Protecting You / Advocacy for Our Members & Profession 

NYSNLA is ever vigilant!  Every day, NYSNLA fights and supports New York State's nursery and landscape professionals, and the businesses and communities they connect. 

NYSNLA is your voice across New York State government—from the Governor’s Office and executive departments to the State Legislature. State leaders recognize NYSNLA as a valued source of information and guidance on green industries. Our collective voice ensures that the needs of nursery and landscape professionals is heard.

Through the work of our Advocacy Committee, here is a rundown of how NYSNLA protects its members and our industry. Here is how your NYSNLA dues are working for you both publicly and behind-the-scenes: 

Our Partners in Advocacy 

Your dues pay for membership and participation in the Council of Agricultural Organization (CAO), which includes:

  • NYSNLA President, Advocacy Chair & Executive Director spend a full day with leaders of dozens of agricultural & horticultural organizations across the State to develop a 75 - 100 page book of policy recommendations sent to the Governor each year for consideration in both the annual state budget and management of statewide programs and agencies like Ag & Markets and the DEC.
  • CAO submits this policy document to the Governor each year on behalf of all organizations on the Council.
  • CAO has a Lobby Day each winter to address the State Senate and Assembly members to reinforce the policy recommendations made to the Governor. 

Your dues pay for membership and participation with the New York State Farm Bureau as an Agricultural Alliance Member:

  • Advocacy Chair and NYSNLA Office receive regular updates from NYS Farm Bureau on statewide issues affecting our industry. These updates are shared with our members.
  • Farm Bureau Executive Director Jeff Williams assists NYSNLA in drafting letters and contacting appropriate policy makers regarding specific issues or items of concern.
  • NYS Farm Bureau assists NYSNLA in creating e-mail call-to-action campaigns for our members and directs results to appropriate policy makers.
  • NYS Farm Bureau facilitates meetings, conference calls, and other correspondence between NYSNLA Advocacy Committee and President and heads of important state agencies or legislative committees.
  • NYS Farm Bureau has been assisting NYSNLA in the development of a comprehensive  Advocacy Program for our association over the past 4 years.
  • NYSNLA Board Directors participate in the two-day NYS Farm Bureau Lobby Day each year which includes meeting with specific lawmakers regarding impending legislation that affects our members.
  • NYS Farm Bureau also develops extensive policy and budget recommendations for the Governor's approval for funding of programs and agencies that support our industry. 

Your dues pay for membership and participation with the New York Alliance For Environmental Concerns (NYAFEC):

  • NYAFEC has full time lobbyists on staff watching legislative issues that impact our industry and advocating on our behalf.
  • NYAFEC sends regular communications to the Advocacy Committee and NYSNLA Office regarding hot button issues impacting our members.
  • NYAFEC coordinates calls-to-action and coalitions to oppose harmful legislation. 

In Addition

NYSNLA’s Advocacy Committee has developed strong relationships with contacts within the Department of Agriculture & Markets, including the Head of Plant Division, and Department of Environmental Conservation, to discuss issues that affect our industry and remain up-to-date on current policies.

Here is a summary of NYSNLA in action during this pandemic:

  • NYSNLA President and Advocacy Committee met weekly (sometimes twice a week or more) with other NYS Farm Bureau Agricultural Alliance Members, NYS Farm Bureau Executive Director and President and NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets.
  • Advocacy Committee updated the NYSNLA Board and Office about the constantly-changing COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, and helped develop timely e-mail and Social Media communications for the membership.
  • Advocacy Committee developed NYSNLA Best Management Practices document and other guidance for membership.
  • President and Advocacy Committee reached out repeatedly to the Department of Ag & Markets and the Empire State Development Corporation, and specifically to the Western New York Office, to advocate for getting mulch considered "maintenance" and therefore a part of essential services allowed in early stages of shut down. Advocacy Committee also reached out to Cornell and other scientific sources for supporting letters and studies to send to these agencies to make the case for allowing mulching as an essential maintenance activity.
  • Advocacy Committee coordinated with NYSFI, NYS Farm Bureau and State Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo repeatedly to correspond with the Governor to release our industry from work restrictions--including sending NYSNLA BMPs to them to advocate for allowing landscaping as a low risk activity in an early phase of reopening.
  • Based on our advocacy, the Governor allowed all landscaping and nursery professionals to go back to work on May 15, 2020--instead of waiting for their respective region to meet the guidelines for re-opening.
  • Advocacy Committee and NYSNLA Staff developed an economic impact study and coordinated with NYSFI to gather statistical data and submitted it to the USDA to advocate for emergency grant funding for our industry. 
  • In addition, the NYSNLA Office answered hundreds of phone calls at the height of quarantine and took time to make sure that our members, supporters and colleagues received the information they needed.  

About the NYSNLA Advocacy Committee 

The NYSNLA Advocacy Committee is comprised of all the active Past Presidents of NYSNLA and is chaired by NYSNLA Treasurer Melissa Caggiano. The Committee meets regularly via telephone or video conference. Policy direction and position recommendation reports are submitted to the NYSNLA Board of Directors at each quarterly meeting for approval before they are enacted.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Advocacy is everyone’s job. Please make your voice heard on issues affecting our industry by telling your State Legislators where you stand.

Not sure who they are?
Click here to Find Your Assembly Member
Click here to Find Your Senator