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Nursery leaders, water experts discuss 'Water in the West'
Future water supplies are a huge concern for wholesale nurseries, as well as agriculture as a whole. The industry needs a seat at the table. And with that in mind, the Western Region Nursery & Landscape Executives Association held two panel discussions, each an hour long, at last week's meeting in Silverton.
The issues discussed included urban development and wastewater treatment, revamping the Endangered Species Act, the high cost and bureaucratic process of building reservoirs, how to encourage water conservation through incentives, and how to solve the global food challenge.
All of us in the West are facing ever more pressing issues concerning water," said OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone. "Collaboration is key. It's critical that we as organizations work with one another to protect this valuable resource, build coalitions and focus on outcomes."
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ONPAC endorses candidates, measures in 2014 election
The Oregon Nurseries' Political Action Committee (ONPAC) announced its endorsements for the 2014 general election. Candidate endorsements were largely based on candidate positions on key issues, including the driver's card, water supply development, water quality regulations, support for Oregon State University Extension and the state natural resource agencies, tax policy, and support for transportation infrastructure. The resulting endorsements include 52 candidates for the Oregon Legislature, who include members of both parties. [Read more]
Oregon Senate confirms Stone to serve on SAIF board
Last week, OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone was confirmed by the Oregon Senate to serve on the board of SAIF Corp., the state-owned workers compensation insurer. Stone was appointed to the four-year post by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. "I am honored to be nominated by the governor and hope to bring a collaborative voice to the five-person board," Stone said.
Schedule of OktoberPest workshops released
Starting October 2, Oregon State University and the North Willamette Research and Extension Center will present pest management workshops every Thursday during the month. All workshops will be held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, 15210 NE Miley Road, Aurora, Oregon. Registration fee is $25.
New this year is a three-part Pesticide Applicators Training Series in Spanish, as well as a "Bug Crafting" workshop to help growers design pest management programs that include insectary plants, and another on ways to reduce reliance on neonicotinoid insecticides.
» View the complete schedule of OktoberPest workshops (pdf)).
Oregonian publishes second editorial in favor of Yes on 88
The Oregonian on Saturday took the rare step of publishing a second endorsement editorial on a ballot issue — that issue being Measure 88, the Oregon driver's card bill.
This editorial delved into the matter of why a driver's card is needed for employees to get to jobs with nurseries, restaurants and other businesses encountering a worker shortage. The article explains how employers interface with the I-9 system, and why these employers may have a portion of employees who appear to have legal status but do not.
"Reality is messier than many people might wish, and fixing the messy reality of our immigration system is a job for Congress, not one for Oregon's lawmakers, voters or employers," the editorial stated. "The best that Oregonians can do is make reasonable decisions within a wacky framework, which is what the Legislature did last year by creating driver's cards and what employers in certain industries have done for years."
» Read the editorial
» Support Measure 88: volunteer | endorse | donate
» Are you experiencing worker shortages? Share your story with Jeff Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NurseryGuide.com now optimized for mobile devices
A mobile device-friendly version of NurseryGuide.com was launched on Friday, July 11. The mobile site is designed for green industry professionals on the go, making it even more convenient to find OAN-member growers and allied services and supplies companies. There have been more than 70,000 visits to NurseryGuide.com since January 2014; about 25 percent of visitors are using mobile devices. Before the 2013 launch of the new NurseryGuide.com site, traffic peaked annually on the old site at around 30,000. Members are encouraged to update their member profiles, share plant photos and manage their listings throughout the year. If you need help managing your profile or listings, please contact the OAN office by calling 503-682-5089.
YGP Show to continue under new ownership
Oregon's Yard, Garden & Patio Show will continue into 2015 and beyond, according to a joint announcement made last week. Metropolitan Productions Inc. has purchased the 26-year-old consumer event, designed expressly for gardeners and homeowners, from the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN). OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said that Metropolitan Productions turned out to be the perfect buyer. Unanimously approved by the OAN Board of Directors, the purchase agreement provides for the continued involvement of OAN-member garden retailers, landscapers and service providers in the event — including booth discounts for OAN members. Metropolitan will also support the nursery industry by funding annual scholarships for horticulture students through the Oregon Nurseries Foundation, an arm of OAN. Read the full press release on the Daily Digger.
USDA revises P. ramorum regulations
After receiving input from the OAN, AmericanHort and others, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it is revising the Phytophthora ramorum domestic regulations for nurseries located in California, Oregon and Washington. [Read more]