Welcome to our Online Community!
Boehner getting serious about immigration reform?
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has hired a new adviser on immigration policy, and at least one journalist believes it shows a desire to get serious about reform.
Rebecca Tallent (pictured) previously served as director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force. Before that, she worked for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped negotiate the bipartisan reform package that passed in the Senate earlier this year.
Tallent recently wrote an op-ed article on how to get reform through the House of Representatives— a task that may become her first assignment in her new job.
» Immigration reform: the politics of the possible
Plant problems to watch out for this winter
Mistletoe may be a much-loved decoration during the holiday season, but it's also a plant parasite that growers should guard against. Heavy infections can cause the host to weaken and grow more slowly. Fungal, bacterial and abiotic disorders are additional plant ailments to watch for during December, according to the "December Highlights" published by Oregon State University's Plant Clinic.
» Read OSU Plant Clinic's "December Highlights"
» Read the Digger article on mistletoe (November issue)
Affordable Care Act
If you find yourself confused or concerned about the Affordable Care Act, you're not alone. Many people have questions and concerns. The OAN held a series of educational forums featuring an expert panel. Download the presentations from these forums. [Read more]
ODA announces new rules to protect pollinators
The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to lift temporary restrictions on the use of the insecticide dinotefuran, effective Dec. 24, replacing them with new label restrictions. The decision was announced last Thursday at a House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. At that meeting, OAN Past President Carson Lord, co-owner of Tree Frog Nursery, spoke to legislators on behalf of the horticulture industry. "Neonicotinoid class insecticides are very effective when used properly," he said. "In most instances, they offer a safer alternative for the workers who apply them and the people who park their cars under the trees where they are applied." The label restriction will disallow use of dinotefuran and imidacloprid on trees in the Tilia genus, which includes linden and basswood trees. The OAN considers this a positive compromise that protects the insects while still allowing safe and appropriate use of the chemicals in nursery and greenhouse production. For background information as well as specifics and resources, please read the complete story on the Daily Digger blog.
Strong majority supports path to citizenship
According to a new report published last week by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, 63 percent of Americans — crossing party and religious lines — favor legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally. Another 14 percent support legal residency with no option for citizenship, an approach currently favored by Republican leaders in the House. That adds up to 77 percent in support of legal presence. Read the story in the New York Times.
Last chance to attend NurseryGuide.com hands-on training
Do you know how to maximize your online Nursery Guide presence so buyers can find you? Make changes to your company profile? Modify your plant, service and/or supply listings online at any time during the year? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, make plans to attend one of the upcoming hands-on training sessions. Your online profile — and these training sessions — are free with OAN membership. Register today: Dec. 18.
Applications being accepted for Conservation Stewardship Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2014. The CSP supports land managers as they work to improve both their agricultural production and provide valuable conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water, healthier soils and better wildlife habitat. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to their local NRCS service center through Jan. 17, 2014.
Farm Bill conference committee appointed
House and Senate leaders have appointed a conference committee to resolve differences between competing versions of the new federal Farm Bill. Supporters took it as a sign that the long-stalled legislation could move to the president's desk before the end of the year. U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) is among those who will serve on the committee. The key differences in the bill include how much to cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Awareness Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and whether to keep everything in one bill or put SNAP is a separate bill. [Read more]
Driver's card bill goes on November 2014 ballot
Opponents of the Oregon driver's card bill have secured enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the November 2014 ballot. Passed during the 2013 session, the bill directs creation of a four-year Oregon driver's card (as opposed to the regular, eight-year license) for those who can't prove legal presence in the United States. It is backed by a bipartisan coalition of business, faith, labor, civil liberties and law enforcement organizations, including the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The successful signature drive means the bill won't take effect as originally scheduled on Jan. 1, 2014 — and won't take effect at all unless voters approve. Backers are prepared, however, to make a strong case for the bill. [Read more]
Oregon's minimum wage set to increase 15 cents in 2014
Effective Jan. 1, Oregon's hourly minimum wage will rise to $9.10 — up 15 cents from 2013. The annual increase is tied to inflation, a move approved by voters in 2002. Oregon's minimum wage is the second-highest in the nation behind Washington, which increased its minimum wage to $9.32 an hour in 2014, a hike of 13 cents. The federal minimum wage remains $7.25.
2014 OAN Media Kit
The OAN's new Media Kit for 2014 is now available. You'll find complete information on OAN print and online advertising, as well as event sponsorships, in an easy, click-to-navigate package. Reach out to new customers in Oregon's $744 million nursery industry, and nationwide! Download the 2014 Media Kit today.