Last week’s trip to Washington, D.C., was the most productive trip advocating for our farms that we’ve ever held. It reminded me of our trip in 2014 when we worked with just two members of Congress to launch the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus. That was a pinnacle moment, but this past week really showed how those earlier efforts were momentum builders for the great meetings we had last week.
The atmosphere is Washington has changed. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on or how you feel about this administration, you can’t help but sense how different the environment is right now. Good or bad, it isn’t business as usual in Washington, D.C. In fact, we found ourselves in meetings talking with lawmakers about how to remedy the challenges our farms face that have never been on the table. It was pretty incredible to witness and to have so many farmers join our delegation to witness it for themselves.
We had an outstanding group of farmers this year. Armed with their stories, experience and some key messages, the largest delegation we’ve ever had canvased Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers and the administration, and advocating for America’s flower-farming families.
The trip is not without costs. Everyone who attended this year’s annual fly-in was away from home, away from the farm, paying their own way to be there. It takes time and money to do this important work and it’s that kind of investment that members of Congress understand when a farmer walks into their office on Capitol Hill.
If you know one of these farmers, please send them a note of appreciation for their efforts to advocate on behalf of all America’s flower-farming families. It made a difference.