NHF President's Letter: The Economy is Good – Our Industry’s Been Great To Us!

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It should come as no surprise that the board of the National Horticulture Foundation tends to know something about the economic health of the horticulture industry. Our board members come from diverse backgrounds and demographics. You might say “We get around!”

Simply put, product is moving, if you have the inventory. The economy is good and it shows. Last January at TPIE, NHF was proud to sponsor a presentation by Charlie Hall, Ph.D, Ellison Chair in Int'l Floriculture for the Dept. of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University. Hall is highly regarded as one of the industry’s valued economists. If you missed him, take my advice and don’t miss him again. Hall is great, but he will tell you, himself, that no one has a crystal ball where the economy is concerned. “It is imperative for green industry firms to monitor contingencies closely (e.g. the government shutdown, trade war effects, interest rate changes, etc.) and begin contingency planning for the impending downturn when it does occur,” Says Hall. 

If you have been around for some time, you know the economy goes up, followed by down, and then up again. The question is, ‘when and how much?’

Personally, I don’t worry about it, because the ‘down,’ is always followed by the ‘up’.

I have a brighter-than-average outlook on things.

I do have a concern, though, about how we will ensure the flow of new players, both workers and management-level teams, come into our industry to meet demand?

Even accounting for traditional transitions like retirement (and, personally I can’t understand why anyone want to do that), we still have a significant increase in labor demand.

NHF is committed to playing an important role in finding solutions to our labor force.

Collectively, plants are becoming the underground industry — no pun intended.

With the nursery and landscape industry being so good to so many of us, NHF recognizes that we need to continue to introduce more and more young people — or those of all ages, for that matter, to all that this industry has to offer.  Through funded research projects such as the Collegiate Plant Initiative - or though providing scholarships to over 25 students annually, NHF is committed to the successful future of our industry.

As a foundation, NHF runs with very little overhead costs. All board members are volunteers, and we only fund research and scholarships with interest earned, never our principal.  

So, when I ask you to help us reach our funding goals, I am asking you to do your part to help the next generation, and the future of our industry. 

You know it has been good to you, so help us keep the nursery and landscape industry strong. 

To contribute, visit http://nationalhorticulturefoundation.org/contribute or by calling Linda Reindl, NHF executive director, at 407-295-7994 and ask how to start a low monthly contribution plan.