Keep CNGA Strong and Relevant

By Matt Edmundson, 2023 CNGA Board President

CNGA Board President Matt Edmundson, CGG

As we roll into yet another spring here in Colorado, we face a new set of challenges. If you’ve been in this industry long, you have come to understand that no two years are ever the same. Last spring we endured the wettest spring in recorded history along the Front Range which presented us all with unexpected challenges. Other challenges in our industry remain, including recruiting and retaining labor and staff, and the impact of higher interest rates on both housing and consumer spending. Add with the presidential election this year, no one knows what to expect! One thing I know for sure is our industry, and especially our trade association, is resilient and facing these challenges head on.

GreenCO is moving forward on an updated economic impact study for the green industry in Colorado. As a partner in GreenCO, CNGA members benefit from this investment especially when it comes to positioning our industry at the legislature as a powerful and important part of the Colorado economy. GreenCO is an important asset for our lobbying efforts that will pay off for years in the future.

After my last letter we have continued to receive member feedback—and encourage even more—on how CNGA can remain a vital part of its members’ success. The major theme we are hearing about is the importance of opportunities to come together and network as a member community. The industry celebration at ProGreen was an immense success and an example of what is working well as far as events are concerned. Gus the garden gnome was auctioned off for a record amount—several thousand dollars—to Trees of Corrales in New Mexico. This is the first time Gus has gone south of the border.

Our industry continues to strongly support our partnership with Colorado State University. With the retirement of Dr. James Klett, there is a great opportunity to grow our engagement with new faculty. We invite more of you to take part, not only in fundraising for scholarships and research, but also in offering support in driving the vision of how horticulture evolves at the university with industry support. Another vital part of keeping CNGA relevant and strong includes participation and involvement by members and stakeholders. It is so important that member companies provide opportunities not only for senior leaders to volunteer and participate in, but for employees at many levels, whether it be through certification, the young hort professionals group or CNGA events throughout the year. Remember, the vision and purpose of CNGA is to be a member-driven organization. We exist to serve the needs of our members and of the marketplace, and as needs evolve over time, it is critical we continue to ask and hear from members about what is working and not working for them, especially if it is something that our association can have an impact upon.