AmericanHort was formally launched one year ago on January 1, 2014 through the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and OFA—The Association of Horticulture Professionals. It took a few years to make this happen but it was the culmination of the vision the respective members shared: to bring together the two national organizations and replace them with one comprehensive horticulture industry association to serve the industry in North America. The members voted in September 2013 to approve the consolidation of ANLA and OFA.
The mission of AmericanHort is to connect the vast diversity of the industry. The horticulture community now has a strong and unifying voice and the infrastructure to support and expand horticultural businesses, and to promote the value of flowers, plants, trees, and turf. With that influence and member participation, the association is celebrating numerous successes of the first year. Here are some highlights:
- Launched the first-ever comprehensive research project to support the future of garden retailing and related horticulture services.
- Organized the industry’s Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative.
- Influenced efforts to provide a reliable immigrant workforce for our industry.
- Collaborated with the Horticultural Research Institute to leverage more than $10 million in research to support all industry sectors.
- Published nearly 400 articles, videos, and webinars on the AmericanHort Knowledge Center website.
- Persuaded the U.S. House of Representatives to retain industry-friendly accounting rules.
- Produced an expanded Cultivate’14, the largest all-industry event in North America.
- Expanded its Interior Plantscape Community through a partnership with Plantscape Institute of America.
- Hosted several business development conferences for all business sectors.
- Supported important consumer-focused organizations, including AmericanHort’s community service affiliate, America in Bloom.
- Published a revised ANSI American Standard for Nursery Stock, which is used by retailers, growers, landscapers, and municipalities.
“AmericanHort was founded on the vision that we can be better together. I think we are growing a remarkable association for an important and global industry. I am proud of our accomplishments and there’s more to come!” said Mark Foertmeyer, the association’s inaugural chairman of the board of directors, and owner of Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse Co.
While AmericanHort is a new non-profit corporation, it represents 220 years of service to the industry through the combined history of the two previous associations. “On our first birthday, we continue to recognize the legacy of the founding organizations, and we are celebrating the commitment, loyalty, and dedication of our volunteers, members, and staff,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, the president and chief executive officer of the organization.