Government can do more with a stroke of a pen than we can do our entire lifetimes.
This is truer that any of us thought.
What is most important is that you are able to do what you do best - work in this great industry of ours. Your hard earned money is put in positive motion by volunteer leaders, an association whose sole purpose is to promote the Oregon brand, find cost savings for our businesses, and be a staunch advocate in Salem and Washington DC.
Since 2007, our lobbyist Cornerstone Government Affairs has worked tirelessly to protect members of the OAN, deliver over $20 million to a struggling USDA to develop a pest and disease program to keep markets open, and has extended Oregon's reach far beyond our small congressional delegation to be true players on the national scene.
You should have received a letter recently from Carson Lord, Gary Furr and Rick Wells. They announced the huge victory we have secured to reverse an anti-competitive notification rule that treated all Oregon nursery shippers as if they had infected plants. Without Cornerstone acting on our behalf, this rule would have impacted every nursery in Oregon - not just those who grow the five genera most susceptible to P. ramoum. Make no mistake about it - without OAN and Cornerstone's effort, businesses would have closed due to markets being shut off.
With every success we have challenges. The tax fight in Washington DC over the next four months will make changes in the tax code, cuts in federal budgets, which will impact us all. There is no escaping it - we need all hands on deck and the American Nursery & Landscape Association cannot do it alone. They are not alone. We have answered the call.
The OAN Board of Directors has asked me to raise $40,000. That is not a small sum but if we all do a little, we can get there quickly. As a past president of this association, these types of requests do not come to you unless there is a need.
Please donate $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or whatever you can afford today. It will help. If everybody does a little, nobody has to do a lot.
Make a difference. Make a donation to help protect our industry today.
Tom Fessler, Owner
Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas
PS: We will make it easy -go online to the OAN website and use a credit card or write a check today. Thanks for helping us make a difference!