Federal 'sequester' spending cuts loom on Friday
Barring any last-second compromise, automatic federal spending cuts of $85 billion for the current fiscal year are scheduled to take effect Friday. The automatic cuts are spelled out in the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Congress and the president agreed to in exchange for an increase in the federal debt ceiling. The cuts could include an estimated $2–3 billion in reductions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The president will meet with congressional leaders from both parties on Friday. However, the sequester cuts would officially take place midnight Thursday. "If the sequester cuts take effect, it represents a total leadership failure on the part of this Congress and this administration," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "Slashing budgets on auto-pilot is no way for any respectable, democratically-elected government to function."
Tuition equity bill passes the House
Last Friday, the Oregon House of Representatives approved a tuition equity bill on a 38-18 vote. The bill will allow undocumented residents to pay resident tuition rates if they are admitted to the state's public colleges and universities, subject to certain conditions. This will save them from having to pay the non-resident rate, which can cost up to $20,000 more per year. The bill moves next to the Oregon Senate, which has viewed similar bills favorably in recent years. The OAN has supported the bill because the nonresident tuition is unfair to students who have called Oregon home and whose parents have earned a living in agriculture and other fields, and paid their taxes.
House approves Columbia River Crossing bill
The Oregon House of Representatives on Monday approved a $450 million bill that would represent Oregon's contribution to the $3.2 billion Columbia River Crossing project. The project would include a pair of double-decker bridges to carry five lanes of Interstate 5 traffic in each direction across the Columbia River on the top levels, plus accommodation for pedestrians, bicyclists and light rail on the bottom levels. Revamped interchanges approaching the crossing in both directions are also included. Though the bill is not perfect, OAN supports it because replacing the existing bridges (built in 1917 and 1959) will greatly enhance the region's overall freight mobility. This is a cause very near and dear for the freight-dependent Oregon nursery industry, which sends more than 75 percent of its products out of state.
You can still sign up for the OAN Wholesale Nursery Map
Project manager Graham Anderson of Surface Nursery says there's still time to include your nursery in the next edition of the OAN Wholesale Nursery Map, coming this spring. The visual map (with major roads and grid coordinates) and listings (with full contact information) help prospective customers and truck drivers find your nursery easily. Copies are distributed through participating nurseries, the OAN office, the Farwest Show and other avenues. There's also an online version with point-to-point driving directions.
Only OAN members may participate in this map, which is produced by the Mt. Hood Chapter. You must sign up or you won't be included. Your cost to participate depends on your number of locations, and the number of maps you request.
To be included, register online or submit a written application (PDF) as soon as possible. For more information, click here or contact project manager Graham Anderson at 503-663-5224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Showcase your new plants at Farwest
Planning is underway for the 2013 New Varieties Showcase at this year's Farwest Tradeshow, August 22–24, Portland, Ore. If you have new plants you want to introduce to growers, retailers, landscape professionals and other plant buyers, consider letting us know about your new plant introduction(s) for the New Varieties Showcase.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 29, 2013. You'll find selection criteria and the submission form at www.farwestshow.com/nvs. If you have questions, please contact Ann Murphy at email@example.com or 503-582-2011. We look forward to seeing your new plant introductions.
Willamette Chapter speaker to discuss websites for businesses
Willamette Chapter will hold a dinner meeting starting at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the OGA Golf Course, 2850 Hazelnut Drive, Woodburn, Ore. The topic will be websites for businesses. Dinner will be served at 6:15 p.m., followed by the speaker from 6:45–8 p.m. The cost is $25, including one free drink. To register and pay online, log on to www.oan.org. For more information, contact Janet Poot at 800-391-6411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mt. Hood Chapter to hold pesticide meeting on March 19
All chapters are invited to attend the Mt. Hood Chapter dinner meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at Persimmon Country Club, 500 S.E. Butler Road, Gresham, Ore. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6. Dawn Fluharty of Arborjet will present a pesticides/spray class worth two hours of continuing education. Cost is $25 per person. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 12 to Rhonda Boni-Burden at email@example.com or 360-597-2222, cell 360-772-3082. You also can register online at www.oan.org.
Safety Tip: Know how to operate ATVs safely
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a common sight at nurseries. They are an economical and convenient way to get around. However, they can be dangerous if not used properly. The largest share of work accidents involving ATVs happen in the combined category of agriculture, forestry and fishing. Naturally, prevention and education are the best tools employers have to protect their employees, their businesses and themselves. Download this flier (PDF) to see helpful information and tips to help keep everyone at your place of business safe. This information is presented to you courtesy of SAIF, Oregon OSHA and the OAN Safety and Insurance Committee.
♦ March 12 - Dinner Meeting
Mt. Hood Chapter
♦ March 19 - Dinner Meeting
♦ April 9 - Dinner Meeting
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.