Apr 15, 2020
Industry Organizations Urge USDA to Support Growers Impacted by COVID-19 By Tim Hodson

On April 13, AmericanHort announced it had co-signed a letter along with 104 other organizations that was sent to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to ensure nursery and floriculture crop farmers ravaged by the fallout of the COVID-19 economic shutdown are not left out of USDA support.

“Nurseries and greenhouse growers have been hit hard by this pandemic,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort’s senior vice president for advocacy and research.

“As much as 80 percent of our industry’s sales occur between mid-March and Memorial Day. The public health precautions our nation has been forced to take have had a substantial effect on our industry’s family farms and small businesses. Some may not survive, as a direct consequence of the restricted or suspended operations that have crippled the industry supply chain and demand for their products.

“104 organizations from across the agricultural community joined AmericanHort to urge the Secretary of Agriculture to remember the full range of agricultural producers, including nurseries and greenhouses, affected by the COVID-19 crisis when offering assistance under USDA’s emergency programs.”

The letter, sent on April 10, contains 105 signatories, including industry trade associations, state farm bureaus, specialty crop organizations, and farm lenders.

Click here to read the final letter.

— Tim


Walmart Establishes Daily Pickup for Most At-Risk Shoppers

Walmart is launching a Pickup hour for people most at-risk for COVID-19. Each day at select pickup store locations, the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. is reserved for customers over the age of 60, as well as first responders, customers with disabilities and anyone designated high-risk by the CDC. Pickup associates are also following enhanced distancing and sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The point of pickup is also contact-free.

Tractor Supply Now Offering Same-Day Delivery at All Stores

Tractor Supply Co. announced it has expanded its same-day delivery services to include all of its 1,863 U.S. locations. Tractor Supply now can provide customers the safety and convenience of same-day and next-day delivery on almost the entire inventory (nearly 15,000 items) from its stores. “Now, more than ever before, our customers are depending on us to get them their essential goods in a timely manner so they can continue to take care of their families, homes, land, pets and animals,” said John Ordus, executive vice president and chief stores officer.

Senior Exec at Lowe’s Resigns

Last week, Lowe’s announced that Jennifer Weber, executive vice president of human resources, had resigned. Weber had served in that role since March 2016. “Jennifer Weber has decided to leave the company, and we thank her for her leadership, enthusiasm and dedication to Lowe’s over the past four years,” the company said in a statement. Janice Little, senior vice president, talent management and diversity, will assume Weber’s responsibilities while the company searches for a successor.

Tim Hodson