Originally formed in 2014, AmericanHort resulted from the merger of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the OFA—the Association of Horticultural Professionals. Its goal is simple—apply the combined 220+ years of experience the two groups have to unify the industry, improve collaboration, increase organizational efficiencies, and expand support for business.
AmericanHort works in many areas of the horticultural industry. From breeders to greenhouse and nursery growers, to retailers, distributors, florists, students, and educators. AmericanHort tries to serve all parts of the industry market chain. According to their website, that wide focus makes AmericanHort the largest association for garden retailers in the world.
One of the key purposes of the organization is to make sure that members have the knowledge, information, and resources to make their business successful. Here are some of the ways AmericanHort does that:
- The Horticultural Research Institute: Here, work is done to increase the understanding of the most critical issues facing the horticultural industry and educate business owners about them.
- SHIFT: An AmericanHort Initiative: This is a research and education initiative to learn how customers interact with horticultural businesses. They concentrate on customer experiences and how business owners can shift their focus to meet changing needs to become more profitable.
- Grow Wise, Bee Smart: Both industry representatives and consumers learn more about the challenges in bee health. Special attention is paid to science-based information on how the horticultural industry impacts pollinator health and what can be done to help ecosystems remain strong.
- America in Bloom: This annual program is designed to promote community beautification. It’s hoped by showing the benefits of sprucing up a town, communities across the country will do more to beautify their own.
- GenNext Community: This program by AmericanHort members focuses on working with young professionals. The hope is to encourage them to advance and grow the industry. Another program, HortScholars, selects six students each year who have excelled in school and helps them expand their interest in the horticulture industry.
In addition to those programs, AmericanHort also focuses on member education. Through an online knowledge center, live events, and webinars, the organization promotes professional advancement for those working in the industry.
But it’s not just local businesses that AmericanHort focuses on. Members understand that this industry is like every other—one that operates globally. To make sure domestic and international horticultural concerns are addressed, the organization makes a point of working with lawmakers to show them the impact their legislation may have on the industry.
Trade shows and industry partnerships are another way AmericanHort tries to help those in the business.
Here at Hortica, we’re proud to call AmericanHort a key partner. In addition to providing webinars, we were a part of their Next Level conference held in Florida this past January. We were featured as a seminar presenter and sponsored the keynote speaker for the event. In April, we exhibited at the group’s Interior Plantscape Symposium in Pennsylvania.
But our association for the year isn’t over yet. We’ll soon exhibit at AmericanHort’s Cultivate16 program in Columbus, Ohio. Our sales and claims staff will be part of this large industry trade show from July 9-12. And then from September 19-21, we’ll be a part of the Plug & Cutting Conference in California.
For more information about AmericanHort or to become a member, check out their website at americanhort.org. You can also find them on Facebook.