For Immediate Release
June 12, 2018
Mary Beth Cowardin
Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement
AmericanHort Commends Senate Agriculture Committee on Farm Bill Release
Washington, DC – AmericanHort, the leading association for the horticulture industry, applauds the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee with the release of their draft Farm Bill, The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The Committee will formally take up and consider the bill on Wednesday, June 13.
“AmericanHort is greatly appreciative of the time, effort, and manner that Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow took to craft this important piece of legislation — as it sustains funding to initiatives and programs that are essential to the horticulture industry,” said AmericanHort Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge. “The committee should also be lauded for their commitment to continuing the tradition of developing a bipartisan Farm Bill.”
Horticulture industry priorities such as the Plant Pest and Disease Management Program, National Clean Plant Network, and Specialty Crop Block Grants remain intact, with stable funding and funded at respectable levels going forward. “This is not an easy task in this budget-tightening era,” said Regelbrugge.
The Specialty Crop Research Initiative, another key AmericanHort priority, will benefit from another $25 million in funds being available to all specialty crop industries. Additional positive developments include the creation of regional specialty crop liaisons for crop insurance, as well as the requirement for the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a strategy to accelerate the development and availability of mechanization and labor-saving technology solutions in the production of specialty crops, including nursery and floriculture crops.
“We look forward to working with the Senate to pass this vital piece of legislation as quickly as possible,” said Tal Coley, Director of Government Affairs for 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 14,000 member 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 $196 billion, and sustain over 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs.