Last month, the federal government issued an amended Employment Eligibility Verification Form, more commonly known as the I-9 form. According to Ron Guerra, an attorney with Jordan Schrader Ramis, employers should make sure that they start using this new form to properly document all new employees, as well as those whose information needs to be reverified. “Employers should review their I-9 processes, including a periodic audit of I-9 records, for compliance with the law,” Guerra stated in a business alert that was distributed to Oregon Association of Nurseries members.
» See the full member update from Jordan Schrader for complete details...
The Oregon Association of Nurseries joined with the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN) in opposition to Gov. Ted Kulongoski's recent executive order that would dramatically restrict license requirements for the state's agricultural workforce. Read the whole story. And according to Jeff Stone, OAN government affairs director, the issue is far from over with. “The state Legislature will need to address this issue with legislation during the February 2007 Session,” he said. “Other anti-employer and anti-worker bills are being considered for legislation and ballot measures." The Oregon Department of Agriculture is looking to create a statewide, interagency task force to examine problems with the agricultural work visa system known as "H2A." The OAN was asked to participate in this task force, along with the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation and others.
A national immigration summit was held in Houston last week, bringing together organizations and employers from all over the country who are concerned about the issue.
Tamar Jacoby, a nationally recognized expert and advocate who works for the Manhattan Institute, called the meeting to share information, demonstrate how to build coalitions like the one in Oregon, and decide whether or not to cooperate and create a national federation advocating pro-worker, pro-employer reforms.
At the summit, it was reported that Texas, Arizona and Oregon were the farthest along organizationally but others, such as California, were beginning to build a coalition between business, construction and agriculture. Oregon was asked to be a leader in this national effort. OAN Government Affairs Director Jeff Stone was among the presenters.
OAN's executive director made a second appearance on the Lars Larson Show to talk about the broken U.S. immigration system. John Aguirre faced the boisterous radio talk show host on Nov. 19 to talk about the governor's executive order limiting Oregon driver's licenses for farm workers. “Lars, you're not taking ownership of the fact that if we don't let these workers get to work, then people are going to suffer as a result,” said Aguirre. “If Congress had passed the law in August for comprehensive immigration reform, we wouldn't be having this problem today.”
Chemical container labels are your key to staying safe.
Manufacturer’s Warning Labels (English)
Etiquetas de advertencia de los fabricantes (Espanol)
You can find more fliers and posters for download at our Safety & Health Handouts page.
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The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission met last week to discuss rulemaking to implement Oregon Senate Bill 1011, the sweeping 2007 legislation which created a process to establish urban and rural reserves.
OAN Director of Government Relations Jeff Stone testified in support of the bill, which was approved thanks in part to OAN’s advocacy and support. In a letter to LCDC, he reminded the panel that the nursery and greenhouse industry is the leading segment in Oregon agriculture, whether measured by sales, payroll or number of people employed. He said the value of agriculture to the economy must always be considered in decisions to protect land from urban-style development. “Lands identified as the most viable and important to the region should be harder to designate as rural reserves unless a special need is identified that cannot be met on other non-resource lands or agricultural lands of lesser viability,” Stone stated in his written testimony to LCDC. “And the best agricultural lands should only be utilized for the most efficient and effective urban developments.”
Stone recommended that LCDC consult with the Oregon Department of Agriculture in deciding on the best pathway to establishing urban and rural reserves.
“If the state allows non-farm development (residential and commercial) to encroach into traditionally agricultural areas, then our industry’s ability to operate will erode,” Stone stated.
Curt Kipp has joined the staff of the Oregon Association of Nurseries as the new publications manager. Heather Stanley, former associate manager of publications, left the organization in December. Curt will serve as managing editor of Digger and the bimonthly Member Update. He will also work on the annual OAN Directory and Buyers Guide and other publications. He worked the last nine years at the weekly Wilsonville Spokesman newspaper as a writer, photographer and designer, including the last seven and a half years as editor. The newspaper was recognized multiple times for excellence by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, as were Curt’s reporting, page design and photography. Curt and his wife, Lexi, live in Donald, Ore. They have been busy do-it-yourselfers landscaping the yard of their new house (which came with no trees, no shrubs and, well, no lawn).
Curt can be reached at email@example.com or 503-582-2008.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries has set up a survey to poll industry members on how they – and their businesses – were affected by this week’s hurricane force storms that struck Western Oregon and Western Washington. Did the weather affect your ability to get products to market? Did your nursery stock suffer damage? Tell us about it. Click this link and you’ll be taken to a quick, easy and painless survey process:
Have you registered for the 2008 Yard, Garden and Patio Show? Produced by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and presented by ProGrass, the consumer showcase will be from Feb. 15-17 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. More than 300 exhibitors will take up 162,000 square feet of exhibit space. And since there will be an abundance of consumers there looking to enhance their outdoor lifestyles with yard, garden and patio products, you’ll want to be there, too. More than three out of every four people attending the show buy something to take home with them. There’s still time to reserve your space. Call OAN at 503-682-5089, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or browse www.ygpshow.com/forexhibitors.shtml for all the details!
Could your nursery business be considered a “chemical facility” in the eyes of Homeland Security? According to a Business Alert from Jordan Schrader attorney Ron Guerra, the answer may be yes. Under new rules intended to reduce the risks posed from dangerous chemicals, the department has defined “chemical facility” to mean “any establishment that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of a chemical substance determined by the secretary to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by the department.” The covered chemicals include propane, ammonium nitrate and chlorine, if possessed in levels above the established screening threshold quantities (known as STQs).
The Oregon Garden was conceived in the 1990s as a showcase for the Oregon nursery industry. With support from the Oregon Association of Nurseries, the garden opened in 1999 in Silverton, Ore.
Starting next year, the garden will have an additional magnet for visitors. The Oregon Garden Resort will open in September, 2008.
The new facility – owned and operated by Moonstone Hotels -- will offer 103 rooms, a full-service restaurant, a lounge, a day spa, a pool, a bridal suite and three meeting rooms, all next to the 80-acre Oregon Garden botanical sanctuary.
Reservations are now available for the resort, which is scheduled to open Sept. 1, 2008.
We welcome your ideas for the bimonthly Member Update. Send them to publications manager Curt Kipp via e-mail, or call him at 503-682-5089.
Registration is underway for various classes relating to agriculture and the green industry at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., and at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore. Chemeketa is offering a full range of classes in horticulture, landscaping, and pesticides, as well as new courses in biodiesel production and farm equipment maintenance. For information, browse naturalresources.chemeketa.edu; to register, browse my.chemeketa.edu. At Clackamas, the offerings include classes in integrated pest management, marketing water wise landscaping, pesticide core training, fruit tree pruning and grafting, and pesticide application (taught in Spanish).
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