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Government Relations Committee
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The Association monitors and acts upon legislation applicable to the horticultural industry and related businesses for the State of Massachusetts. We represent the concerns of MNLA members on key horticultural issues including invasive species management. Our lobbying and legislative efforts include building strong working relationships with key legislators from the Department of Agriculture and others. Other activities include:

  • Massachusetts Agriculture Day on the Hill
  • Membership to the AmericanHort Lighthouse Program, a political educational grassroots network which keeps you abreast of current and timely government changes.
  • Membership to PLANET, which advocates on the federal, state and local level to promote policies that will ensure a healthy, fair business market for green industry companies.


Massachusetts Agriculture Day — 2015 date to be announcedAg leaders meet with Senator Rosenberg at MA Ag Day on the Hill 2014

How big is agriculture in Massachusetts? Approximately $492 million dollars of revenue is generated annually, and Commonwealth farmers are responsible for maintaining over 520,000 acres of open space! Please join us in 2015, when farmers and agriculture officials from across the Bay State come together to visit their legislators to discuss issues and legislation which affects their farms and local communities.

The day's events includes a program of speakers, presentation of "Agriculture Day" awards, informational exhibits and a hotly anticipated reception featuring Massachusetts' farm and specialty food products. We invite you to join us in recognizing Massachusetts' agriculture specialists and learn more about their efforts to maintain the long-term viability of Massachusetts agriculture. Check back soon for more information.


Lighthouse Program

The AmericanHort Lighthouse Program is the grassroots partnership program that creates a collective voice for the industry’s national and state associations on shared interests. Over 13,000 businesses participate through more than 40 state associations and the National Christmas Tree Association. Coordinated messages delivering a clear point of view are a vital tool to making sure our interests are reflected in a national agenda.


2015 Government Relations Committee Members

Chair: Chris O’Brien, Howard Designs 617-244-7269
Henry Gillet, MNLA Legislative Director
Patricia Bigelow, MCH, Bigelow Nurseries, Inc.
Fred Dabney, MCH, Quansett Nurseries, Inc.
Bonnie Tucker L’Etoile, Four Star Farms, Inc.
Ed Bemis, MCH, Bemis Farms Nursery
Robin Pydynkowski, Cape Ann Tree Service, Inc. 
Tom Bradley, MCH, Emanouil, Inc.
Mary Jesch, Cornucopia Gardeners
Mark Ahronian, MCH, Ahronian Landscaping & Design, Inc. 
Laura Kuhn, MCH, Laura Kuhn Design and Consulting

Advisor: Tom Strangfeld, MNLA Past President 

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Conway, Massachusetts 01341
Rena Sumner, Executive Director

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