As a florist, your voice and engagement are essential in shaping policies directly impacting your industry. One powerful way to make a difference is by participating in SAF Congressional Action Days. These events allow you to advocate for key initiatives and policies that support the floriculture industry's growth and success. This blog highlights the top priorities and benefits of joining Congressional Action Days.
Maintain Funding for the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative
One of the crucial goals of Congressional Action Days is to secure funding for the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI). This initiative, led by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS-USDA), addresses critical challenges such as pests, diseases, and the impact of climate change. By maintaining funding, we can support research that improves production practices, enhances sustainability, and ensures the long-term viability of the floriculture industry.
Enhance Innovation with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Technologies
Funding increases for FNRI can enable the exploration and implementation of cutting-edge technologies like Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). These innovative tools assist growers in pest and disease scouting, monitoring abiotic stresses, and applying crop production and protection products. Using UAS technologies, florists can improve labor efficiency, enhance soil health, and reduce pesticide use through precision applications.Support the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Reauthorization
The GSP program is vital in containing costs and ensuring price stability for floral businesses that rely on imported products. By participating in Congressional Action Days, you can advocate for reauthorizing the GSP, which offers duty-free imports from the least economically developed countries. The GSP reauthorization will provide significant cost savings, promoting the financial health and sustainability of local and family-owned floral shops and wholesalers.
Address Agricultural Labor Crisis
The agricultural labor crisis affects the floriculture industry's workforce stability. By participating in Congressional Action Days, you can urge Congress to pass legislation that provides legal status for current agricultural employees and ensures access to a stable and secure workforce. This action is crucial to maintaining our industry's economic and border security.Support Specialty Crops and Floriculture Production in the Farm Bill
The Farm Bill, a comprehensive agricultural law, supports specialty crops and floriculture production. By engaging in Congressional Action Days, you can advocate for a strong Farm Bill that allocates research resources, improved crop insurance access, and programs that benefit specialty crop producers. This support will further promote the success and growth of the floriculture industry.
In 2024, SAF introduced CAD 365! Instead of limiting SAF members to a single day on Capitol Hill, SAF will arrange focused meetings between floral industry representatives and congressional offices several times a year, mainly when advocacy is crucial on significant issues. During these targeted meetings, floral professionals will travel to Washington, DC, engaging with congressional offices that impact their concerns at the most strategic times of the year.
As part of CAD 365, SAF will facilitate congressional visits to member companies interested in hosting their senator or representative. This initiative ensures that members of Congress gain firsthand insight into the breadth and requirements of the floriculture industry. Stay tuned for more information regarding this brand-new initiative!
Participating in Congressional Action Days is a powerful way for florists to advocate for their industry and shape policies that impact their businesses directly. By joining forces with fellow florists, you can maintain funding for vital research initiatives, promote price stability through GSP reauthorization, address the agricultural labor crisis, and support specialty crop programs in the Farm Bill. Your voice matters; together, we can make a difference in securing a vibrant and prosperous future for the floriculture industry. Get involved in Congressional Action Days, and let your voice be heard!
Please contact The Society of American Florists or view their website for more information about participating in Congressional Action Days.
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