Speak Up!

What keeps you up at night? The possible answers are endless for the greenhouse grower, and the answers only pose more questions: Can I keep up with rising input costs? Can I maintain my role as a vendor for the box stores? Or, perhaps for the unfortunate few, the appropriate question is can I afford to stay in business?

Those are the grower’s ultimate worries these days, but each of those questions is made up, in part, of underlying questions about national issues like health care, immigration and energy. The questions go something like: How can I offer employees health insurance when my competitors aren’t and they’re beating me on price? Who’s going to work for me if the E-Verify system keeps failing me and the H-2A program doesn’t improve? And when is it going to be mandated that I implement an alternative energy system into my greenhouse operation.

With questions like these on the mind, it’s difficult to imagine growers getting any sleep. The Top 100 Growers certainly have a lot to say about health care, immigration and energy, and they share their two cents in this year’s report (page 16). Still, what’s being done to ensure their voices are heard by the people who enact change? What’s being done to ensure future laws, mandates and regulations reflect the needs of our industry?

Yesterday Is Gone

Associations like the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Society of American Florists (SAF) are, of course, having their experts review the 2,409-page health care bill that was recently made into law to find out the implications for small businesses like yours. In March, SAF had its annual Congressional Action Days in which growers shared their personal stories with Congress and explained how the national issues affect them and their employees. Among the issues addressed was health care reform.

“Some of our members already provide health insurance,” says Brian Gamberini, SAF government relations coordinator. “For those who don’t, they provide incentives in other ways. They want to hire more people, but if they have to pay this [health insurance] penalty or health insurance for 30 or so workers, that would discourage them from raising wages.”

This is just one example of growers dissatisfied over the state of a national issue. The list goes on. But just because what was once legislation is now law doesn’t mean an improved law is beyond reach. “Part of an effective republic like ours is based on the people who are unhappy with those laws,” says Bob Dolibois, ANLA executive vice president. “Those people need to be involved in the process of electing and sustaining the people who would improve the laws in ways we would support.”

The Top 100 Growers want improvements with health care, immigration and energy. You probably do, too. So rather than sit back and wish today’s industry was more like yesterday’s, voice your opinion to an entity that can help make improvements for tomorrow’s growers. Yesterday, after all, is never coming back. 

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories

September 19, 2017

Horticulture Business Leaders Demand Resolution to Labo…

AmericanHort's Impact Washington event was an importantly timed mission of advocacy for the green industry, delivering messages to lawmakers on three of the most pressing issues – labor and the workforce, research and innovation, and tax reform.

Read More

September 19, 2017

Here’s Your Chance to Earn CEUs in Weed Management

The University of Florida is offering a new online training course covering weed management in the greenhouse. The course offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for growers in many states.

Read More
Boxwood Blight

September 19, 2017

Concerned About Boxwood Blight? Here Are Some Updated M…

AmericanHort’s Horticultural Research Institute has released an updated version of its boxwood blight Best Management Practices document.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Valoya Lights

September 18, 2017

3 Steps to Improving the Efficiency of Your LED Systems

Achieving the largest possible optimal light intensity area with the lowest possible number of lights is essential to making an investment in LEDs pay off.

Read More
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here&…

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Hurricane Irma Damage

September 18, 2017

Southern Greenhouse Growers Continue Hurricane Recovery…

Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc on the floriculture and nursery industries in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. Here are the latest updates.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Mill…

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
MANTS

September 16, 2017

Registration for MANTS 2018 Now Open

MANTS, which takes place Jan. 10-12, 2018, in Baltimore, MD, brings together green industry professionals from around the world.

Read More
Proven Winners Potting Soil and Plant Food

September 15, 2017

Sun Gro Forms New Distribution Agreement with Proven Wi…

Sun Gro will distribute Proven Winners-branded potting soils and plant foods to independent garden centers.

Read More
Common Greenhouse Maintenance Problems GVZ Glasshouses

September 14, 2017

How to Deal With Common Greenhouse Maintenance Issues

The most common problems often come from a lack of cleanliness and faulty equipment. Here are a number of tips you can follow in each of these areas.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Suc…

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
GGS Cannabis Production

September 14, 2017

Griffin Workshop to Provide Education to New Cannabis P…

Griffin will be hosting a half-day educational workshop in Lancaster, PA, on Sept. 26, that will focus on crop protection and nutrition, as well as sanitation.

Read More
Tom Ferndandez RFID

September 14, 2017

Production Technology Conference Focused on Education

From tour stops to educational sessions, here are some of the details you need to know about AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference in Dallas in October.

Read More
Hydroponics Michigan State Web

September 14, 2017

Hydroponic and Aquaponics Growers Face Possible Loss of…

The National Organic Standards Board is considering recommending that USDA revoke the ability for hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic, and other container-based growing methods to be certified organic, according to an update from growers at Upstart University.

Read More
AmericanHort Women in Horticulture Panel

September 13, 2017

Women Making Strides in Horticulture, But More Progress…

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff helped moderate a "Women in Horticulture" panel discussion at Cultivate'17, in which plant scientists, growers, marketers, and company presidents talked about how they were called to horticulture and the evolution of their careers since.

Read More
Trends Slide - No Logo

September 12, 2017

Garden Media Group’s 2018 Trends Report Highlights Natu…

This year’s Garden Trends report offers seven trends that you can use to inspire mental wellness. Take a look to see how many trends you’re already using to connect with your customers.

Read More
Costa Farms Exotic Angel Idea Book

September 12, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Lookbook Offers Consumers Ideas on Bes…

The new “Bring Your Home to Life” lookbook is a curated collection of more than 300 unique plant varieties best suited to grow in homes and offices.

Read More