Mary Beth Cowardin
Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement
COLUMBUS, OH – (November 20, 2020) – AmericanHort released the following statement after the Department of Transportation issued an Interim Final Rule announcing that horticulture is specifically included in the definition of agricultural commodity as it pertains to transportation:
“We are very pleased with the clarification of the agricultural commodity definition,” said Tal Coley, Director of Government Affairs. “Plants are highly perishable products in transit. Officials at FMCSA, with assistance from USDA, got this right and should be commended. This is a sound government measure that will provide clarity to commercial drivers in our industry and enforcement officers alike. We would also like to thank Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Kurt Schrader on their bipartisan efforts to elevate this issue in Congress.”
Amending the agricultural commodity definition for transportation has been a key legislative priority for AmericanHort, as it was uncertain in the original definition as to which industries were specifically included. In turn, this created confusion around certain elements of Hours of Service regulations. The agency now states that it considers sod, flowers, ornamentals, seedlings, shrubs, live trees, and Christmas trees, within the scope of the definition. For more information, read FCMSA’s Interim Final Rule.
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Green industry businesses perform better, grow faster, and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association. With a rich history of serving horticultural professionals, AmericanHort supports nearly 15,000 members and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. The horticulture industry’s production, wholesale, retail, and landscape service components have annual sales of $346 billion, and sustain over 2.3 million full- and part-time jobs. AmericanHort works to impact the growth, performance, and successful future for the industry through advocacy, research, education, and advancing industry standards.