The Oregon Association of Nurseries, the Oregon Restaurant Association and others have joined together to form the Oregon Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, which is modeled after the national organization.
The group’s mission is to promote sensible reform to immigration laws, and speak out against legislation seen as hostile to foreign-born workers.
“We ship 75 percent of our products out of state, and that money comes right back to benefit Oregon's economy,” OAN Government Affairs Director Jeff Stone told the Salem Statesman-Journal. “Losing half of our work force would be devastating to the industry and to a large portion of Oregon's economy.”
Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below normal. Learn about the symptoms and how to protect yourself.
The hazards of cold (English)
Los peligros del frío (Espanol)
You can find more fliers and posters for download at our Safety & Health Handouts page.
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Jeff Stone, OAN lobbyist and government affairs director, was a guest Jan. 29 on the Lars Larson Show on KXL 750-AM radio.
Stone called in to discuss the formation of the new Oregon Essential Workers Immigration Coalition. He noted that nurseries are the largest segment of agriculture in Oregon, and that nurseries and their employees could be harmed by hostile legislation.
“The thing that concerns us is losing half a workforce,” Stone said. “Losing half a workforce will have a significant economic impact on Oregon and the rest of the country.”
Stone urged that lawmakers support laws that will lead to a sufficient workforce that is legal and willing. He pointed out that agricultural field workers in Oregon make an average wage of about $10.50 per hour, which is the highest in the nation.
Oregon growers have an opportunity to gain national exposure by advertising at a discounted rate in Garden Center Magazine and Nursery Management & Production magazine.
But they must be OAN members, and they must act by March 10.
The OAN is organizing a full-color advertising spread that will appear in the May, June and August issues of these magazines. Advertisers may appear in one, the other, or both. Half-page and quarter-page spaces are available at a substantial discount, but space is limited. For details and rates, see the flier (PDF). To sign up or learn more, contact Chris Sweet at 503-682-5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A proposed Columbia County, Ore. initiative would, according to its ballot title, require employers to put up “Legal Workers Only” signs at work sites.
The proposal, written by St. Helens contractor Wayne Mayo, would require that the 4 foot-by-8-foot plywood signs also state that a “punitive charge” of $10,000 be added to the cost of a construction permit if any undocumented workers are found to have worked on that site. The signs would also have to state that a stop work order would go into effect until the charge was paid and all undocumented workers were removed from the site.
The measure does not actually implement any penalties, however.
After a challenge from the Columbia County Coaltion for Human Dignity, a circuit court judge has allowed signature gathering to proceed. Similar measures have been proposed elsewhere and are often challenged on grounds of constitutionality.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Jan. 24 that $74.5 million in emergency funding has been made available to stop the spread of the light brown apple moth, primarily in California.
The moth, which is native to Australia, was first spotted in Alameda County, Calif, less than a year ago, in March 2007. It soon was identified in 11 other California counties. It is considered a threat to crops, plants and trees, including many species commonly used in landscaping.
Part of the money will go to eradication efforts. Agriculture officials said they would also begin a 50-state detection survey to verify that the moth is not present anywhere else in the continental United States. They said they will look hardest at nursery stock, orchards, and urbanized areas with ornamental plantings.
Oregon Department of Agriculture officials, intent on containing the spread of the tree-killing Phytophthora ramorum fungus in the wild, have expanded a quarantine area near Brookings, Ore., from 26 to 162 square miles.
Fighting the fungus has been made a top priority because of the danger it poses to Oregon’s nursery industry, which is number one in the nation and generates more than $1 billion in economic value.
Officials expanded the quarantine because the disease was found at five new sites on the southern Oregon Coast, some as far away as two miles from previously known sites. The quarantine now includes all areas within three miles of known infestations.
The disease was first discovered in Oregon in 2001 after making its way from California. Oregon officials have been aggressive in combating it. As a result, it has spread more slowly than in California, where 6,000 acres are infested in Humboldt County.
For details, see:
The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission unanimously approved a major change in Oregon’s land use system Jan. 24, paving the way for the creation of rural and urban reserves.
Under these rules, Metro and county governments in the Portland, Ore. metropolitan area would each play a role in selecting rural reserves to preserve agricultural foundation lands, and urban reserves, designated to receive future growth.
Agricultural interests and builders alike supported the new rules. They argued that long-range planning would provide greater certainty, allowing landowners to better adapt and plan for the future.
» For more details, see the Oregonian article by land use reporter Eric Mortenson
The OAN will bring its annual Yard, Garden & Patio Show, dubbed “Portland’s most inspiring garden show,” to life Friday-Sunday, Feb. 15-17, at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Portland, Ore.
Thousands of customers will see hundreds of exhibits and displays, attend several free seminars, enjoy 10 breathtaking display gardens and more. Show hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Current OAN President Bob Terry of Fisher Farms in Gaston, Ore., has been elected as the second vice president of the Agri-Business Council of Oregon, it was announced Feb. 1.
Terry will serve alongside president Garey Fritz of West Coast Bank, first vice president Terry Ross of Pennington Seed, secretary Elaine Schein of Capital Press, treasurer Jack Hay of Hay Ranch and past president Mac McCarter of Nursery Guide Marketing.
The 42-year-old organization has 900 member businesses and groups, and exists “to grow Oregon agriculture through education and promotion,” according to its mission.
Do you know someone interested in pursuing a horticulture degree? Encourage him or her to apply for an Oregon Nurseries Foundation scholarship. The awards total more than $15,000 annually. OAN chapters, as well as individuals, are sponsoring the awards as a way to support the next generation of green industry professionals.
To access the application form and to find out more about the awards, visit scholarship.oan.org. Completed applications must be postmarked or delivered to the OAN office no later than April 1, 2008. Questions? Call Trish Anderson at 503-682-5089 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
The OAN Safety Committee is on a renewed mission to educate members on the importance of good safety strategies that you can use at your nursery.
One of the ways you can reduce the chance of accidents occurring is proper selection, orientation, and training of new employees. This spring, the committee is producing a series of four "Safety Alerts" that will address this issue.
Click here to view the first in the series (PDF), which is about how the majority of injuries happen to employees during their first 12 months on the job. You'll also receive a mailed flyer with the same information. Then watch your mail around the first of March, April and May for the rest of the series.
Contact Krista Jeli (firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-682-5089) at the OAN office if you have any questions about safety issues at your nursery.
In January, one of Oregon’s best-known and most innovative retail nurseries — Al’s Garden Centers — celebrated six decades in business.
Al Bigej started the business as Al’s Fruit Stand in 1948 at an abandoned chicken coop. Today, it is owned by his son, Jack Bigej, and includes three Oregon garden centers — the original location in Woodburn, a second in Gresham and the newest in Sherwood —and five growing operations. The company won the Garden Centers of America: Garden Center of the Year award in 2005.
To celebrate, Al’s launched Al’s Bloom, a quarterly magazine that is mailed to customers. It features articles on garden, home and lifestyle topics.
The International Society of Arboriculture, Pacific Northwest Chapter, will present a daylong seminar, “Raising the Tree from Seed to Yard,” Friday, Feb. 29 at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore. Dr. Gary Watson will discuss research on tree root flare and planting depth.
Registration is from 8-8:45 a.m. The cost if paid by Feb. 20 is $96 for OAN and ISA members and $120 for others; otherwise, the charge is $116/$140. Register by sending a check to the ISA PNW Chapter, P.O. Box 811, Silverton, OR 97381, or pay at the door.
We welcome your ideas for the semimonthly Member Update. Send them to publications manager Curt Kipp via e-mail, or call him at 503-682-5089.
Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., is offering numerous spring term classes of interest to nursery professionals. Topics include pesticide safety, math in horticulture, propagation, nursery management, horticulture practicum, urban and community forestry, woody plant identification, database use for agriculture, viticulture, landscape design, landscape business practices, weed identification, pesticide applicator calibration, and pesticide application training in Spanish.
Registration begins March 11. Classes start March 31. Information is available at naturalresources.chemeketa.edu. Current students may register at my.chemeketa.edu. Others must first call 503-399-5139 or 503-589-7946. For details contact Sherrie Magarrell at email@example.com or 503-399-5139.
Looking for a flier or topic from a past e-newsletter? You'll find links to past newsletters below, or log in to our Web site at Members Only > Member Update to view the archive.
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