Whats New

Sometimes you just need to find the latest info and news industry-wide, and this is the place to find it. From business management to Washington’s impact you’ll find the latest articles and videos here.

Tal Coley July 08 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a request for information last month to better understand driver detention times during the loading and unloading of commercial vehicles along with their impact on safety.

The request contains seven areas where FMCSA is looking for feedback, including topics such as what they should consider an estimate of reasonable lo...

Tal Coley July 08 2019

Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Senate companion bill to the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act (S. 2025) at the end of June. The legislation specifically adds horticulture and floriculture to the definition of “agricultural commodity” ...

Tal Coley June 24 2019

AmericanHort has officially announced the Impact Washington Summit, which will be held on September 16-18 in Washington, D.C. Confirmed keynote speakers at this signature horticulture industry event include:
Andrew Wheeler, Administrator – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Andrew Wheeler was confirmed the fifteenth Administrator of the Environmen...

Tal Coley June 11 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has delayed proposing changes to its Hours of Service (HOS) rules.  The changes, which were expected to be released on June 7 as a notice of proposed rulemaking, are still expected to be published during the month of June according to FMCSA officials.

The delay stems from the ongoing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ...

Tal Coley May 13 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that June 7 is the likely date of publication of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to the trucking Hours of Service (HOS) rules. FMCSA noted that the agency plans to take comments on the NPRM until July 26.

FMCSA issued a pre-rule last August, focusing on four areas of potential changes to current HOS ...

Tal Coley May 13 2019

The AmericanHort-supported Agricultural Trucking Relief Act, H.R.1673, introduced by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), gained additional support this past week, with new Congressional cosponsors as well as supporting organizations.

Additional cosponsors over the past couple of weeks include Representatives Greg Gianforte (R-MT), TJ Cox (D-CA), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Rick Crawford (R-AR), D...

Tal Coley May 01 2019

On April 26, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) visited AmericanHort premium member Battlefield Farms in Rapidan, Virginia.  Spanberger, a newly-elected member of Congress, who also sits on the House Committee on Agriculture, spent over two hours touring the facility and discussing priority issues.

The AmericanHort advocacy team had worked with Battlefield Farms to coordi...

Tal Coley April 17 2019

The Department of Agriculture on April 11 celebrated the release of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, a vital data set published every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). AmericanHort advocacy team members Dr. Jill Calabro, Tal Coley, and Tristan Daedalus attended the event, which was held at USDA headquarters.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addr...

Tal Coley April 01 2019

AmericanHort successfully placed an op-ed in the Washington, D.C.- based publication, RealClearPolicy, on March 22 detailing the current situation faced by the horticulture industry concerning the vague agricultural exemption associated with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. 

Entitled 

Tal Coley April 01 2019

Confirming recent intelligence received by the advocacy team in Washington, D.C., the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finally acknowledged at a trucking trade show last week that there will be an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) focused on clarifying and defining what an agricultural product actually is.

Tal Coley March 20 2019

Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) has introduced H.R. 1673, The Agricultural Trucking Relief Act of 2019, last week. The bipartisan bill would bring much-needed clarity to the definition of “agricultural commodity” as it relates to transportation policy and new trucking regulations.

The primary reason why the clarity is needed centers around the agricultural exemption ...

Tal Coley March 05 2019

Author: Tal Coley and Craig Regelbrugge
 
The Senate voted 52-47 to confirm Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency on February 28. AmericanHort supported Wheeler’s nomination, signing a support letter in January addressed to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. More than 30 other organizations also signed the letter. 
...

Tal Coley February 19 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to issue final regulations relating to the tax reform package that was passed at the end of 2017. In mid-January, the IRS issued some final regulations for section 199A, which pertains to some in our industry.  
 
AmericanHort members enjoy the benefits of our partnership with K-Coe Is...

Tal Coley January 22 2019

AmericanHort’s advocacy team released our 2019 Legislative & Policy agenda during an advocacy town hall at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore.
 
Legislative and regulatory priorities center around workforce and transportation issues, research funding and implementation, environmental regulation, and horticultural trade and marketplace issues. T...

Tal Coley January 08 2019

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and five colleagues sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the end of December, asking Administrator Ray Martinez for more clarification on the agricultural exemption under Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations.

The exemption, which was created in association with the use of ELDs to track Hours of Service (HOS) rules,...

Tal Coley December 11 2018

The Farm Bill is in the home stretch as Congressional negotiators have worked through areas of contention and ultimately reached an agreement on the final language. The conference report was filed on Monday, with details being released in the past 24 hours.
 
At the time of our Impact Washington newsletter deadline, all details of the agreement were not known. However, in dis...

Tal Coley November 28 2018

Racing against the clock to finalize a key piece of legislation before year’s end, farm bill negotiators are looking to finish up talks in the days ahead. The Senate returned to work on Monday with their House counterparts arriving yesterday to finish the lame duck session.
 
Areas of disagreement remain around items such as forest management, eligibility for commodity ...

Tal Coley November 13 2018

AmericanHort has announced support of new legislation – the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act of 2018, H.R. 7004 – that was introduced by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) at the end of September.  This bill would bring much-needed clarity to the definition o...

Tal Coley November 13 2018

The newly divided Congress and looming 2020 presidential election may bring even more Congressional gridlock. House Democrats will be eager to bring new oversight, not just of the President, but of Cabinet officials and agency actions. On the other hand, neither party will want to own the blame for gridlock and the divided government will force cross-aisle cooperation to get anything done.

Tal Coley October 29 2018

Due to increasing federal budget deficits announced in October, the Trump Administration is proposing to cut 5% off of federal agencies’ bottom lines. The federal deficit climbed to $779 billion in FY 2018, which was a 17% increase over the previous year.
 
With regard to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), a spokesman stated that “USDA stands with the president...

Tal Coley October 15 2018

AmericanHort submitted official comments last week regarding potential changes to the Hours of Service Rules (HOS) that were floated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in late August.
 
AmericanHort praised the proposed changes — which include giving drivers added flex...

Tal Coley October 02 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an extension on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking concerning potential changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The new deadline to submit comments is October 10.

Under pressure from numerous groups to extend the deadline, the agency accommodated those requests and extended the deadline, but only by a few...

Tal Coley September 17 2018

AmericanHort has successfully placed an op-ed entitled “Congress should finish work on the farm bill for Ohio – and America” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The op-ed, which was bylined by AmericanHort former chairman of the board Tom Demaline, emphasized the need for ...

Tal Coley September 17 2018

With time running out on striking a possible deal, it looks more likely that Congress will file an extension of the current farm bill, allowing for more time to deliberate the differences of the new farm bill in the conference committee. The deadline for completion without an extension is September 30.

Making matters even more difficult, the House is currently out of session and ...

Tal Coley September 04 2018

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it is exploring measures to provide flexibility for Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The agency issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, asking for public comments and initiating the process to potentially modify rules now in place for drivers.
 
The four areas...

Tal Coley August 21 2018

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced reorganization plans for the Economic Research Service (ERS) on August 9. The ERS, which is currently under USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area, will realign with the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) under the Office of the Secretary.
 
In addition, Perdue announced that the USDA is looking to move th...

Tal Coley August 21 2018

The Senate has returned from a truncated August recess to focus on spending bills and judicial nominees. Funding the government will continue to be a key focus in Congress when the House returns in September, as the end of the government fiscal year is September 30. Congress must pass some form of a spending measure by then to keep the government running or else a shutdown will ensue.
&n...

Tal Coley August 07 2018

The Senate voted last week to proceed with a farm bill conference committee, advancing the process for a final version of the farm bill as a September 30 deadline looms large. The Senate also named nine conferees who will attempt to work out the considerable differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the farm bill.

 

A total of nine senators were na...

Tal Coley July 25 2018

Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries, and Bob Jones, Chef’s Garden, walk Cultivate’18 with Representative Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries, and Bob Jones, Chef’s Ga...

Tal Coley July 25 2018

The House and Senate have each passed a version of the Farm Bill. The next step is for a “conference committee” to negotiate how to bridge the differences in the two bills. This process is now underway, as House leadership officially

Tal Coley July 02 2018

AmericanHort sent formal letters to Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) this week to announce support for H.R. 5949, The Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018.
 
This bill gives the option for agricultural busine...

Tal Coley July 02 2018

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the farm bill on Thursday by a landslide vote of 86-11, concluding a week of debate. The next step is for what’s called a conference committee, which will seek to work out the legislative differences between the Senate and House versions, produce a final piece of legislation, and then hope to pass the bill through both chambers. As noted in prior upda...

Tal Coley June 19 2018

The Senate Agriculture Committee unveiled its version of the Farm Bill during the first week of June, receiving praise from AmericanHort and allied organizations for its inclusion of our key priorities. The bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, was developed in a surprisingly bipartisan fashion, something that Capitol Hill hasn’t seen a lot of lately.
&...

Tal Coley June 04 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued additional guidance on the agricultural exemption on June 1, while also providing more clarity on certain situations where time would not count against a commercial driver’s available hours of service. Unfortunately, what we’ve been waiting for—clarity on what is considered an agricultural commodity—was not p...

Tal Coley May 21 2018

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Thursday, calling on Administrator Raymond Martinez to grant greater flexibility with hours of service (HOS) regulations, along with addressing additional co...

Tal Coley May 08 2018

Last month, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME) reintroduced the Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act. The bill, S.2670, would clarify the treatment of seasonal workers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This past week, AmericanHort was on Capitol Hill seeking support for the bill.

 

Currently, the ACA includes various de...

Tal Coley May 08 2018

It looks as if new Farm Bill legislation will dominate much of the May Congressional calendar, with the House preparing to bring its bill to the floor on May 14 and the Senate hoping to introduce its version by the end of the month.

 

House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway is trying to whip the 218 votes needed to pass the bill in the House. The House version...

Tal Coley April 24 2018

The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill was finally introduced April 12 by Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway despite concerns from House Democrats on various provisions.
 
The legislation, which had been delayed significantly due to objections by Democrats to eligibility changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), faces a tough road ahead compar...

Tal Coley April 10 2018

The hard enforcement date for the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate came and went on April 1, with violations now counting against carriers’ scores in the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program. Vehicles...

Tal Coley March 27 2018

With rising concerns over trucking cost and availability, AmericanHort and the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association hosted a widely attended webinar on trucking regulations affecting our industry on March 15. The webinar detailed the recently-enacted Electronic Logging Device Mandate (ELD) and accompanying hours of service rules.
 
Andy Bruney of T. Load Specialties in Colu...

Tal Coley March 27 2018

Congress hastily passed a $1.3 trillion mandatory spending bill with hours to spare early Friday morning, March 23, moving the omnibus spending bill through the House and Senate in a little over 24 hours. The sweeping measure had first passed the House 256 to 167 and the Senate 65-32. Despite last-moment veto threats, President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday afternoon, averting anothe...

Tal Coley March 13 2018

AmericanHort successfully placed an op-ed in the Washington, D.C., based The Hill this past week, calling for flexibility with hours of service rules and a potential delay of hard enforcement of the ELD mandate until various issues can be addressed and fixed.
 
Entitled “Federal regulators need to revisit electronic tracking rule for truckers,” the

Tal Coley March 13 2018

AmericanHort, in partnership with the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, will host a free webinar on the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, hours of services rules for trucking, and the impact on the horticulture industry this Thursday, March 15, at 2:30 PM Eastern/11:30 AM Pacific time.
 
The ELD mandate has created a significant amount of confusion and anxiety ac...

Tal Coley February 27 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) public comment period regarding the transportation of agricultural commodities associated with the new hours of service rules/electronic logging device (ELD) mandate ended on February 20. AmericanHort submitted

Tal Coley February 13 2018

President Trump signed a massive two-year budget deal and short-term spending arrangement on Friday morning, following an hours-long government shutdown amidst a volatile night on Capitol Hill. The bill will fund the government through March 23 and allows almost $300 billion more for the military and various domestic programs over the next two years – blowing through stiff spending caps w...

Tal Coley January 30 2018

AmericanHort submitted official comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on January 18, advocating for nursery, greenhouse, and Christmas tree farmers to be explicitly included in the agricultural exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that went into effect on December 18, 2017. FMCSA is an agency within the Department of Transportation that regula...

Tal Coley January 30 2018

With tax season already in full swing, AmericanHort will be hosting a webinar entitled “Comprehending the New Tax Law” today, January 31st at 3:00 PM EST to discuss changes in the tax code that affect our industry. This is part of a larger organizational initiative in 2018 to help the industry perform better, grow faster, and prepare for the future.
 
A...

Tal Coley January 16 2018

Despite Congress just returning to Washington after the holiday break, 2018 is already shaping up to be quite active with regard to issues that affect our industry. Some issues that were pivotal at our Impact Washington advocacy summit in September continue to be relevant in 2018. In addition to workforce and visa policy reforms, here are some of our top priorities.
 
...

Tal Coley January 03 2018

Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration left town on a triumphant note in December as their tax reform package passed both chambers during the last days of 2017. The passage of the bill marked a high-water mark for the first year of the Trump administration, as President Trump

Tal Coley December 19 2017

As we’ve reported, the trucking electronic logging device (ELD) mandate took effect December 18. The agency handling the enforcement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has been under increased scrutiny as the deadline approached.
 
Perhaps the biggest issue affecting the grower community centers around the agricultural exemption, which exempts cer...

Tal Coley December 19 2017

Congressional Republicans are scrambling to fulfill their commitment to send a tax bill to President Trump before Christmas. House and Senate negotiators announced they had reached an agreement on a final bill on December 13, and by late Friday, had resolved concerns of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who wanted to increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) a...

Tal Coley December 05 2017

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue continued his nationwide outreach effort last week visiting Francis Roses in Litchfield Park, Arizona as part of a tour that started in Mesa with Arizona Department of Agriculture officials.
 
Francis Roses, a member of AmericanH...

Tal Coley December 05 2017

The Senate passed their sweeping tax reform package in the early morning hours of December 2, moving tax reform one step closer to law. Senate Republican leaders worked diligently to get the votes necessary for passage, as there were a number of Republican senators on the fe...

Tal Coley November 21 2017

New regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concerning electronic logging devices (ELDs) are creeping up and set to take effect on December 18.
 
These changes, set in motion with the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century transportation bill in 2012 (also known as MAP-21), included a provision requiring the FMCS...

Tal Coley November 06 2017

House Republicans released the details of their tax reform plan on November 2, setting off an array of analysis and opinions as varied as the current political scene in Washington, D.C.
 
The 429-page plan, estimated by the Chairman of House Ways and Means to cost $1.5 trillio...

Tal Coley October 24 2017

The health care debate continues to evolve. Aside from a bipartisan conversation in the Senate, that for now seems not to be getting legs, eyes are on the administration.
 
On October 12th, President Trump signed the Association Health Plan executive order allowing the Secretaries of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services to consider proposing regulations...

Tal Coley October 10 2017

The push for major tax reform continues to progress in Washington, since the administration and congressional leaders unveiled a more detailed tax reform framework on September 27th in Indianapolis, Indiana. From a horticulture industry perspective, the details released were mostly pos...

Tal Coley September 26 2017

Transferring high-value land and other business assets to the next generation can be a big challenge in our industry. It’s no surprise that in addition to cash accounting for nurseries, the estate tax was a major point of interest and discussion at the recent Impact Washington advocacy summit.
               ...

Tal Coley September 26 2017

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L-R, Arizona’s Cheryl Goar, Don Waltemeyer, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Tyler Francis

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Tal Coley September 12 2017

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AmericanHort board member Mark Sellew, his wife and business partner Lisa, and their family and staff hosted Secretary of Agric...

Tal Coley August 28 2017

AmericanHort premium members were treated to an expert webinar discussion on taxes and the current direction of tax reform. The session was headlined by K-Coe Isom, a leading consulting and accounting firm in Washington, D.C., with twenty-one U.S. locations, which provides support to AmericanHort as well as the agriculture and horticulture industry at-large.
 
Ryan Strochein,...

Tal Coley August 15 2017

Final preparations are underway for Impact Washington, the AmericanHort advocacy summit on September 12-13 in the nation’s capital. With September setting up to be a pivotal month for many issues, including tax reform and our workforce, timing is ideal for participants to have their voices heard in the discussion. With a solid lin...