President's Letter: At First Glance

March 8, 2024

At first glance, FNGLA is an organization of approximately 2,000 organizational and individual members working in the Green Industry. Dig deeper, and you will find FNGLA represents a network of over 266,000 people who are responsible for $31.4 billion in economic output.

It is also the largest state nursery and landscape association in the country. And from my vantage point, it is the best. This association is filled with hard-working professionals from a multitude of companies and occupations who work together to do what is necessary to grow, sell and maintain plants.

None of that can be accomplished without our key asset - people! People are responsible for cultivating, managing, monitoring, caring for, harvesting, researching, marketing and distributing plants. They also serve as environmental stewards.

Other tasks which require people include:

 - plant selection
 - soil preparation
 - watering
 - fertilizer and pesticide application
 - monitoring
 - distribution to customers

Finally, people also are the ones using sustainable farming and growing practices such as soil conservation, and employing water management and biodiversity preservation to protect the environment.

Overall, people’s knowledge, skills and labor are essential for the Green Industry to thrive and meet the growing demand for plants and plant-based products.

Considering that people are our number one resource, it makes sense for leaders in the industry and business owners to create an environment which fosters worker protection. It also makes sense to create opportunities to educate and train. Knowledge is the foundation of a worker’s ability to perform effectively, efficiently and safely. It not only benefits the individual, but also contributes to the success and growth of the organization or business.

One of best reasons to become an FNGLA member is to take advantage of the educational opportunities the association provides. FNGLA staff has done an impressive job creating training and Certification designations -- all designed to educate and advance professionalism and knowledge through our industry.

FNGLA offers online workshops, on-demand webinars, programs with FFA, and educational sessions at each of industry trade shows the association produces each year, The Landscape Show and Tropical Plant International Expo

Currently there are seven FNGLA Certifications offered which deal with horticultural practices, irrigation, landscape maintenance and design.

Worker safety has to be a priority for our businesses as a safe workplace is not only an ethical and legal requirement, but a smart business decision that can lead to a more productive, efficient and sustainable operation. OSHA has established minimum safety standards and guidelines that can be used in most occupations involved in the Green Industry. I strongly suggest, no matter how large or small your workplace or business, you implement and follow those guidelines.

My employer, Yellowstone Landscape, has a top-notch Safety Program which demands compliance at all levels. Quarterly safety audits are performed on employees in the field to ensure all company safety policies are met. This protects our people and our clients. As our cold temperatures are disappearing, and work is cranking up across the state, take the opportunity to check into your employee educational opportunities and perform a safety audit of your workplace.

Our workers are our biggest asset and it only makes good sense to keep them safe, and arm them with knowledge to create professionalism and efficiency throughout your company.

Phil Buck sig

Phil Buck
FNGLA 2023-24 President

Not an FNGLA Member?