President's Letter: 2024 is Here

January 4, 2024

2024 is here. As an avid follower of college football, I’m settling down to watch the early semi-final and marveling at what has been a perfect day to start the year off: beautifully sunny with a high of 70 degrees, and no humidity.

The type of winter’s day which has brought more and more people to our state each year, and presenting us with a double-edged sword: crowded restaurants and roadways, and urban sprawl that hampers our lives and activities. Yet, also to consider is an increase in the demand for the goods and services which many of us nursery and landscape professionals provide.

The first day of the new year is often seen as a time of renewal, reflection and hope. It is a time for people to come together with friends and family to celebrate the start of a new year, and to look forward to the future. It is also a time for many of us to make resolutions. I haven’t thought much about any resolutions but I have been reflecting on last year, December in particular. One of the greatest things about FNGLA is the multitude of members and businesses scattered throughout Florida. If I could suggest a resolution or wish to our membership, it would be to take the time to travel, visit and experience the membership body our association is comprised of.

In December, I had the pleasure of partaking in Chapter meetings and holiday gatherings at three different locations. I took part in the festivities and enjoyed the comradery, food and entertainment. Many thanks to FNGLA's Tampa Bay Chapter who hosted their gathering at the Lemon Grove in Thonotosassa. Another note of gratitude to FNGLA's Highlands Heartland Chapter, notably Austin Bryant, with Heart of Florida Greenhouses in Zolfo Springs. And, finally another expression of gratitude goes to Erin Jenkins-Banas and FNGLA's Treasure Coast Chapter, who hosted their holiday gathering at the Summer Crush Vineyard in Fort Pierce. Each of these venues was tucked in the country, off a State Road. And, they were all unique and great facilities. It was good to be a part of people coming together and enjoying themselves as part of FNGLA.

Turning my sights on 2024, I hope for prosperity and good health for all of us, our families, friends and businesses. January should be memorable as the Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) industry trade show returns to the newly remodeled Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale. This year’s show seems destined to be one of the best in recent memory. The number of exhibitors has greatly exceeded expectations, which will hopefully set a precedent of high hopes for the rest of the year.

Hope to see you all in Ft. Lauderdale.

Phil Buck sig

Phil Buck
FNGLA 2023-24 President

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