OREGON'S PLANT SOMETHING CAMPAIGN WINS USDA BACKING
September 24, 2013 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wilsonville, Ore -- Gardening and plants help people live a better life.
That's the message the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) has been spreading since 2012, when the 926-member trade association signed on to the nationwide Plant Something(TM) campaign.
Now, the OAN will be able to increase its efforts dramatically, thanks to a $90,250 specialty crop block grant award announced Tuesday morning (Sept. 24, 2013) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These grant funds, along with matching and in-kind funds provided by OAN, will enable the association to promote the benefits of plants. Such benefits include higher property values, increased health and well being, and improved environmental quality -- not to mention the fun and satisfaction that come from planting something and watching it grow. Many younger homeowners may not have been aware of these benefits, but the OAN is hoping to change that.
"The Plant Something campaign is designed to resonate with people who might not be typical gardeners," OAN Marketing Director Ann Murphy said. "We want to reach out to the non-gardener and create long-term awareness of the benefits that plants will provide for them, their families and their communities."
The Plant Something campaign was initially developed by the Arizona Nursery Association. Since then, the OAN and eight other state nursery trade associations have signed on as licensees. The campaign allows them to maximize the value of limited campaign dollars by raising awareness, and by developing resources novice gardeners can use to overcome initial barriers and become successful. That's just how OAN plans to proceed.
"We will focus on electronic and social media, and on messaging that has a long-term benefit," Murphy said. "This includes the development of resources gardeners can use not just now but into the future. We will also give retailers more tools to use in exciting the gardening public."
The OAN has a website, www.PlantSomethingOregon.com, where many of these resources are and will be located. The association also issues a paper map, called the Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers Guide, allowing folks to find retail nurseries all over Oregon and Southwest Washington. A new edition will be published in early 2014. The map/guide is also available online or by calling the OAN office, 503-682-5089.
OAN's participation in the Plant Something campaign is just one ingredient in a concerted effort to support its retail members and stimulate traffic.
The OAN recently worked with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber on a proclamation declaring September as "Fall is for Planting Month." In addition, the nursery industry and retailers in particular recently were featured on KATU-TV's AM Northwest program. The segment can be viewed at http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/Oregon-Agriculture-Nurseries-224594211.html.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries is a trade association representing more than 900 wholesale and retail nurseries, suppliers, allied trades, educators and students. Oregon's nursery industry is the largest single segment of Oregon agriculture, with annual sales of $744 million.
Jeff Stone, Oregon Association of Nurseries, firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-682-5089
Ann Murphy, Oregon Association of Nurseries, email@example.com or 503-682-5089.