SAF Members Ask Lawmakers for Increased Floriculture Research Funding

How exactly does this new strategy help the floral industry? Keep reading to find out.

By: THURSD. | 26-02-2024 | 3 min read
Floral Education
2023 SAF’s Congressional Action Days

Members of the Society of American Florists (SAF) will convene on Capitol Hill on March 19, 2024, to advocate for increased funding for floriculture research. The March 19 fly-in is a vital part of SAF’s new, elevated advocacy strategy, CAD 365 which facilitates targeted meetings between floral industry members and congressional offices multiple times a year to address key issues.

SAF Members Taking the Initiative for a Good Future Cause

During the March fly-in, SAF members will ask for additional funding for the Floriculture & Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI), a program aimed at advancing research to enhance the quality of commercially produced flowers, foliage, and plants, while also promoting the positive environmental and social impacts of the industry’s crops.


Members of SAF attending targeted meetings


Recently, SAF Senior Lobbyist Joe Bischoff said:

“If you feel strongly about addressing pest and disease problems, tackling the challenges of climate change, and making production more efficient — all current focus areas of floriculture research — this will be a great fly-in for you to attend."

In 2022, SAF's advocacy efforts led to a $1 million increase in FNRI funding for fiscal year 2023. In 2024, SAF is advocating for an additional $1 million for fiscal year 2025. The Society of American Florists is coordinating targeted meetings with members of the Agriculture Subcommittee, (part of the House Committee on Appropriations) and floral industry professionals residing in the representatives’ districts. During these meetings, fly-in attendees will discuss the need for increased floriculture research funding.

A Unique Program by the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative

FNRI's research involves partnerships between the floral and nursery industries, the academic community, and the federal government. These partnerships have been recognized by the USDA as a unique and important model for other industries interested in developing similar programs.


SAF Members in last years convene


Bischoff comments:

“These visits will provide the opportunity to highlight why the funding needs to be preserved, and why FNRI is a unique program. Members of Congress would be hard-pressed to find a better example of industry and research collaboration — it’s something they need to continue to support.

The March fly-in is just one aspect of SAF's new advocacy strategy. In addition to fly-ins, they're also coordinating congressional visits to SAF members who are interested in hosting their senator or representative at their operation. This strategy allows for more opportunities for floral professionals to advocate for the industry.

SAF CEO Kate Penn shared:

“Industry participation is critical to amplifying the advocacy work SAF and Joe Bischoff do year-round. We need as many voices as possible to take advantage of this face-to-face time with Congressional offices so they understand our industry’s needs."

Want to attend the March 19 fly-in or host a member of Congress at your operation? Email Lillie Wightman at [email protected].

About the Society of American Florists

The Society of American Florists is the association that connects and cultivates a thriving floral community by equipping growth-minded professionals with resources to create fulfilling careers, cultivating connections across the industry to share ideas and solve problems, being the industry resource for relevant data and knowledge about the future and by enhancing the organization’s operational effectiveness and efficiency. Their vision is to express the power of flowers in every life. 

SAF is the only national trade association that represents all segments of the U.S. floral industry. Their more than 2,500 members are the industry’s top retailers, growers, wholesalers, importers, manufacturers, suppliers, educators, students, and allied organizations. SAF is the face and voice of a strong, unified floral industry in Washington, D.C.


SAF members attending funding research strategies


For more information, visit SAF's website.


Photos courtesy of SAF.



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