around the Hill. It is also a great opportunity for business owners to connect with their members of Congress. Lobbying For Immigration Issues One of the issues we will be taking to the Hill this year, as we have for the past ten or more years, […]
February 8, 2013
A Day In The Life Of Lobbying For Floriculture
ANLA’s Craig Regelbrugge is fighting for floriculture. As ANLA’s vice president for government relations and co-chair for the Agriculture Coalition For Immigration Reform, Regelbrugge is on the front line working toward policies that benefit our industry, such as immigration reform. So what’s his day like? Here’s a report from Washington D.C. on a day in the life of Craig Regelbrugge. You can do your part by attending and supporting events like SAF’s Congressional Action Days, March 11-12, 2013, in Washington D.C. Here’s Regelbrugge’s report: After four years of trying to get a large boulder rolling uphill, there is motion and momentum. Now, it’s about directing that motion. And sustaining the momentum. Let me give you a quick ‘day-in-the-life’ description of the daily grind, and a few thoughts about the road ahead. • I awoke yesterday to a ‘Marketplace’ interview on NPR of Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. He’s one of the […]
February 8, 2013
The State Of Labor In The Greenhouse Industry
Ask any grower for thoughts on the state of labor today and you are bound to get an earful. While some people blame government crackdowns on immigration, others point the finger at lazy, over privileged Americans who would prefer not to get their hands dirty. But, there is one thing everyone agrees on: It isn’t getting any better. Although organizations like the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and Society of American Florists (SAF) lobby year after year in favor of reforms to make it easier to hire foreign-born workers, the process is a slow one, and growers can’t afford to be shorthanded during peak production times. Some companies have implemented mechanization or automation to fill their employee gaps and lower payroll costs. Technology presents a viable option for those able to achieve a timely return on investment; however, it is easy to overinvest and rack up unnecessary debt. Operations […]