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Bipartisan group calls for comprehensive immigration reform
A bipartisan group of Oregon civic leaders held an immigration reform Day of Action on Wednesday, calling on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
"We may not agree on everything, but we can agree that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. We can embrace people from all walks of life, and value their contributions to our communities and our economy," said Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D-Portland). "So, today, I urge Oregon's federal delegation and elected leaders across the country to keep pushing for sensible, comprehensive immigration reform."
Accompanying the event was the release of a new report, The Contributions of New Americans in Oregon, which shows how immigrants help to keep the American economy strong and vital, both as workers and as entrepreneurs.
"When we're looking for top of mind issues for most members of our association, the first thing most of them will tell you is labor," said OAN President Leigh Geschwill, owner of F & B Farms & Nursery. "We have members who would grow 20 percent (in the current market), but due to the labor issue they can only grow 2 percent."
Similar events were held in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Oregon's event was coordinated by the Partnership for a New American Economy (NAE) and the Oregon Association of Nurseries. Those represented at the event elected officials from both sides of the aisle, as well as the business, labor, faith and education communities.
Other speakers included OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone, OAN President Leigh Geschwill, State Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-NE and SE Portland), Rep. John Davis (R-Wilsonville), and Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa.
Supporters are urged to log on to www.reasonforreform.org and show their support for immigration reform, so that elected officials know reform is wanted and needed.
Undeclared pesticides prompt ODA to order 14 products off the market
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced the statewide detainment and stop sale and removal orders for 14 horticultural products that contain pesticide active ingredients not listed on the label. The products affected by ODA's orders include Vita Grow Thunder Boom, OG Rapid Flower + Hardener, Humboldt Roots, Safergro Mildew Cure for Powdery Mildew Control, Olivia's Cloning Gel, The Hammer, Frost Protection Plus, Rock Resinator Heavy Yields, SNS 217C All Natural Spider Mite Control, Root 66 1-1-1, Optic Foliar AT-AK, Optic Foliar Overgrow, Optic Foliar Switch and Pyyro K 0-3-7.
These products are commonly used in horticulture and hydroponics, including cannabis production. Use of these products could cause growers to experience a loss of marketability and for cannabis to fail Oregon Health Authority (OHA) pesticide testing requirements. ODA is working with the Oregon Health Authority to determine any potential human health concerns associated with the use of products treated with these undeclared pesticide active ingredients. Read more
Oregon experiencing a hazelnut 'renaissance'
Oregon produces 99 percent of U.S. hazelnuts and 4 percent of the world's supply — and production is showing no signs of slowing. Between 3,000–4,000 acres of hazelnuts have been planted in the Willamette Valley each year since 2014, bringing the state's total hazelnut acreage to 46,000 acres. According to a story published this week by Capital Press, growers are having a hard time keeping up with demand for new hazelnut trees.
"A lot of things have come together at the same time that have really pushed the hazelnut industry forward," said Rich Birkemeier of Birkemeier Nursery in Canby, Oregon. "There's a gaining realization in the agricultural community that hazelnuts are the things to grow in Oregon." Read more
Need help with your safety program?
A great safety program is crucial to ensure your workplace is safe. OAN members have access to our online library of 150 safety and health related handouts and posters. Downloads include attitude and awareness, confined spaces, fire safety and emergency response,
hazard communication, lifting and moving material, safety posters, and personal protection. Each document is offered in both English and Spanish. Visit the safety page to browse the safety handouts (Members only).
Oregon's Mandatory Sick Leave
Questions about the implementation of Oregon's new mandatory sick leave law? Check out this short educational video from the OAN's legal counsel, Jordan Ramis PC, and employment lawyer Amy Robinson, explaining Oregon's new sick leave law and how it affects Oregon employers. View the video
Online video highlights importance of farm shop safety
There's lots you can do to lower your risk of workplace injuries. This entertaining, yet educational video, produced by SAIF Corporation in conjunction with the OAN, highlights the seven most common problem areas found around the farm shop and what you can do to improve safety for you and your employees. Topics include the safe use of grinders and compressed air, arc welding, energy control and more. For more safety and health resources, visit the SAIF website.