Representatives from SAF and AmericanHort met last week with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to discuss issues of mutual importance, hear about APHIS plans for the coming year and look at opportunities to work closer together.
Of particular importance to SAF and AmericanHort were issues such as offshore certification programs, Q-37 modernization and the Farm Bill Section 10007 research funding. Also discussed was the potential impact on the industry of any change to NAFTA.
SAF member Jamie Kitz, key account manager for Sakata Ornamentals in Salinas, CA, attended the meeting with SAF’s Chief Operating officer Drew Gruenburg and participated in a discussion on biotechnology regulations and breeding innovations. Kitz is also a current member of the SAF Growers Council.
APHIS is a multi-faceted agency with a broad mission. Its work to safeguard American agriculture connects it with many diverse industry groups that represent producers across the nation. APHIS also facilitates trade in floral and nursery products, and as such has an enormous impact on the floral and nursery industry.
Commodity sector meetings, as they are called by APHIS, are an important part of APHIS’ annual planning process, and feedback from those meetings is incorporated back into APHIS plant and animal health programs.
Look for more details of this meeting in an early January 2018 edition of Week in Review.