Last week, members of the Society of American Florists executive team got valuable face time with an influential member of Congress.
While in Washington, D.C., for the association’s 39th annual Congressional Action Days, SAF President Bill LaFever, PFCI, of the Bill Doran Company in Rockford, Illinois, joined SAF CEO Kate Penn at a small luncheon for Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
The subcommittee determines how much funding programs within the USDA receive, including the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) and the Floriculture Crops Summary — two programs which SAF members lobbied for during CAD.
Penn and LaFever talked at length with Bishop about the value of FNRI and the Floriculture Crops Summary, as well as some of the industry’s challenges, including obtaining duty-free status for Ecuadorian roses under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
“As lunch was wrapping up and attendees were leaving, we stayed and took advantage of the opportunity to have some one-on-one time to talk about our issues,” said LaFever. “Rep. Bishop was very interested in what we had to say and even requested that SAF follow-up with key members of his staff as FNRI and the Floriculture Crops Summary go through the appropriations process.”
The luncheon was “a great opportunity to have some face time with an influential legislator,” added LaFever.
The Society of American Florists Political Action Committee (SAFPAC), the industry’s federal PAC, supports candidates for federal elective office who support the floral industry. To learn more about SAFPAC, contact Shawn McBurney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.