Member Update

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Technology basics

Small Business Technology Boot Camp

technology

The Small Business Technology Institute, a non-profit institution, is inviting your small business to attend the Small Business Technology Boot Camp at the Marriott Portland Waterfront on May 10 for a nominal fee of $20. This $20 rate is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Intel Corporation. The normal event fee is $400.

The Boot Camp is about your small business and how technology can help you stay ahead of the curve. Through five immersion seminars and hands-on technology demonstrations, you will be able to obtain clear ideas on how information technology can improve:

  • Marketing, sales and business development
  • Operations, inventory management, collaboration
  • Financial management
  • General management and executive decision making
  • Front and back-office productivity and security

Training will be held May 10th at the Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. You receive a full day training, breakfast, lunch, and a subscription to the Small Business Technology Magazine. Click on the link to see a sample of the publication. Visit the Institute's web site for details and registration.

For more information, contact the Small Business Technology Institute by phone 408-494-0212, by email at training@sbtechnologyinstitute.org, or by mail at 84 W. Santa Clara St, Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95113.

APRIL 20, 2007

In this Issue:

Legal Access

Contract law basics

Is an oral agreement enforceable?

Events

The Oregon Garden Resort

Groundbreaking Event

Industry News

Nursery crop insurance

Sales closing date May 1

OSU Extension Service

New Associate Dean announced

USDA dollars available

Value-added producer grants

Association News

Save this date

OAN Convention

Industry History book

Wanted: Your stories (and photos) for OAN 75th Anniversary

News from CFP

Components of wellness

Part one

Advantage Oregon

Fuel prices

The consistency advantage

Shipping green

Environmental transportation initiatives

Marketing

Last call!

DBG and Farwest Edition deadlines are May 1

Le Tour des Plants

Attention, wholesale nurseries!


 

This month's fliers/downloads:

DBG and Digger Advertising

Directory & Buyers Guide ads

Digger: Farwest Edition ads

Problems downloading?

Legal Access

Contract law basics

© 2007 Jordan Schrader PC

Legal Access

Question: Is an oral agreement enforceable?

Answer: While some oral agreements are enforceable, it is always a good idea to put any agreement in writing. Though the parties to an agreement may understand what they agreed to when they shook hands, that understanding is only as clear as the memory of those two individuals. Over time, those handshake deals can come back to haunt you—or worse yet, your kids when they take over the family business.

Oregon courts will enforce an oral agreement in some circumstances. But, when disputes arise, it is always a messy affair requiring a claimant to first prove the existence of a contract. To have an enforceable contract, you must demonstrate the existence of the following key elements: 1) an offer; 2) acceptance of the offer; 3) exchange of consideration (something of legal value given for the promise to perform). The offer and acceptance must be identical; in other words, there must be a “meeting of the minds” as to the key elements of the contract. Provided that an enforceable contract exists, the parties must then prove to a judge or jury that their recollection of the unwritten terms of the agreement is correct.

Some contracts are simply unenforceable if not in writing. A legal doctrine known as the Statute of Frauds requires that parties to certain contracts must put their agreement in writing to make it enforceable. This includes contracts to lease real property for a period longer than one year, contracts for the sale of real property or of any interest in real property, contracts that cannot be performed within one year from the date of the agreement, and agreements to lend money, extend credit, or forgive a debt. (For a complete list of agreements within the Statute of Frauds see ORS 41.580.)

Bottom line...even simple agreements should be in writing. You don’t have to hire a lawyer to draw up a complicated agreement in every situation. Just make sure you include the following basic elements: 1) identity of the parties; 2) date of the agreement; 3) material terms (think who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much); and 4) signatures.

Obviously, when engaging in transactions that are more complex or where significant amounts of money are at issue, you should develop an agreement that reflects the importance and risk of the deal. You would not use the same contract for the sale of a $5,000 piece of machinery as you would use for the sale of a $5,000,000 piece of property.

This article is intended to be for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. Every situation is different and requires consultation with an attorney. If you have a specific legal question, we encourage you to use the Legal Access program—a free member benefit for all Oregon OAN members. For information on the Legal Access program please visit jordanschrader.com/oan.

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The Oregon Garden Resort

Groundbreaking Event

The Oregon Garden is celebrating! Moonstone Hotel Properties, a family of boutique garden-themed inns, is set to break ground on a new resort adjacent to The Oregon Garden in the historic town of Silverton. A ceremonial groundbreaking event will be held at the resort site on Tuesday, May 1 at 4 p.m. OAN members are invited to attend.

The groundbreaking event will feature a few words offered by Silverton mayor Ken Hector, OAN president Dave Van Essen, as well as Lynda Gill, director of operations for Moonstone Hotel Properties, and Patti Milne, a Marion County Commissioner and president of the Oregon Garden Foundation.

Scheduled for completion next summer, the resort will feature 103 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, as well as a full-service spa, lounge, salon, pool and bridal suite.

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Nursery crop insurance

Sales closing date May 1

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Pacific Northwest nursery growers that Tuesday, May 1, 2007 is the final date to renew current policies on 2008 Nursery Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. This is also the final date to obtain the Pilot Nursery Grower’s Price Endorsement (NGPE) in Oregon and Washington.

The Pacific Northwest’s (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) nursery insurance participation continues to grow, having over $455 million in coverage protection under the Federal MPCI program for crop year 2006; up from $384 in crop year 2005. In a collaborative effort between nursery and landscape associations, growers and the insurance industry, RMA enhanced and improved the nursery policy for crop year 2006 and subsequent crop years.

MPCI Nursery insurance provides protection for wholesale nurseries producing and marketing nursery plants grown in standard containers or in the field. Coverage is based on a plant inventory value report (PIVR) declaring a value of insurable plants (the lower of a nursery grower’s own prices or prices contained in a Plant Price Schedule maintained by USDA).

The nursery insurance program improvements now provide growers the flexibility to obtain a valuable risk management tool that specifically fits their business plan’s needs. Local crop insurance agents are available to provide program details reflective to a grower’s nursery inventory. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers throughout the U.S. or at the website address: http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/.

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OSU Extension Service

New Associate Dean announced

Scott Reed, Dean and Director of the OSU Extension Service, recently announced the appointment of Deborah Maddy to the position of Associate Dean and Associate Director of the OSU Extension Service effective April 1, 2007. In her new role, Maddy will supervise the regional directors and be responsible for managing special initiatives and accountability process. You can contact Deborah Maddy at the Corvallis OSU Extension Service office by phone: (541) 737-2711 or e-mail: deborah.maddy@oregonstate.edu.

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USDA dollars available

Value-added producer grants

The USDA Value-added Producer Grant (VAPG) was announced today with applications due on May 16, 2007. Created in the 2002 Farm Bill, the VAPG program provides planning or working capital grants to independent producers, agriculture producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and producer-controlled business ventures for projects promoting the production and marketing of value-added agricultural products and the creation of farm-based renewable energy. Planning grants are eligible for up to $100,000, and working capital grants for a maximum of $300,000. Matching funds are required; some allowance for in-kind contribution is allowed.

To be considered “value-added,” products must possess incremental value based on a change of the product’s physical state, a differentiated means of production, or product segregation. To meet the one-year project completion requirement, all applications must request funds for a time period beginning October 1, 2007 and ending November 30, 2008.

The full Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) is available online at VAPG NOSA Fed Reg Notice (PDF). USDA’s Rural Business Cooperative Service has important guidance on eligibility criteria and the application process online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm.

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Convention: Sept 27 - 29!Save this date!

OAN Convention

Take life by the horns and go “Running with the Bulls” this coming September 27-29 at the Seventh Mountain Resort in Bend!

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Industry History book

Wanted: Your stories (and photos) for OAN 75th Anniversary

75th anniversaryNext year, the OAN celebrates 75 years of supporting the nursery industry. Strategy Custom Publishing and Miles McCoy are helping the OAN create a book commemorating the history of the nursery industry in Oregon, which will be published and shared with members in early 2008. We want to cover the industry’s long history with stories, key milestones and photos of Oregon member nurseries and suppliers and service providers. To capture Oregon’s contribution to the industry, the growth of the industry to become the largest agricultural product in the state, and the leadership OAN members have shown over the years, the stories need to come from you! If you have a story or photos to share, please contact Miles McCoy at (971) 207-0267 or by email at miles@hevanet.com.

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News from CFP

Components of wellness
Part one

running with a friendThe way we live (lifestyle) impacts our bodily functions, which can eventually become clinical conditions requiring medical treatment (health plan costs). Research shows that 70% of all chronic health problems are preventable and directly linked to lifestyle. Employers can reduce costs for serious illnesses by identifying high-risk employees and encouraging them to change their behaviors. The following lifestyle factors are important components in the pursuit of wellness:

  • Physical activity
  • Stress management
  • Proper nutrition
  • Tobacco cessation program

In this article, we briefly examine two important components of wellness: physical activity and stress management. The benefits of physical activity are numerous: reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke; lowers total blood cholesterol; helps reduce high blood pressure; lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; and diminishes stress. While multiple studies show that a worker’s quality of work, mental performance and productivity are better on days when they exercise, fewer than 50% of U.S. companies actively encourage exercise among their workforce.

The toll that stress takes on our bodies is staggering. While stress manifests itself differently with every person, it can be directly linked to cardiovascular disease, depression, impaired immune disorders, alcoholism, and drug addition. Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report higher levels of stress. To increase employee wellness, the objective should be to build a healthier consumer culture step-by-step through knowledge, skill building and behavior change in areas of stress management that produce lasting and effective improvements in stress resiliency.

Wellness can be defined as the pursuit of a healthy, balanced lifestyle rather than the mere absence of disease. In Part two of this article, we will examine the importance of proper nutrition and tobacco cessation programs in promoting a healthy workforce.

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Fuel prices

The consistency advantage

fuelEach time we wince and haul out our wallet to pay for gas these days, we face fuel sticker shock. Economists say the same basic reasons apply for the annual spring price hike – rising demand from vacation-minded consumers, production switching from winter to summer fuels, and uncertainty over international events (such as the recent kidnapping of British sailors) – but each year prices rise to a greater degree.

As of April 9, the national average diesel price was $2.84 per gallon – 18 cents higher than this time last year. California (and the West Coast) and specific East Coast destinations ranked the most expensive; Texas and Kentucky were the least expensive areas.

Advantage OregonUnder the traditional rate model, a hike in diesel prices may sharply impact freight rates from week to week. Advantage Oregon’s carriers index their fuel prices. As a result, rates may be impacted by only $.01 - $.02 per mile, even when the per gallon prices increase $.11 - .12 per mile. Shippers benefit from this strategic approach to transportation management with pricing that is much more competitive and predictable. Receivers don’t pay freight charges that vary wildly from one week to the next, so they can more easily price their product for sale.

To learn more about how Advantage Oregon can help you and your customers moderate freight expense and fuel surcharges, call (503) 682-8938.

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landscapeShipping green

Environmental transportation initiatives

Have your customers asked about your environmental agenda lately? Every segment of your business has environmental opportunities – from resource management to sustainability choices. The transportation industry is also making strides to change and develop responsible, environmentally sensitive business patterns. One of these programs is called the SmartWay Transport Partnership.

SmartWay Transport Partnership

For more information, visit epa.gov/smartway

The SmartWay Transport Partnership, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a voluntary program that invites carriers, shippers and logistics companies to collaborate to increase energy efficiency and significantly reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. The goals of this program are to reduce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions to specific levels by the year 2012. At the same time, this program aims to save up to 150 million barrels of oil annually. (www.epa.gov/smartway)

Many of Advantage Oregon’s partner carriers already participate in the SmartWay program – including Railex LLC, Interstate Distribution Co., C.R. England, RFX Inc., C.H. Robinson Worldwide, May Trucking Company, and Landstar companies.

Advantage Oregon program members take pride in supporting transportation companies who are making substantive efforts to improve our environment. Be sure to let your customers know that this is one more way that Oregon shippers promote responsible – and economically beneficial – business practices.

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Last call!

DBG and Farwest Edition deadlines are May 1

Reserve your ad space

Digger: Farwest Edition ads

DBG

Directory & Buyers Guide ads

Submit your DBG Listings

Contact Beth Farmer at bfarmer@oan.org

You have seen it before: May 1 is the advertising deadline for the 2007-2008 Directory & Buyers Guide (DBG) as well as Digger: Farwest Edition, the official magazine of the Farwest Show in August. Your Digger ad will reach Farwest show attendees in addition to Digger’s regular subscribers, and the DBG will be seen by thousands of the industry's top decision makers.

Reserve your ad space today! After May 1, you’ll have to wait another year. Reserve your ad space online: fill out this online ad insertion order form for Digger, or this online ad insertion order for DBG. To mail or fax an insertion order, print this form for DBG or print this form for the Farwest Edition of Digger and mail or fax it to Chris Sweet, OAN advertising coordinator. The publications department fax number is on the form. Call Chris at the OAN office if you have questions.

May 1 is also the deadline for submitting your listings for the DBG. All OAN members are entitled to one free listing, and those who opt to complete the listing workbook using the Excel version will receive two additional free listings. Contact Beth Farmer at bfarmer@oan.org to request the electronic workbook. Please note that we do not automatically include your free listing; you must let us know under which heading you want your listing to appear.

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Upcoming chapter events:

Central Oregon Chapter

Christmas Tree Chapter

Clackamas Chapter
Mac McCarter - “Eating Soup With a Fork”

Emerald Empire Chapter

Greenhouse Chapter

Mt. Hood Chapter
Annual Pioneer Dinner

Retail Chapter

Sunset Chapter
Beer and bratwurst tasting event

Willamette Chapter
Annual Plant Sale at Oregon Ag Fest

Le Tour des Plants

Attention, wholesale nurseries!

Le Tour des PlantsLe Tour des Plants, the fall garden center promotion produced by the OAN, presents an opportunity for wholesale nurseries to work closely with OAN member garden centers to offer fresh plant material, new introductions and workshop resources. Le Tour des Plants is a garden center excursion, free to the gardening public. It takes place Sept. 15-23, with the goal of increasing fall sales for OAN member garden centers, strengthening relationships between retail members and wholesale nurseries, inspiring the gardening public and creating awareness about the nursery industry.

You’re encouraged to work directly with the participating garden centers and retail nurseries. A current list can be found on the OAN Web site. Perhaps you could provide a collection of plants offered only during Le Tour des Plants as a “Garden to Go” or offer a workshop on new introductions and how they can be effectively used in the landscape.

Display gardens also are a good way to showcase your plant material and educate the public about plant combinations and new plants. Monrovia and Terra Nova Nurseries opened their gardens last year, and hundreds of people turned out to view them. If you have a display garden you’d like to open for one or more days during Le Tour des Plants, contact Ann Murphy at (503) 682-5089 or amurphy@oan.org.

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