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NALP spotlights lawn care industry advocacy in media briefing

June 29, 2022 -  By

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) spotlighted increased advocacy efforts, specifically with pesticide regulation, in a media briefing on June 15.

Members stressed the importance of increased participation from the industry as anti-pesticide regulations continue to spread across the country at a state level.

“The states are where we are the most active, especially on these pesticide issues. We have seen this play out in almost all 50 states over the last several years. The ability for the industry to use products continues to be under attack,” Andrew Bray, NALP president of government relations said. “What this tells us is the only way we’re going to be able to beat this is to activate our biggest strength. We’re generally not going to outspend our opposition, but we have more manpower.”

The association is looking to go on the offensive with its messaging; instead of having anti-pesticide organizations control the messaging.

“We’re letting other people tell our story right now. We have to be the ones to tell our own stories, and we have the network to be able to do that,” said Jennifer Lemcke, CEO of Weed Man.

To help with the mission of controlling its own narrative, organizations like Weed Man, Lawn DoctorSpring-Green and TruGreen have made an effort to get their franchisees more involved at the local level. Bray calls that a critical component to protect the industry moving forward.

“One thing we are looking to do in different states is have our franchisees engage in fundraising events so that they can actually meet with their lawmakers and their representatives. It’s a chance to meet them and put a face to the industry,” said Chris Sherrington, technical director at Lawn Doctor. “We’re looking for more volunteers who want an opportunity to get in front of their state legislatures and be engaged in that side of the business because it’s critical right now.”

Getting involved

The NALP shares its advocacy efforts with members in two ways; Voices for Healthy Green Spaces — a digital advocacy network — and The Act Network — a boots-on-the-ground organization. The NALP encourages those interested in The Act Network to contact Bray or Bob Mann for more information.

The association also announced its State Advocacy Grassroots fund, which allows for fundraising within the lawn care industry. Money from the fund is specifically for lawn care and allows NALP, to allocate it to address issues within the industry.

“Where we can really impact is at the state level is not only with our voice, but with funds to help those causes,” Lemcke said.

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

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