OAN sending delegation to Washington, D.C.
OAN President Matt Gold, Government Relations Committee Chairman John Coulter, attorney Steve Shropshire, and Executive Director Jeff Stone are traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for face-to-face meetings with key partners, including USDA officials and all seven of Oregon's members of Congress.
The OAN delegation plans to thank our members of Congress for the recent passage of the new Farm Bill, which was a big win for the nursery industry. In addition, there will be dialogues on immigration reform, pollinator health, water policy, and USDA funding for pest and disease issues.
The group will depart for D.C. on Monday, heading back home on Thursday. By nurturing constructive relationships with agencies, elected leaders, and other interest groups, the OAN encourages positive outcomes on issues that are critical to the nursery industry, thus ensuring a better environment for doing business.
Honor our industry pioneers on May 20
All OAN members are invited to the Mt. Hood Chapter Pioneer Dinner, to be held next Tuesday, May 20 at Persimmon Country Club, 500 S.E. Butler Road, Gresham. The event is free to nursery pioneers and their spouses. Nursery pioneers are those over the age of 60, who have 20 years of service or more in the nursery industry. For others, the cost is $25. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes a prime rib and salmon dinner.
» Register online.
» For more details, contact Rhonda Boni-Burden at Rhonda@gulicklogistics.com or cell 360-772-3082.
U.S. Chamber pressures GOP on immigration reform
Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that the Republican party won't be competitive in the 2016 election unless its leaders in the House back immigration reform during the current session. The GOP-controlled House thus far has failed to move comprehensive reform legislation that was passed by the Senate last year. In response to a question, Donohue said he believes it is possible the legislation could still pass this year.
Oregon launches loan program for young farmers
The average U.S. farmer is now 59.6 years old — up from 57.5 in 2007 and 54.9 in 2002. Oregon farmers are, on average, even older.
Hoping to reverse this trend, the 2013 Oregon Legislature passed the "Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program," otherwise known as the Aggie Loan program for short. The program seeks to encourage young people to farm, by helping them overcome the significant capital hurdles needed to get their business going. Borrowers must get through a qualification process, just like any other bank loan. Proceeds can be used for land, equipment, livestock and other needs, including the purchase of the business from parents or relatives seeking to hand off the family business.
» Read more about the program on the Daily Digger blog.
» Find more information here, and the application here (PDF).
Primary election ballots due Tuesday
Members are reminded to vote in the Tuesday primary election. Ballots must be in the hands of elections officials — not just postmarked — by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, in order to count.
The Oregon Nurseries' Political Action Committee has made two primary election endorsements. They are Bob Terry for the Washington County Commission, and Vic Gilliam in the Republican primary for District 18 representative (Silverton area). Terry, a past OAN president, was
featured recently in the Oregonian.
Drought declaration brings financial assistance
Last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in conjunction with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, released a fact sheet for the disaster declarations for the Oregon drought in Harney and Malheur counties. Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size affected by drought in a federally declared drought area may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. However, in drought disasters, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
» Log on to the SBA website for more information.
Save the date: Rooted in Food Garden Tour — June 7
The "Garden City" of Silverton, Oregon, will host the first annual Rooted in Food Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 7. The tour offers glimpses into eight local gardens. Tickets are $10, children 10 and under are free, and can be purchased online at
www.rootedinfood.org. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Silverton Indoor Park.
» For more information, contact Melissa Wagoner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-264-0081.
Oregon Olive Mill's Arbequina EVOO wins award
When you think about quality olive oil, Italy or perhaps Spain is likely to come to mind. But Oregon Olive Mill, owned and operated by Red Ridge Farms, is changing all that by producing flavorful olive oil here in Oregon. Recently, their extra virgin olive oil made from 100 percent Spanish Arbequina olives received a Silver Award at the prestigious 2014 New York International Olive Oil Competition. The oil is a blend of olives grown on the farm's 17-acre grove in Dayton, Oregon, and sites in northern California, then milled and bottled at the property's estate olioteca.
» For more information, log on to the Oregon Olive Mill website.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
The month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting more than two million people annually. A common risk factor for developing skin cancer is outdoor work. Due to the many safety hazards that come along with working on outdoor job sites in industries like horticulture, the risk of skin cancer is often neglected.
For those who work outdoors and cannot avoid sun exposure, the Center for Disease Control offers some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer:
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to cover your face, head, ears and neck
- Wear sunglasses
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, with both UVA and UVB protection
» Learn more about causes, prevention and treatment for skin cancer by logging on to www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin.
Oregon winemakers warn against herbicide 2,4-D
The Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA) is distributing signs warning people about 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D), a common herbicide used to kill broadleaf weeds.
Spring is a critical time for Oregon grape growers, as tender buds appear on the grapevines and much of the initial rapid foliage growth occurs. Of all plants, grapes are among the most sensitive to this chemical's ability to disrupt growth — or in some instances kill otherwise healthy, mature vines. The herbicide can wreak havoc on grapevines when they are located near where 2,4-D is being applied.
In Washington State, the most volatile forms of 2,4-D have been banned altogether. A form less prone to drift is restricted for use between April 5 and October 31. In the wine-growing counties of California, strict rules apply to any purchase and application of the herbicide.
The OWA is working with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to raise awareness of 2,4-D and spray drift incidents. OWA is asking growers to report incidents of drift damage to email@example.com or to complete a special survey available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/owaspraydrift.
The OWA is providing the 12-by-18-inch signs for $21 each through its office at 4640 S.W. Macadam Ave., Suite 240, in Portland. For more information, call 503-228-8336.
Affordable Care Act Road Show set for June
Mark your calendar for the upcoming Affordable Care Act Road Show. This series of members-only meetings will feature a panel of experts in health insurance and employment law. The initial meetings back in the fall were well received, and these will provide additional information on navigating the health care law. All meetings are the same; members may attend the location and date most convenient for them.
Each meeting will last from 1–3 p.m. The first hour will focus on employers with less than 50 employees. The second hour will focus on those with 50 employees if seasonal workers are included. The third hour will be geared towards those with 100 employees or more.
Panelists will include Jeff Stone of OAN, Heidi Mason of Jordan Ramis PC, Randy Skinner of Leonard Adams Insurance, Marisa O'Brien of Cover Oregon and Michelle Van Dellen of Moss Adams LLP.
Dates and locations are as follows:
- Wednesday, June 4 — Fisher Farms, Gaston, Oregon
- Wednesday, June 11 — J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co, Boring, Oregon
- Wednesday, June 18 — OAN, Wilsonville, Oregon
- Wednesday, June 25 — Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas, Woodburn, Oregon
» RSVP by contacting Ashley Wilsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-682-5089.
Carol Stephens, Sun Gro Horticulture
The Oregon Association of Nurseries is saddened to report the passing of Carol Stephens, who worked in customer service and sales for Sun Gro Horticulture at their distribution facility in Hubbard. She died May 5 following a five-year battle with cancer.
Carol was a longtime horticultural industry customer service and sales expert. She worked as the general manager of Northwoods Nursery from 1994–1997, followed by selling advertising for Garden Showcase magazine from 1997–2001. She and her husband launched Peduncle, a retail garden center in Buxton, Oregon. After four years in retail, she went to work for Sun Gro, where she was well regarded for her customer dedication and attention to detail.
Disposition was by cremation. A private memorial ceremony will be held at a later date.
Mt. Hood Chapter
♦ May 20 - Mt. Hood Chapter Pioneer Dinner
♦ June 12 - Annual Duffers Classic Golf Tournament at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City (Register early and save)
OAN Exposure Channels: A great place to grow
Are you looking to stay visible and gain new customers? OAN events, publications and websites offer fantastic exposure at an excellent price. OAN members save the most, with discounted ad and sponsorship rates. Buy into multiple publications, or multiple issues of Digger, and save even more. To lock in your ads for 2014, contact advertising and sponsorship account manager Chris Sweet at 503-682-5089 or email@example.com.
» Download the OAN Media Kit