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). The next edition will be held Friday–Sunday, February 27–March 1, 2015, at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland.
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.
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.
DOL inspectors rumored in the valley
According to an alert sent by the Farm Employer Education & Legal Defense Service (FEELDS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is actively investigating farms in the Willamette Valley this week. Their focus thus far has been on blueberry farms, but that could change. Read more.
The Berry Family of Nurseries to close Oregon location
Texas-based grower The Berry Family of Nurseries announced that it will shut down its Cornelius, Oregon, location and lay off 100 people "on or about" Sept. 30, according to an article published by The Oregonian. The Cornelius site, known as BFN Operations Oregon, grows evergreen shrubs and trees and produces holiday greenery on 361 acres. This is the second Cornelius-area nursery to lay off a significant number of workers this year. Glenn Walters Nursery cut 118 jobs after losing a major customer at the start of the year. Read the full story.
Robinson Nursery featured on 'I Am Oregon Agriculture' blog
OAN members Robinson Nursery in Amity, Oregon, was recently featured on the I Am Oregon Agriculture blog, put together by the AgriBusiness Council of Oregon. The blog is part of a campaign to educate the public on how family-owned farms support Oregon's economy and way of life. The campaign was supported with advertising that ran on KATU channel 2 in early June.
Stone appointed to Task Force on Pollinator Health
Gov. John Kitzhaber has appointed OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone to serve on the Task Force on Pollinator Health. The task force was created as a provision of the "Save Oregon's Pollinators Act" (House Bill 4139); its job is to draft and recommend legislation addressing the issue of pollinator health in time for the 2015 Oregon Legislature. Read the post on Daily Digger blog
Getting Ready for the Mandate
The latest issue of Digger outlines the factors to consider as your company develops an Affordable Care Act compliance strategy. [Read more]
Oregon launches loan program for young farmers
The average U.S. farmer is now 59.6 years old — up from 57.5 in 2007 and 54.9 in 2002. Oregon farmers are, on average, even older. Hoping to reverse this trend, the 2013 Oregon Legislature passed the "Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program," otherwise known as the Aggie Loan program for short. The program seeks to encourage young people to farm, by helping them overcome the significant capital hurdles needed to get their business going. Borrowers must get through a qualification process, just like any other bank loan. Proceeds can be used for land, equipment, livestock and other needs, including the purchase of the business from parents or relatives seeking to hand off the family business. [Read more]
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]