NALP Hosts Briefing on Advocacy

The National Association of Landscape Professionals promoted its advocacy efforts relating to inputs in a recent media briefing.

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The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) promoted its advocacy efforts when it comes to fertilizer and pesticide regulations in a media briefing on June 15.

Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for NALP, said the association is expecting to see more regulations on neonicotinoids, which will, in turn, affect how products come to market or receive reregistration. 

"NALP is active in most states, especially on pesticide regulations, but we have seen it play it out in almost all 50 states—the ability to use products continues to come under attack," Bray said. "We need to start planning for 2023, and we know that those that oppose what we do are already doing that. The only way we’re going to beat this is to activate our biggest strength. We’re not going to outspend opposition, but we have more manpower than our opposition."

As a way to further advocacy efforts, several franchises such as Weed Man, Lawn Doctor and Spring-Green Lawn Care have joined together to promote the efforts throughout its franchisees.

For example, Jennifer Lemcke, CEO of Weed Man, said that the Weed Man brand went from being somewhat engaged in the efforts about 24 months ago to fully engaged throughout all levels of the organization.

"Having conversations with board members from NALP, I felt there was a waning of support in our segment, so pulling together folks from large companies and coming to the table to say that we're letting other people tell our story, but have to tell our own story," Lemcke said. "Every franchisee is a member; everyone is getting the same message."

Chris Sherrington, technical director at Lawn Doctor, added that lawmakers and policies are moving faster than ever, so the need for volunteers has increased.

"One thing we are looking to do in different states is having our franchisees attending and engaging in fundraising events. That’s an opportunity to put a face to the industry," Sherrington said. "We’re looking for more volunteers to get in front of their state legislation."

Ted Hofer, CEO of Spring Green, said that despite being competitors, those involved in the lawn care and landscape industry need to join together to oppose regulations.

"It’s been a long time in the industry where we’ve been pretty segmented. One of our challenges was how do we get our arms around all of these state issues. How do we be proactive instead of being so reactive?" Hofer says. "I’ve been impressed with our competitors coming together and with NALP to take on a challenge that lawn care has been asking for for years if not decades. It's about putting the structure in place to be able to actually address state issues ahead of time before they become a real issue."

NALP organizations promoting involvement in these issues include: 

1. Voice for Healthy Greenspaces. A national digital advocacy network that sends out alerts when we need people to get involved

2. The Act Network: This "boots on the ground" segment is comprised of people who volunteer in every state to rally when an issue comes up. People can join by contacting Andrew Bray or Bob Mann

In addition to advocacy relating to inputs, NALP also places a major emphasis on the following issues:

  • Labor and workforce development
  • Emissions regulations
  • Water regulations