The countdown is on for the Society of American Florists’ 38th Annual Congressional Action Days, March 12-13, in Washington, D.C. If you have not done so yet, now is the time to make your CAD arrangements. The cut-off date to guarantee the SAF room at the CAD hotel is Friday, Feb. 16; and the CAD early-bird registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 23.
CAD is when floral retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and growers educate Congress about their businesses and the floral industry’s legislative priorities. Worried you won’t know what to say when you get to Capitol Hill? Fear not, says Molly Meulenbroek who attended CAD for the first time in 2017.
“I was pretty nervous about the process,” said the owner of Studley Flower Gardens in Rochester, New Hampshire. “But SAF provided wonderful preparation for our appointments with lawmakers and staff.”
To bring CAD participants up to speed for their congressional appointments and to provide compelling talking points to punctuate their conversations, SAF recruited two additional experts. Immigration attorney Laura Foote Reiff and American Floral Endowment research coordinator Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, join Dr. Joe Bischoff with Cornerstone Government Affairs, SAF Senior Director of Government Relations Shawn McBurney and professional lobbyist trainer Stephanie Vance with Advocacy Associates at the CAD Issues and Advocacy Training Session.
Reiff is an attorney in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia branches of Greenberg Traurig, one of the nation’s largest law firms. She co-chairs the firm’s Business Immigration and Compliance practice, as well as its International Employment, Immigration and Workplace Strategies group. She focuses on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies and related employment compliance and legislative issues. During the Issues Briefing, she’ll break down the effect current immigration policies have on various companies, from growing operations to retail flower shops, and will explain how reform can help them.
Nell, a past SAF president and professor emeritus of floriculture at the University of Florida, is one of the country’s top experts in postharvest research — and one of the floral industry’s most passionate and respected ambassadors. He has spent more than 40 years not only studying how to improve the lifespan and quality of flowers and plants, but also ardently fundraising to make such research possible, earning him the 2015 Paul Ecke, Jr. Award. He also contributes to the “Quality” column in Floral Management magazine. He will discuss the importance of the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, a federal program that obtains and guides federal research funding targeted to the needs of the floriculture and nursery industries.
During CAD 2017, SAF members met with members of Congress, educated them on the significance of FNRI, and asked them to support a modest $250,000 increase in funding for the program in the fiscal year 2018 budget. SAF members were so effective in their visits that the House of Representatives doubled the requested funding in its FY18 agricultural spending bill. Similarly, the Senate expressed support for FNRI in its version of the FY18 bill.
For event details and to register, visit safnow.org/cad. Your CAD registration includes an additional FREE registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before. This offer is not available online; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAF’s 38th annual Congressional Action Days is underwritten by Platinum Partner CalFlowers and Gold Partners BloomNet, FTD and Teleflora.