It’s hard to believe that 2018 is in the books and that we are already well into 2019. Last year flew by for us in Washington, D.C. Advocacy efforts related to international trade, forest fires, and reauthorization of the Farm Bill all started out as priorities and gained intensity as the year progressed.
The election cycle seems to be nonstop, and the November results have led to a new dynamic in the U.S. Congress. With Republicans in the White House and the Senate, and Democrats controlling the House, our work on behalf of the industry will continue to be fascinating, challenging, and hopefully successful in 2019.
The best part of our jobs at the Hardwood Federation is the opportunity to interact with those we represent. Some of you come to us, particularly in September when we hold our annual “fly-in” to D.C. More often, the opportunity to interact with industry leaders comes as the Hardwood Federation hits the road as we attend industry meetings around the country.
The first-quarter calendar is already getting full with scheduled attendance at the Lake States Lumber Association meeting (Jan. 16-19), the Indiana Hardwood Lumber Association meeting (Feb. 4-6), the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc. meeting (Feb. 20-24), the Hardwood Manufacturers Association meeting (March 21-23), and the National Wood Flooring Association meeting (May 1-3).
Without a doubt, several more will pop up in the coming weeks…and this doesn’t even get into the second half of the year, when we will visit with the National Hardwood Lumber Association and the Western Hardwood Association, to name only a few.
If you plan to attend one or more of these meetings, please make it a point to connect with us. As your representatives on federal legislation, it is always helpful to hear from those of you who work with hardwood lumber and products on a daily basis. Your front-line experience informs us of what we should be working on at the national level. You can also help us identify issues early…and provide us with the ammunition we need to fight for the industry.
If you are interested in having us speak at one of your events, please let us know that as well by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your insight and advice.
Dana Lee Cole is Executive Director at the Hardwood Federation, a Washington D.C.-based hardwood industry trade association that represents thousands of hardwood businesses in every state in the U.S. and acts as the industry’s advocacy voice on Capitol Hill. She can be reached at email@example.com.