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
Stepables Tough-Ten Tags

May 25, 2017

Jury Awards Damages in Stepables Photo Copyright Case, …

According to a press release from Under A Foot Plant, Co,, a jury awarded Under A Foot Plant (which owns the Stepables product line) $900,000 in actual damages for The Perennial Farm’s use of Stepables’ copyrighted photographs.

Read More

May 25, 2017

AmericanHort Hosting Advocacy Visit to Capitol Hill in …

AmericanHort has announced it will be hosting Impact Washington, an inaugural advocacy and policy summit, in Washington, DC, Sept. 12-13.

Read More
Bell Nursery Panorama Photo

May 24, 2017

Sustainability in the Greenhouse is More Than Just Abou…

Bell Nursery has taken several steps over the years to make our operation more sustainable from a technological standpoint. Here’s how we are doing it.

Read More
2016 Perennial Plant Of The Year Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

May 24, 2017

What to Expect at the Perennial Plant Symposium in Denv…

The Perennial Plant Association’s annual Symposium takes place July 23-28 in Denver, CO, and features 28 educational sessions, six local tours, and a trade show.

Read More
Irrigation boom at Cavicchio Greenhouses

May 23, 2017

The Road to Sustainability at Cavicchio Greenhouses

Incremental changes to reduce its carbon footprint have paid off in greater efficiency and public recognition for this Massachusetts greenhouse grower.

Read More

May 23, 2017

USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Gen…

On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.

Read More

May 23, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Acquire New Customers

Even the most successful brands need new customers if they want to grow their business, or stay profitable.

Read More
Dr. P. Allen Hammer, Dummen Orange

May 22, 2017

New Dümmen Orange Scholarship Honors Legacy of Dr. P. A…

“Our industry’s future depends on attracting and supporting bright, hard-working students into horticulture programs across North America, and the support of Dümmen Orange will aid that effort,” Hammer says.

Read More
Petunia F1 African Sunset from American Takii

May 22, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answe…

AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

May 21, 2017

Final California Spring Trials Thoughts From Allan Armi…

“I went home from California Spring Trials realizing that the students enrolled in our Greenhouse Management program at Spokane Community College need to experience the trials. Attending opened many doors of opportunity for me.”

Read More
Cannabis Seedling

May 20, 2017

Biocontrols: A Practical Option for Cannabis

With limited options for chemical pest control, cannabis growers are incorporating biocontrols into their integrated pest management programs. More education will cement this solution as a viable option in this emerging market.

Read More
The Greenhouse and Hoophouse growers handbook

May 19, 2017

New Book Highlights the Benefits of Growing Vegetables …

Andrew Mefferd’s new book, “The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture,” covers the many benefits of protected culture food production, from being first to market, to more effective pest control.

Read More
MedMen New Facility

May 18, 2017

MedMen Cannabis Production Facility in Nevada Nearly Co…

Construction is expected to be completed this summer on the facility, which will include a 26,000-square-foot greenhouse and a 19,000-square-foot extraction and production wing.

Read More
Christmas Cactus

May 18, 2017

How to Increase Branching and Flower Bud Production of …

Based on research completed at North Carolina State University, here are some methods for increasing branching and flower bud production of Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii).

Read More
Sempervivum with chicks

May 18, 2017

Branching Out With Configure on Succulents

Researchers at North Carolina State University determine the best timing, rates, and production methods for using benzyladenine to improve branching and flowering.

Read More
New Frontier Cannabis Industry Annual Report

May 18, 2017

New Frontier Publishes Annual Report on the Cannabis In…

The 2017 Cannabis Industry Annual Report provides an up-to-date perspective on the growth and transformation of the legal cannabis industry, and what it means for each segment of the market, including producers.

Read More
SBI New Mobi App

May 17, 2017

SBI’s New App Helps Greenhouse Growers Improve Customer…

Mobi Merchandiser is a management tool and mobile app that greenhouse growers can use for planning recurring store visits, repetitive store tasks, picture requirements, and automating buyer reporting.

Read More
Eason 2017 spring trials report

May 16, 2017

New California Spring Trials Report Now Available From …

The report features genetics from 21 different breeding companies and information gathered from the 15 different stops on this year’s tour.

Read More