Bill would simplify employer health coverage requirements for seasonal workers
A bill before Congress would make it easier for employers with seasonal workers — including nurseries — to understand and comply with Affordable Care Act health insurance requirements.
House Resolution 5213, the Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act of 2014, has cosponsors on both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon-5). The main sponsor is Rep. James Renacci (R-Ohio-16). Backers are hoping to attract more cosponsors this week, before Congress adjourns. It's hoped this would improve the bill's chances of passage when Congress convenes again after the November election.
The OAN has been working hard to help members navigate the Affordable Care Act, presenting several seminars that featured expert panels. The OAN Government Relations team has reviewed the STARS Act and concluded it would be helpful to growers. Members are asked to write their U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor or at least support the bill.
» Analysis of the STARS Act
» Letter of endorsement signed by employer groups
» Sample letter to your representative
» OAN Affordable Care Act portal
Eugene Register-Guard endorses Measure 88
The Register-Guard newspaper (Eugene, Oregon) became the latest major newspaper in the state to endorse Measure 88. The 2013 Legislature approved the bipartisan measure as Senate Bill 833, but opponents gathered enough signatures to refer it to voters. If voters approve, the measure would create a four-year driver's card for drivers who can meet all the qualifications for a regular, eight-year driver's license, except proof of legal presence in the United States.
"Sooner or later Congress will reform the nation's immigration system and bring the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, including an estimated 160,000 in Oregon, out of the shadows and make it unnecessary for states to enact laws such as SB 833," the newspaper's Editorial Board stated. "Until then, voters should make sure undocumented immigrants can drive legally and safely by voting yes on Measure 88."
OktoberPest begins with first of three pesticide workshops in Spanish
Starting October 2, Oregon State University and the North Willamette Research and Extension Center will present pest management workshops every Thursday during the month. Leading off is the first workshop in a three-part Pesticide Applicator Training Series designed for existing and prospective Spanish-speaking pesticide applicators.
Part one will cover pesticide label comprehension. Dr. Luisa Santamaria of OSU's Department of Botany and Plant Pathology will familiarize attendees with each section of a pesticide label, introduce the various types of pesticides and teach common pesticide terminology and definitions.
All workshops will be held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, 15210 NE Miley Road, Aurora, Oregon. Registration fee is $25.
» For further information about these classes, contact Jan Egli at 503-678-1264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
» Download the flyer.
Growers Showcase to feature edibles, pollinator-friendly plants at 2015 Farwest
In 2015, the Growers Showcase, a feature on the Farwest expo floor sponsored by Macore, will feature edibles and pollinator-friendly plants.
If you grow edible plants, be they fruiting trees, shrubs and ground covers, natives that berry or can be used for culinary purposes, herbs, plants that offer roots or tubers, or vegetables, consider showing them off in the Growers Showcase. If any part of the plant is edible, it qualifies. Plants that provide food for pollinators will also be showcased.
» For more information, contact OAN Director of Marketing Ann Murphy at email@example.com or 503-682–5089.
SAIF board declares $165 million dividend
Financial results for the second quarter of 2014 were released at the September 10 meeting of SAIF Corporation's Board of Directors. The board declared a $165 million dividend to be paid during October to approximately 44,000 eligible policyholders with policy expiration dates in 2013. SAIF is able to pay this dividend because of solid investment returns and continued success in managing workplace safety and controlling losses.
» For more information about the declaration and details about the dividend process, download this memorandum.
New magazine showcases Oregon agriculture to buyers
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced the premiere issue of a new magazine, Growing Oregon. The publication targets potential buyers of the state's products, with sections devoted to meat and seafood, grains, dairy, vegetables, fruits and nuts, wine and craft beer, and horticulture and seeds.
"With the tremendous diversity of our agriculture and fisheries, we have a lot to offer for those interested in buying our products," ODA Director Katy Coba said. "Growing Oregon will be a great resource and marketing tool to showcase the business of Oregon food and agriculture."
Growing Oregon will debut at three events where potential buyers of Oregon's agricultural products and industry influencers will gather. These events, happening the week of September 15, are Fine Food Australia in Melbourne, which is Australia's largest food industry expo; the third-annual Feast Portland culinary consumer event; and a visit by 15 food service, retail and baking industry buyers from China seeking products from Oregon.
» Click here for more information and to download the magazine.
Future looks bright for landscape architects
The outlook remains positive for landscape architecture firms, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects' second quarter 2014 Business Quarterly survey. The survey revealed a rise in billable hours, hiring and inquiries for new work.
"The survey indicates widespread strengthening of the landscape architecture industry," Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA, said. "We are very much encouraged by the growth shown during the second quarter and rise in hiring plans, particularly among mid-sized firms. Hopefully, these signs point to continued growth for the rest of this year."
» For more information on the survey, click here.
Funding opportunity for farm and ranch risk management projects
The Western Extension Risk Management Education Center (Western Center) announced a funding opportunity for projects that help farm and ranch families succeed through targeted risk management strategies. Proposals are due by Monday, November 17.
An applicant webinar will be conducted on Thursday, October 2 at 9 a.m. No pre-registration is required and there is no fee. Participants can join the online meeting room at http://breeze.wsu.edu/appwebinar/ approximately 10 minutes prior to the webinar start time.
» For more information, log on to the Western Center website and select "Competitive Grants Program."
USDA APHIS seeking project suggestions
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is looking for project ideas for fiscal 2015 that would address disaster prevention, or plant pest and disease threats. Suggestions will be accepted from now through October 24.
Proposed projects could be considered for funding under the 2014 Farm Bill. About $62.5 million is expected to be available. Projects should meet at least one of the six goal areas, which are enhancing plant pest/disease analysis and survey; targeting domestic inspection activities at vulnerable points in the safeguarding continuum; enhancing and strengthening pest identification and technology; safeguarding nursery production; enhancing mitigation capabilities; and conducting outreach and education to support these goals.
» Please view this USDA Bulletin for details.
Register now for the OAN One-Day Convention
OAN invites all members to gather at the 2014 OAN One-Day Convention on Friday, Oct. 24 at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. We look forward to seeing you there! The day's schedule is as follows:
- Annual Membership Business Meeting and Officer Installation — 2-4:30 p.m., Free (register today)
- President's Awards Banquet — 6-9 p.m., $65 per person (register today)
- No-host cocktail reception — 9 p.m.-midnight, Fireside Lounge
The annual OAN Convention honors and supports the best the nursery industry has to offer. You can nominate those individuals and/or companies you think deserve recognition for elevating the nursery industry. Download the Member Awards nomination form (Word | PDF).
Also, you can make your reservations to stay over at the Oregon Garden Resort by calling 503-874-2500. OAN members receive a discounted room rate of $69 plus tax, which includes garden admission and breakfast for two. To get the discount, be sure to mention code "OANMTG." The room block expires on October 1.
Tee up this Thursday for golf tournament to benefit homeless
This Thursday, September 18, Dennis' 7 Dees will present its annual Charity Golf Tournament benefiting Human Solutions, an Oregon-based nonprofit assisting homeless and low-income youth and their families. The fundraiser will be held at Langdon Farms Golf Club (24377 Aurora Road, Aurora, Oregon). Cost is $150 per person and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, breakfast, lunch, prizes and more.
» For details, visit www.dennis7dees.golfreg.com
Register today for First Aid and Adult CPR training classes
The OAN Safety and Insurance Committee is presenting First Aid and Adult CPR training classes in October, as a service to members and the industry.
Successful completion results in certification that is good for two years. Each class runs from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Classes are offered in Hillsboro, Boring and Wilsonville. Some are taught in English and others in Spanish. Check the OAN website for specific dates and locations. The cost is $42 for first-time or expired certifications and $32 for renewals. Register and pay at www.oan.org, or call Debbie Hopkins at 503-682-5089.
First Aid and Adult CPR
♦ October - Multiple dates and locations to choose from
♦ October 24 - Register today for the One-Day Convention of the Membership and President's Awards Banquet at the Oregon Garden
OAN Publications and Events: Plant your brand and watch it grow
Looking to grow your business? Want to make the most of your marketing dollar? OAN offers a full portfolio of respected publications, events and electronic media that help you reach your targets, your way. As an OAN member, you get exclusive discounts on ads and sponsorships, and you can save even more by buying into multiple publications or issues. Download our 2015 Media Kit today for all the details. To schedule your ads for 2015, contact advertising and sponsorship account manager Chris Sweet at 503-682-5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
» Download the OAN Media Kit