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OFA announces new joint venture with ANLA

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Partnership could lead to further cooperation, merger

| January 5, 2012

OFA—The Association of Horticulture Professionals—released a statement this morning from its president, Michael McCabe of McCabe's Greenhouse & Floral in Lawrenceburg, Ind. The letter to members offers more details about OFA’s new joint venture with the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA).

The multi-faceted horticulture industry is undergoing dramatic changes. Economic strains, generational differences, and the changing interest in and need for gardening and landscape products are altering the way our products and services are valued by consumers. Governmental activity and inactivity, financial uncertainty, and environmental changes are altering the way plants are being produced, bought, and sold.

Our volunteer leaders have been considering how to best address these issues. In light of future opportunities and threats in this quickly changing environment, one solution is for trade associations to work together to build the capacity and governance structures to properly serve their members and the industry.

I am pleased to share with you that OFA—The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) are responding to industry challenges head-on together. The two national organizations are expanding on previous collaborations and forming a joint venture that involves sharing resources, including appropriate staff, to expand the capacity of the organizations to better support our members and advocate the horticultural industry's interests before government and the general public.

We Are Listening to You
Recent research conducted by OFA indicates that both OFA and ANLA members want their industry association to be all encompassing—one that touches and links all pieces of the horticulture industry together in a comprehensive manner to assist in the growth of the industry.

The research also indicates that members feel very strongly that the associations should be attracting the next generation of the horticulture profession; actively pursuing market development and promotion; pursuing advocacy and legislative issues; becoming more involved in regulatory issues; more involvement in business management and technical/product education; and conducting trade shows. It is very clear that the joint venture is the right thing to do.

An Expanded Partnership
The joint venture between our organizations will:

  • Further increase participation in advocacy efforts;
  • Further expand and offer more robust educational programs;
  • Widen the outreach to consumers;
  • Nurture commerce opportunities in order to connect more industry buyers and sellers;
  • Enhance support for research and higher education; and
  • Unite our thousands of member companies to create a stronger voice and vision for the industry.

This is not a merger, but in several years, if both organizations see the joint venture as a value to our members and further collaboration will better serve you and the industry, the intention is to form a new, single premier horticulture organization serving North America.

Working together, we will represent the whole of the ornamental plant industry, including greenhouse growers, nurseries, breeders, distributors, retailers, interior, and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers and all those who work in the plant supply chain. The combined 215 years of leadership, service, knowledge, and history will result in a more robust experience for our members and ensure the vitality of the horticulture industry.

I hope you find this to be an exciting opportunity for your business and your association. We value your input and will keep you informed on the progress of the joint venture. Thank you for your continued support of OFA. More information can be found by reading our FAQs document.

We welcome your feedback on our Facebook page.

Michael McCabe
OFA President
McCabe's Greenhouse & Floral
Lawrenceburg, Indiana

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