Resolve to drive your business forward in 2024 By Cindy Whitt

The resources and support available to a business can be the determining factor between stagnation and success in the green industry. From navigating policy to workforce development to fostering collaboration, here are six resolutions to drive your business forward in 2024.


Attend Cultivate’24 this summer to foster business connections and grow your industry network. With education programming, workshops, industry production tours and more, the industry comes together to learn, see the latest plants and products and establish business relationships.

You can foster collaboration and find valuable partners for your business amongst 650+ exhibitors, supplying and supporting all aspects of the green industry. Take connections a step further during impactful networking events like the Women in Horticulture Luncheon or the GenerationNext Community’s “Unplugged” event.

Cultivate is also a place to learn and share knowledge. Your industry peers, business leaders, and subject-matter experts all come together to host 150+ educational sessions each year. They share their own real-world experiences and best practices that can help you create a plan for business success.

Cultivate’24 pre-registration is open Feb. 12-23, and general registration opens March 12. Begin planning your trip at


If you or a team member could benefit from learning business strategy, leadership people management, and value chain management skills, apply for the HRI Leadership Academy managed through AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). The one-year program offers participants training, coaching and access to a growing network of industry leaders.

The program launches in the fall of 2024 and will consist of in-person training sessions, online classes and meetings and a year-end presentation at Cultivate’25. Applicants must have held a leadership position for at least five years and worked in the green industry for at least seven years. Visit to learn more about the program. Applications are due Feb. 9.


Kick off the new year by learning how artificial intelligence (AI) can play a multifaceted role in horticulture businesses. AmericanHort programming provides attendees with concrete steps to implement AI tools to stay at the forefront of technology.

The introductory session, Industry Insider, gives attendees an overview of using generative AI to optimize workflows and increase productivity. This hands-on session explains the fundamentals of this technology and why it can be a game-changer in the workplace.

In the follow-up three-part Mastery Series, speakers go in-depth on AI-powered strategies across your operation, from marketing and content creation to sales and training to security and safety. You will learn how AI can increase productivity, optimize routine processes, and improve customer experience.


Connecting with people who have similar experiences can be helpful in professional and personal development. There are several ways to meet and collaborate with peers through online and in-person programming at AmericanHort.

A new webinar series for young and emerging professionals, Grow Forward: Finding Success Beyond the Plants, provides practical insights, strategies, and actionable tips for the next generation to develop better communication, personal branding and leadership skills in the workplace.

The Women in Horticulture program is a place for women in the industry to find support, encouragement, and mentorship. Held online and in-person during Cultivate, the program features interviews with female changemakers and education geared toward professional development and empowerment.

Human resources staff are often the first people a prospective employee meets. The HR Peer Sharing Group was created to share ideas and best practices so that HR professionals have stronger tools for recruitment and retention, which are the cornerstone of building a robust workforce.


Engage with policymakers by hosting a Congressional Site Visit in 2024. Instead of traveling to D.C., invite local representatives to tour your facility and offer firsthand insights into how policies affect your business. Site visits can be a great way to demonstrate the practical implications of policies to legislators.

To extend an invitation, reach out to your local representatives’ offices, providing comprehensive details about the purpose of the visit. Be flexible with timing because members of Congress have tight schedules. If you want to learn more about how to plan a site visit, the advocacy team at AmericanHort can help. Contact Matt Mika, vice president of advocacy and government affairs, at to discuss your plans.


The AmericanHort Foundation, the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), supports scientific research to advance the horticultural industry. HRI develops and supports research on pest and disease management practices, mechanization/automation technology, efficiency and resource stewardship, and production efficiency.

Stay updated on HRI’s latest research with the tHRIve Web Series, which connects the industry with researchers and educators sharing best practices and new innovations. Learn more at See firsthand how AmericanHort supports green industry businesses through education, networking, advocacy, research, and more by becoming a member.

Cindy Whitt

Cindy Whitt is the marketing communications manager for AmericanHort. She joined AmericanHort in June 2023 and brings more than a decade of association experience, which includes member communications, event marketing, public relations and sales.