AmericanHort Announces Management Changes for Cultivate’22

AmericanHort Announces Management Changes for Cultivate’22

Two New Team Members Join AmericanHort

In an effort to continually improve the event and experience for our exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees, AmericanHort is pleased to announce Cindy Lee and Bill Behrens have joined the association team to take the lead on managing Cultivate, AmericanHort’s signature industry event.

Cindy Lee joined AmericanHort in June as exhibit and sponsorship sales manager. She brings more than fifteen years of industry association and tradeshow management experience. Cindy is well versed in working with exhibitors and sponsors through her most recent role as tradeshow manager for Ohio Heath Care Association which hosted a similar, large tradeshow held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  Cindy also has experience in leading association membership activities and understands the unique needs of our association customers.

Bill Behrens joins AmericanHort with more than twenty years at Experience Columbus, the city’s Visitor and Convention Bureau, where he successfully led the development and execution of large tradeshows and events in Columbus and the surrounding region. Bill knows Cultivate well, having worked directly with AmericanHort on the event during his tenure with Experience Columbus and will serve as trade show and event manager.  Bill brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the tradeshow and event space and will be a great addition to the Cultivate and AmericanHort team.

“With the successful return of “in-person” Cultivate’21 in July, AmericanHort is on track to make the industry’s leading educational and tradeshow event better than ever,” said Ken Fisher, AmericanHort president and CEO. “We are pleased to have two experienced and talented people join our team to work with our entire staff who are dedicated to making Cultivate’22 a huge success.”

Prime tradeshow exhibit booth locations and event sponsorships are currently available. To learn more, Cindy can be reached at and Bill at, or call the AmericanHort office at 614-487-1117.


AmericanHort Debuts the Finished Plant Conference

AmericanHort Debuts the Finished Plant Conference

The best place for finished plant growers to learn, source, and network

Debuting this fall, the AmericanHort Finished Plant Conference will be the event for finishing growers of bedding and potted flowering plants, indoor and outdoor perennials, and fast-turn flowering shrubs. Attendees will learn best practices in the world of finished plants during the education sessions and network with suppliers to discover new ideas and technology at the trade show. Hands-on learning is also available in the form of the Greenhouse Tour and the Perennial Workshop. The education and conversations taking place at the Finished Plant Conference will give growers immediately applicable tools to take back home and optimize production.

“With the recent boom in consumer demand for horticultural products, education for finished plant growers has never been more needed,” said Ken Fisher, President and CEO of AmericanHort, “We are proud to offer the industry this opportunity to learn, network, and grow with like-minded green industry professionals at the Finished Plant Conference.”

This three-day conference will be held October 11-13, 2021 in Grand Rapids, MI. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and grow their business in several different ways:

Educational Sessions

The 25+ educational sessions will focus on specific production practices and crops that have the highest potential to impact profit margin. Topics to be covered include quality control, space efficiency, labor reduction strategies, scheduling, PGRs, bulking, overwintering, and more. From introductory topics to advanced strategies, there are opportunities to learn for everyone, regardless of experience.

Trade Show

Key vendors that supply finished plant growers will be exhibiting and sharing their expertise at the conference. Attendees will walk the trade show looking to discover new suppliers, strategies, and opportunities for commerce that will help grow their niche businesses. We encourage any company interested in reaching finished plant growers to inquire about exhibiting and sponsorship.

Greenhouse Tour

Michigan is a hotbed for industry-leading finished plant growers, and the Finished Plant Conference Greenhouse Tour is the best way to get an insider’s look at their operations. The Greenhouse Tour will visit several world-class locations in western Michigan: Walters Gardens, Spring Meadow Nursery, Henry Mast Greenhouse, and Garden Crossings. These tour stops boast accolades such as being a 2021 Top 100 Grower, certified Proven Winners® growers, and have also earned a large collection of industry awards for superior breeding and plant salability. Come see these leading growers and learn from their expertise in bedding, fast-turn flowering shrubs, perennials, and more – while also exploring a variety of business models ranging from crop specialization to vertical integration.

Perennial Workshop

Walters Gardens, known for their high-quality perennials, will be hosting the Finished Plant Conference Perennial Workshop. This workshop is ideal for both beginning to intermediate perennial growers and will cover weed control, perennial PGRs and application methods, handling of bare-root material, and more. The Perennial Workshop will give attendees an opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn-by-doing.

“The Finished Plant Conference will deliver information on industry standards, new strategies and technology, and give a glimpse into the future or finished plant growing while creating opportunities for in-depth conversations amongst attendees and suppliers,” said Meagan Nace, Program Development Specialist for AmericanHort, “In addition, this conference is unique in that the education is designed for finished plant growers to optimize their existing production and also expand into new species that will fit well into their current growing infrastructure.”

We encourage all finished plant growers and suppliers to attend the Finished Plant Conference. AmericanHort is offering a discounted conference registration of $595 to members and $495 to premium members. Non-Member pricing is $795. Additional registration is required for the Greenhouse Tour and Perennial Workshop. For more information and to register, visit or contact us at or by phone at 614-487-1117.


AmericanHort Announces the HortScholar Class of 2021

Spotlighting Emerging Leaders in the Horticulture Industry

For the past fifteen years, AmericanHort has identified and supported emerging leaders in the horticulture industry through the HortScholar Program. After a rigorous application process, six students are chosen who show qualities such as a passion for the industry, growth mindset, teamwork, and leadership. Previous classes of HortScholars have gone on to become successful horticultural researchers, educators, growers, retailers, and much more – and the class of 2021 promises to do the same.

The 2021 HortScholars will be set on a path to success at Cultivate’21 where they will be exposed to the breadth of the horticulture industry, its opportunities, and its leaders. The program offers a beyond-the-classroom experience, giving insight and awareness of the industry, its supply chain, and where they might find a home for their passion. With a focus on professional development, the HortScholars will attend educational sessions, network, and explore the horticulture industry at Cultivate’21.

AmericanHort is excited to announce the HortScholar class of 2021. Take a moment to get to know them in their own words.

Jayden Black - Ohio State University

Jayden Black headshot

Growing plants and loving nature has been my passion for my entire life—for as long as I can remember. Though my first experience consisted of tending to a weed patch in my grandmother’s garden in Midwest, Ohio, it wasn’t long before I was exploring the world of ornamental horticulture. This hunger to learn more and expand my experience naturally led me to pursue a degree in horticulture at Ohio State University, one in Sustainable Plant Systems (Horticulture Specialization) and the other in Agriculture Business. I continuously strive to create sustainable, ecologically functional, and horticulturally enriched landscapes for people to enjoy. This industry combines my creativity, communication skills, and passion for plants, and I am excited to join the industry as a professional following my graduation in May of 2022. My goal has evolved into sharing and exploring my love of plants with others, and I hope to have a career in horticulture production, outreach, education, or state extension. I believe in the immense potential of teaching the world how to grow beautiful plants—inspiring others to make a change.

Stephanie Cruz - University of Florida

Cruz Stephanie

My interest in cooking and nature evolved into an interest in horticulture when I learned about the health benefits of eating plant-based foods. My interest in horticulture solidified when I interned as a farmhand at Field and Fork, Farm and Gardens at the University of Florida as an undergraduate. I became more curious about protected agriculture after taking several classes on greenhouse production; I have always been fascinated by the many methods a grower can use to manipulate how a plant grows or produces based on controlling the environment in a greenhouse or indoor growing environment. I enjoy the combination of art, nature, science, and business that comes with working in this field. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Florida, focusing on controlled environment agriculture of fruiting vegetables. I hope to build on this experience by learning from other growers so I can be on the path to becoming a grower myself upon my graduation in December 2021.

Maria Fernanda do Amaral Trientini - University of Florida

Maria Fernanda

As a child who grew up in a big city, I always sought to link people to nature. While earning my Bachelor in Agriculture at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), ornamental plant production sparked a special interest in me, as I saw it as a way to bring nature to city dwellers. After graduation, I worked for three years on the professional market in environmental education and outreach. I taught gardening and landscape design for children, associate degree-seeking, and vulnerable populations. I have had the opportunity to experience projects that put together people and plants throughout my career, teaching kids and adults about the importance of the environment, including landscape design, gardening, ornamental plants, and plant care. Since August 2018, I have been working at the University of Florida (UF), where I expect to earn my Master’s degree in Environmental Horticulture this Summer and to start my Ph.D. in the Fall. As a horticulture professional, I hope to bring scientific knowledge and methods to advance ornamental plant production and better meet consumer demands.

Juan Quijia Pillajo - Ohio State University


My passion for horticulture was inspired by the tireless work and commitment of my parents to successfully run their ornamental greenhouse business in Quito, Ecuador. I had the opportunity to pursue a degree in agriculture at Zamorano University in Honduras and later a master at The Ohio State University doing research focused on floriculture crop improvement. Throughout my professional career, I have been very into the floriculture industry. I have had the chance to work as a grower, technical advisor, and researcher. I am a very curious person with an unquenchable desire to learn. In my last position as technical advisor, I had the chance to get very into the use of beneficial microbes and bio-stimulation for crop production. I realized that although microbial-based products can be an important tool there is a huge need for information to successfully use them. These experiences prompted me to pursue a Ph.D. at The Ohio State University and study plant-microbe interactions and how these interactions can influence plant growth and health. My commitment has always been to help growers succeed. I want to promote an innovative and sustainable horticulture industry through developing environmentally friendly tools for crop production.

Ankit Singh - University of Connecticut

Ankit Singh

I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Connecticut (UConn), where I am studying the technical and financial feasibility of the novel GREENBOX technology (USDA funded). My grandfather was a farmer, and my mother has spent lots of time growing different types of guavas and roses and continues to grow different vegetables, so I am not surprised that my inherited green thumb manifested in me while researching urban agriculture. Through my research with GREENBOX, I aim to further the knowledge of large-scale urban horticulture that reduces the food transportation network’s strain and provides fresh, nutritious produce to the urban populous. I have also enjoyed growing lettuce for my research, making different salads, and sharing it with my friends and loved ones. I love horticulture that is localized with an educational component, as science shows that early involvement in horticulture increases nutritional messaging effectiveness and encourages people to eat healthier. I enjoy teaching environmental science and scientific writing to college students (freshman-seniors) and being a graduate mentor to high school students, as they take on environmental projects at UConn. I hope to have a career in sustainability or teaching, and I enjoy kayaking, visiting museums, and engaging with the arts in my spare time.

Runshi Xie - Texas A&M University

Runshi Xie

I have always been captivated by the biodiversity and improved well-being that plants bring to individuals since I grew up in a subtropical city located in southeast China. My childhood experience has led to my passion for nature and science. I started my undergraduate study in Landscape Architecture, where I was exposed to both nature and plant sciences. Later I joined Texas A&M University for my master’s degree in Plant Breeding, which ultimately leads to my current pursuit of doctoral-level education in Horticulture. I am currently working on a multi-state multi-disciplinary project to combat the crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS), an introduced pest species in the United States. I have been confirming and evaluating the potential threats of CMBS to other important or native crops in the US. My current CMBS life table study aims to improve understanding of insect biology such as the life cycle and mating behavior, ultimately creating integrated pest management programs for CMBS. I believe my research goals would allow me to develop innovative and sustainable pest control and management methods in the horticulture industry.

Every year, AmericanHort also invites an individual from the previous HortScholar class to act as a mentor in the HortScholar Coordinator position. We are proud to welcome back David McKinney, a recent graduate from Colorado State University and current horticulturalist at the Denver Zoological Foundation. David is skilled in landscape management, greenhouse management, research, and teaching. He is strongly involved in the industry and has a background in perennial production and maintenance.

Get to know this year’s HortScholar class even better during Cultivate’21! All-Access Pass holders can join their panel discussion, Looking Ahead to Make Your Company Attractive to the Next Wave of Employees on Tuesday, July 13 at 9:30 AM. The HortScholars will also be presenting individual Ignite! Presentations on topics they are passionate about as a part of the Cultivate’21 On-Demand package as well as live on Monday, July 12 at 2:45 PM on the tHRIve stage, located on the trade show floor.

For more information about the HortScholar Program, please visit


AmericanHort Announces 2021 Impact Washington Summit

Industry Leaders Return to the Nation’s Capital to Advocate on Key Issues

AmericanHort announced the 2021 Impact Washington Summit, September 20-22 in Washington, D.C. as industry leaders return to the nation’s capital to hear from dynamic speakers about key issues while educating Congress on our challenges and priorities. The 2021 Summit will feature a program of subject matter experts, Congressional champions for the industry, and meetings with lawmakers to discuss important issues impacting the green industry and participants’ own business.

Bob Worsley, former Republican State Senator (AZ), entrepreneur, innovator, and author, will deliver keynote remarks on the challenges of the current political divide and how it affects efforts for comprehensive immigration reform. Worsley served in the Arizona Senate from 2012 until 2019, where he advocated on issues such as immigration, technology, and energy, while gaining notoriety for beating former Senate President Russell Pearce. Bob’s entrepreneurial enterprises span three decades, beginning in 1989 with the founding of SkyMall — which he later sold to Rupert Murdoch 13 years later — to his new startup, ZenniHomes, which builds state-of-the-art micro homes of the future. He is the author of the newly released book “The Horseshoe Virus” which along with telling his story of being elected to fight for immigrants in Arizona, painstakingly connects some on the far right and far left of working together to kill any comprehensive immigration reform in Washington DC.

Other experts briefing attendees include Lynn Jacquez, Managing Partner and Principal, JPH Law, CJ Lake LLC; Brian Kuehl, Principal, K·Coe Isom; and Laurie Flanagan, Executive Vice President of DC Legislative and Regulatory Services. Additional participants will be announced as the event draws closer.

It is exciting to have everyone back in Washington advocating for key industry issues with our nation’s elected officials face to face,” said Director of Government Affairs Tal Coley. “Educating lawmakers on our industry and the issues that affect our businesses has never been more important than it is now after 2020. We look forward to welcoming our key industry stakeholders to Washington in September.

For more information and to register go to or contact us at email or by phone at 614-487-1117.


AmericanHort Announced NEW! On-Demand Education Pass for Cultivate’21

AmericanHort Announced NEW! On-Demand Education Pass for Cultivate’21

AmericanHort Announced NEW! On-Demand Education Pass for Cultivate’21​

Providing access to industry best-practices through online education

COLUMBUS, OH – May 27, 2021

AmericanHort announces a new On-Demand Education Pass for Cultivate’21 is now available for purchase. As the industry prepares to convene in Columbus, OH July 10-13, AmericanHort is pleased to share that access to select educational sessions will be available to those who come to Cultivate’21 and those who are unable to attend via this online program. “Cultivate has always been highly regarded for our world-class educational programming,” said Ken Fisher, president, and CEO of AmericanHort. “We are pleased to make this knowledge available to help further the industry and share best practices.”

The on-demand programming will include talks on marketing subjects like pricing, consumer psychology, and creating a brand story, to HR topics including employee compensation and rewards, to important information for growers such as field nursery soil health, improving plant stress tolerance, the economics of using PGRs, lighting strategies, and much more. The package includes more than 35 sessions, with about half of the programs being topics that are being presented in person at Cultivate’21 and half being incremental new programming only available on-demand. The full listing of on-demand sessions can be found at

All-Access pass holders who attend Cultivate’21 in person will be able to purchase the On-Demand Education Pass for an additional $99, while non-All-Access passholders will be charged either $349 for AmericanHort members, or $649 for non-members. Registration for Cutivate’21 and this pass is available at, and access to the online information will be available July 14 until September 1. Those who register will be sent their specific login credentials in July.

For more information about Cultivate’21 and to register for the show or to purchase this On-Demand Education Pass go to or contact us at email or by phone at 614-487-1117.

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About AmericanHort
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.

About Cultivate
Cultivate is the national industry event hosted by AmericanHort every July in Columbus, Ohio. This year Cultivate’21 is July 10-13, 2021. Cultivate owns the niche for gathering the entire industry supply chain in one place for four days of professional development and robust business opportunities with its 650+ exhibitor trade show, 100+ educational sessions and plentiful networking opportunities.


AmericanHort Welcomes New Board Members and Slate of Officers for 2021-2022

AmericanHort Welcomes New Board Members and Slate of Officers for 2021-2022

Columbus, OH - April 27, 2021

AmericanHort announces the election of three new members to the board of directors, along with the election of a new slate of officers. The official welcome and installation will take place at Cultivate’21 held July 10-13, in Columbus, Ohio. “These individuals are leaders from across the horticulture industry and encompass various experiences, skills, and backgrounds. We are excited to welcome this group of new directors,” said Ken Fisher, president & CEO of AmericanHort. “We appreciate the dedication and commitment of our officers and the leadership they provide our organization and industry.”

The new slate of officers will include Cole Mangum of Bell Nursery USA LLC as the new chairman of the board and Jon Reelhorn of Belmont Nursery as vice chairman of the board. In addition, J. Harvey Cotton Jr. recently joined the board to serve as treasurer, a non-voting position. Tom Hughes of Hughes Nursery & Landscaping LLC will become the immediate past chairman. 

Cole Mangum headshot

Cole Mangum is vice president of operations for Bell Nursery in Elkridge, MD, one of the nation’s largest growers of annuals and perennials. Cole oversees operations across 8 facilities as well as coordinating a team of category managers who manage shipping of finished product. A graduate of Salisbury University, Cole has dedicated himself to advocating for various facets for the industry over the course of his career. He has served on the National Leadership Cabinet for the Seed Your Future initiative, as Horticulture Representative for the Maryland Agricultural Commission, and the Greenhouse Grower Technology advisory board. Cole remains committed to keeping the horticulture industry a strong and viable career path long into the future – both at the local and national level. 

Jon Reelhorn headshot

Jon Reelhorn is owner and president of Belmont Nursery located in Fresno, Calif. Like many successful businesses, Jon’s company values come from the top down. Belmont Nursery is a third-generation business that loves being part of their local community and includes nursery growing, greenhouse growing, and a retail garden center. Jon is a graduate of Fresno State University with a degree in Plant Science, a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program and a graduate of the Executive Academy for Growth and Leadership. Jon is very active in his industry having served as a board member with the California Farm Bureau and California Nursery and Landscape Association (now Plant California Association), he held several committee roles with the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and has been chairman of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). 

Harvey C headshot

Harvey Cotten is a garden writer, designer, and consultant. After 22 years with the Huntsville Botanical Garden, most recently as vice president and chief horticulturist, he retired in 2014. He continues to present workshops for the Botanical Garden, Master Gardener Associations, Garden Clubs and other botanical gardens and arboreta while lecturing across the southeast on various garden topics. Harvey currently serves as president of the Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association and is past president of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and Alabama Invasive Plant Council. 

The AmericanHort membership has elected the following new board directors:

Rob Lando headshot

Rob Lando is CEO of Oberlin, Ohio-based AgriNomix, North America’s largest supplier of automation to nurseries and greenhouses and is being elected to a second director term. He and three grower partners formed AgriNomix (formerly Flier USA) in 1994 to provide local sales and service for high-tech Dutch-made automation.  While continuing to do so, the company has become a sizable domestic designer and manufacturer as well. In addition to his day job, Rob is an active board member for Neighborhood Alliance, a North East Ohio non-profit which provides essential services to Lorain County residents in all stages of life. Prior to AgriNomix, Lando served as senior vice president responsible for sales and service at Bouldin & Lawson of McMinnville, TN, and he started his journey in the horticulture industry with Langley Peat Moss of Fort Langley, BC in 1980.  

Steve Mostardi Headshot

Steve Mostardi is owner and general manager of Mostardi Nursery, a retail garden center located in Newtown Square, PA. He is a third-generation nurseryman and a Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist with a lifelong interest in the world of plants. Steve attended the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation, as well as the Ambler Campus of Temple University. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, while also serving as Chairman of the P.H.S. Gold Medal Plant Award Committee. In addition, he is honored to judge the horticultural exhibits at the Philadelphia Flower Show. On a national level, he recently served as president of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). 

Lyndsi Oestmann Headshot

Lyndsi Oestmann grew up in the nursery business started by father, Mark Clear. A graduate of Kansas State University, Lyndsi now serves as president of Loma Vista Nursery overseeing all strategic and operational responsibility for 300-acres of container production, 500 acres of field production with sales predominately focused on the Midwest and mountain states. Lyndsi is an active and highly involved participant in the green industry having served as a 5-year board member of Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association, including as board president in 2016, and served on the Western Nursery and Landscape Association board. She is a member of Johnson County Community College Horticulture Advisory Board, and recipient of WNLA’s State Association Leader Award in 2017, and Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards Class of 2020. Concerned for both the present and future of horticulture, Lyndsi is dedicated to recruiting youth into the industry. 

These new directors will join current directors Gerry Docksteader, Advanced Horticultural Solutions, MD; Mike Gooder, Plantpeddler Inc, IA; Joe Hobson, Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies Inc, IL; Amy Morris, N. G. Heimos Greenhouses, IL; Ed Overdevest, Overdevest Nurseries LP, NJ; and Jonathan Saperstein, Everde Growers, TX.

AmericanHort and its members also want to thank outgoing board members, Susie Raker-Zimmerman of Raker Roberta’s Young Plants who served six years on the board including immediate past chairwoman; and Chris McCorkle of McCorkle Nurseries Inc. who completes a three-year term in July


AmericanHort Commends House Passage of Agricultural Workforce Bill

AmericanHort Commends House Passage of Agricultural Workforce Bill

COLUMBUS, OH – AmericanHort applauds the passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1603), in the House of Representatives this evening. The bill passed by a vote of 247-174, earning significant bipartisan support in a contentious political environment.

“The advancement of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act is the necessary first step in addressing the horticulture industry’s ongoing workforce challenges,” said Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge. “Our growers have dealt with a broken immigration and agricultural visa system for far too long. We extend our sincere appreciation to the bill negotiators and all those Representatives who voted in favor. We now look to Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to take up the issue and consider legislation addressing the three pillars of reform for the essential farm workforce.”

Background: The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has now passed the House of Representatives for the second time, having previously passed in 2019. It was the first agricultural workforce reform legislation to pass the House since 1986. The bill provides solutions that stabilize the current agricultural and horticultural workforce, improve the legal channels for future seasonal and permanent workers in the farming sector, and advance integrity in the hiring process. AmericanHort joined over 250 agricultural organizations in a support letter to House Leadership earlier this week while also coordinating broad grassroots action in support of the bill.


AmericanHort Welcomes Farm Workforce Modernization Act – 2021

AmericanHort Welcomes Farm Workforce Modernization Act

COLUMBUS, OH – (March 4, 2021) AmericanHort enthusiastically welcomes today’s reintroduction in the House of Representatives of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This historic legislation, first negotiated in 2019, passed in the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support that year. 

Workforce challenges are the single-biggest constraint on the stability, success, and growth potential of nursery and greenhouse growers across the U.S. Rural areas across the country benefit from the jobs and economic opportunity that farm workers create, so long as our growers have the workforce needed to sustain production here in America. 

This bill seeks to address the challenge head-on, with solutions that stabilize the current agricultural and horticultural workforce, improve the H-2A visa program and other options for future seasonal, year-round, and permanent agricultural employees, and advance integrity in the hiring process.  While not perfect, this bipartisan compromise advances an urgent debate and provides a vehicle for these reforms to take shape.

“AmericanHort congratulates our House champions on today’s bill reintroduction,” said Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president. “We urge Members of Congress to vote “yes” on this key piece of legislation and also encourage the Senate to move swiftly to build upon this important legislative foundation.” 

House champions and their professional staff, most notably House Judiciary Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, and Representatives Dan Newhouse, Mario Diaz-Balart, Mike Simpson, and Doug LaMalfa, should be commended for their unwavering commitment to addressing agriculture’s workforce crisis.  


AmericanHort Accepting Applications for the 2021 HortScholar Program

AmericanHort Accepting Applications for the 2021 HortScholar Program


COLUMBUS, OH – AmericanHort is accepting applications for the 2021 HortScholar program from students enrolled in a horticulture-related program at any degree level. Applications will be accepted at until March 1, 2021.

The HortScholar program is a unique experience designed to help students in horticulture create long-lasting industry connections, find future jobs and internships, and experience some of the most exciting aspects of the industry. HortScholars will spend several days on-site volunteering with set up, learning, and networking at Cultivate’21, being held July 10-13 in Columbus, Ohio. They will attend facilitated meetings with industry leaders, learn in education sessions, present on a horticulture topic of their choice, and network at various social events.

“The HortScholar program allowed me to pull up a chair with industry leaders and begin to see a future at that table,” said Marcus Jansen, 2019 HortScholar alumni, “I’ve known that horticulture is where I’m meant to be, but the HortScholars Program exposed me to the opportunities, connected me to the people, and inspired me to take the next step.”

Applications for the HortScholar program come from high-caliber students across the nation in top-level horticulture programs. Majors ranged from genetics to landscape design, and greenhouse management to horticultural sales. AmericanHort is proud to invest in these students and the long-term health of the horticulture industry.

“The HortScholar program not only benefits the HortScholars themselves but also the industry at large by connecting these rising stars with the broader industry at Cultivate each year,” said Daniel Greenwell, Community Coordinator for the AmericanHort GenerationNext Connector Group, “The massive amount of industry exposure and targeted networking that the HortScholars experience at Cultivate each year that they may not otherwise receive in the classroom, helps boost their confidence and sense of place in the industry and in turn prepares them to be a better contributor to the industry moving forward in their careers.”

Applications to the HortScholar program are reviewed by each member of the AmericanHort GenerationNext Community. Finalists will be chosen to provide a short video, then six students will be chosen for the 2021 HortScholar program. Learn more at

Questions about the 2021 HortScholar Program? Contact Katie Gustafson at for more information.


AmericanHort Announces 2021 Congressional Kickoff Event

AmericanHort Announces 2021 Congressional Kickoff Event

Experts to Give Insights on Key Industry Issues in Washington

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Building upon key advocacy successes over the past year, AmericanHort is proud to announce the AmericanHort Congressional Kickoff to take place online the afternoons of February 24-25, 2021.

The virtual event will allow the industry to hear directly from subject matter experts and lawmakers in Washington on key industry issues and their state of play in the 117th Congress. “Every Congress presents a unique legislative landscape, even more so with a change in presidential administrations,” said Tal Coley, Director of Government Affairs. “Attendees will hear from the experts on where key issues stand and actions they can take to become engaged in advocacy. Insight into the economy, such as the housing outlook for 2021, will also prove valuable to our member’s businesses and will be a nice precursor to our Impact Washington Summit scheduled for this fall.” Session topics will focus on agricultural labor reform, the H-2B Visa program, taxes, and the economy.
Confirmed program speakers include:

Robert Dietz, PhD Chief Economist, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
Dr. Robert Dietz also serves as the Senior VP for Economics and Housing Policy at NAHB, where his responsibilities include housing market analysis, economic forecasting and industry surveys, and housing policy research. He has published academic research on the benefits of homeownership, federal tax policy, and other housing issues, and has testified before Congress on real estate policy issues. He is often cited on housing and economic issues in the national media.

Lynn Jacquez Managing Partner and Principal, JPH Law, formerly CJ Lake LLC
Lynn Jacquez’ professional background spans private law practice, government relations, and service in the Federal government. In her work for its Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law, she had primary responsibility for the drafting and processing of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and refugee reauthorization legislation.

Brian KuehlPrincipal, K·Coe Isom
A principal with K·Coe Isom, the nation’s leading agricultural consulting and accounting firm, Kuehl leads the firm’s Federal Affairs service area. With a background in environmental law and regulations, he identifies and educates business owners on how to influence and change political systems for a market advantage.

Laurie FlanaganExecutive Vice President, DC Legislative and Regulatory Services, Inc.
Executive Vice President at DCLRS with over 20 years of experience in federal affairs, Flanagan is a co-chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition on behalf of AmericanHort. She is a trusted advisor and strategist with expertise in a variety of issues including energy, labor and immigration, pesticides and fertilizers, small business, and water policy.

Select members of Congress, staff, and officials from the Biden administration have also been invited to speak. Additional participants will be announced as the event draws closer.

This event is free for AmericanHort members, and non-members can register for $149 for both days. For more information and to register go to, or contact us by email or by phone at 614-487-1117.