Immigration remains on front burner; update call Friday
There continue to be signs that elected officials are eager to tackle the topic of comprehensive immigration reform in a positive way. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently was featured in the Wall Street Journal as a key Republican leader on the issue who could help broker a deal. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villraigosa, a Democrat, wrote an opinion piece for the website Politico that spells out key components a deal should include. The ImmigrationWorks USA coalition plans to hold an update call at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) this Friday, Jan. 18 to discuss what is happening, and how employers can help. OAN members are encouraged to participate. First RSVP to Valerie Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org, then dial 1-800-868-1837 at the scheduled time, and enter passcode 472268#.
Geary replaces Dolibois as head of ANLA
Michael Geary is the new executive vice president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA). He took over for Bob Dolibois, who retired at the end of 2012 after 19 years of service to ANLA. Geary is currently also serving in the role of chief executive officer of OFA: An Association of Floriculture Professionals. The two organizations — ANLA and OFA — are currently in the process of a planned merger. The FAQ at the organizations' joint website, www.onevoiceoneindustry.com, has recent updates on this process, which isn't final. The change comes as Oregon grower (and former OAN president) Bob Terry at Fisher Farms serves as the president of ANLA. Terry discussed the changes at ANLA in an interview published in Digger recently, which you can read here (PDF).
Vilsack will serve a second term at USDA
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will serve a second term as part of the Obama administration, it was announced Monday. Vilsack said in a statement he will continue work to pass a new Farm Bill and support small towns and rural communities. OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said that Vilsack being retained in the administration is good news for Oregon nurseries. "OAN leaders twice have had the opportunity to meet with the secretary in person, including a detailed meeting about the prenotification requirement held at the home of (then-OAN president) Jerry Simnitt," Stone said. The requirement since has been largely eliminated.
Oregon gets an A minus on invasive species report card
Oregon deserves an A-minus for its efforts in 2012 to limit and control the introduction of invasive plants, animals and pathogens into the state, according to the Oregon Invasive Species Council. The group issued its annual Invasive Species Report Card on Jan. 9. For a list of items affecting the nursery industry, see the Daily Digger post. For more information, read the press release.
Parcel Pick Up volunteers needed for YGP Show
The Oregon Association of Nurseries needs volunteers to help at the Parcel Pick Up area during the 2013 Yard, Garden & Patio Show, February 8–10 at the Oregon Convention Center. The Parcel Pick Up area is the place were show attendees can check in their purchased items to free up their hands to continue exploring the show floor. It's a fun, energetic atmosphere, and you can also roam the show before or after your volunteer shift. It's a great way to experience the show for free! Click here for details.
Specialty Crop Block Grant applications available
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for 2013. Approximately $1 million is expected to be available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, non-profits, for profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. Funding for Oregon's program is contingent upon federal funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Those interested are asked to submit a three-page concept proposal describing their proposed project. Proposals are due by noon Tuesday, Feb. 19. For more information, read the complete notice from ODA.
Safety Tip: Beware of cold weather
The OAN Safety and Insurance Committee reminds business owners and employees that hypothermia is swift, deadly and unforgiving. All workers and their supervisors who are exposed to cold temperatures, winds and/or moisture should know the signs of hypothermia and be prepared to treat those symptoms if necessary. These handouts (English / Spanish) (PDF) give you the basic information you need to ensure the safety of your workers. This safety tip is provided compliments of OSHA, SAIF and the OAN Safety and Insurance Committee.
Volunteers needed for YGP entrance, Plant Something booth
Cheerful, helpful people wanted! We need you to greet visitors at the Yard, Garden & Patio Show entrance, or assist them at the Plant Something booth. By giving your time, you'll receive free entrance to the show, but more importantly, you will help support OAN's efforts to promote and market the nursery and garden center industry to homeowners. Interested? Shifts are available all three days of the YGP Show (Friday–Sunday, Feb. 8–10). Sign up today! Contact Dianne Wiencek at 503-682-5089 or email@example.com.
USDA Farm Service Agency offering new microloan program
The USDA Farm Service Agency has announced a new microloan program designed to help small and family operations, beginning farmers, and socially disadvantaged farmers. Loans of up to $35,000 are available through a simplified application process. The program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years. It's hoped that these farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations. For more information, read the announcement.
State expanding quarantine boundary in Curry County
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has proposed to expand the Curry County quarantine area for Phytophthora ramorum, which causes sudden oak death. The pathogen made its way up from California to Curry County, located on Oregon's southern coast, several years ago. The known infestation sites now include areas outside the existing quarantine boundary. Officials have proposed adjusting the boundary to include all known infestation sites, plus a three-mile buffer. A hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Chetco Library Meeting Room, 405 Alder, Brookings, Ore. Public comments will be accepted until Jan. 31, and can be sent to Susan C Gooch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwest Agricultural Show
♦ January 29 - 31 - Northwest Agricultural Show
OAN Seminar Series at the NW Ag Show
♦ January 30 - OAN Seminar Series at the Northwest Agricultural Show
Emerald Empire Meeting
♦ February 6 - What's new on the fertilizer and chemical front
Yard, Garden & Patio Show
♦ February 8 - 10 - Join us for the Yard, Garden & Patio Show, presented by Dennis' Seven Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers
Retail & Greenhouse Chapters
♦ February 21 - Annual Industry Seminars
OAN reminds members: If you're not seen, you don't exist
Are you looking to stay visible and gain new customers? OAN events, publications and websites offer fantastic exposure at an excellent price. OAN members save the most, with discounted ad and sponsorship rates. Buy into multiple publications, or multiple issues of Digger, and save even more. Want the details? Our 2013 Exposure Kit is now available. Download it today at www.oan.org/ads2013. To lock in your ads for 2013, contact Advertising and Sponsorship Account Manager Chris Sweet at 503-682-2012 or email@example.com.