RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) held its first Industry Issues Update Breakfast at Elevate in Orlando, Fla., where industry leaders gathered to talk about advocating for the benefits of managed green spaces.
Karen Larson, vice president, product innovation and government affairs, Clarke, and chair, RISE Governing Board, kicked off the program and welcomed guests, which included RISE members and representatives from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) leadership team.
“It’s wonderful to be here at the new Elevate conference to talk about advocacy related to the lawn, landscape and horticulture industries. We know that lawn care has been under scrutiny in the media recently, so now more than ever, it’s crucial to stand up for our industry and make our voices heard for specialty pesticides and fertilizers,” said Larson.
Megan Provost, RISE president, joined Larson in encouraging attendees to advocate for the industry and presented the top industry issues RISE is focusing on this year, particularly articulating how advocacy can help amplify the work RISE is doing.
“At RISE, we’re focused on issues that have serious implications for this industry,” said Provost. “As we work in the states on addressing various bans and restrictions that are coming out of legislatures and on ongoing federal issues, like securing the necessary resources for the Office of Pesticide Programs at the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s just as important for all of us, as individuals, to connect what’s happening in the lawn care, landscape and horticulture industry to specialty pesticide and fertilizer advocacy.”
NALP board leaders Chris Senske, president, Senske Lawn and Tree Care Pest Solutions, and incoming board president Brandon Sheppard, owner, Weed Man, shared their experiences and perspectives on engaging with policy makers. Both highlighted the importance of telling a personal story about their work and the benefits the industry delivers in green spaces and communities across the country.
“I encourage you to use the advice our speakers have shared with you today and start advocating. Whether it’s attending a hearing on a bill that would affect what kind of pesticide products you can use on your lawn, or simply talking to your neighbors about our industry and giving them a new perspective, every advocacy effort matters!” Provost added.