Affordable Care Act launches today
Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty. Although penalties have been delayed for one year until 2015, all employers must still inform their employees — by October 1 — about the health care exchanges that are set to launch in the new year. Log on to the state and federal websites for more information.
OAN and Leonard Adams Insurance have collaborated on the OAN Health Reform Letter, which provides an overview of the pending changes to healthcare reform and outlines the options available to employers. All OAN members will also receive a copy of the letter by mail.
If you have any questions about the OAN insurance program or the Affordable Care Act requirements, please contact any of the following:
OAN Insurance Program:
• Randy Skinner or Marge Benham at Leonard Adams Insurance, 503-296-0077 or (toll-free) 866-907-1850
• Jeff Stone, Oregon Association of Nurseries, 503-682-5089
For legal questions about the ACA:
OAN Legal Access Program (30 minutes per month free legal consultation for OAN members):
• Heidi Mason, Jordan Ramis PC, 503-598-5504
In addition, the OAN will hold a series of outreach events in November throughout the valley to bring experts to the membership and talk through the many facets of the ACA. Look for details to come in the following weeks.
Oregon awash with record rainfall
On Friday, Sept. 27, the remnants of a Pacific typhoon — an "atmospheric river," as the National Weather Service calls it — flowed onshore, drenching Oregon with record precipitation. Thousands in the Portland metro area and across the state were left without power, and cleanup crews have rushed to clear fallen trees in the storm's wake. If you have suffered damage during the Oregon rainstorm 2013, please call the OAN office at 503-682-5089 (800-342-6401 toll-free) or email Jeff Stone, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register now for the OAN One-Day Convention
Registration is open for the 2013 OAN One-Day Convention on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Ore. 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
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. Members must provide the code "OANMTG" to receive the special room rate in our room block for the evening of Nov. 8. The room block will expire on October 8, so hurry!
Emerald ash borer detected in Colorado
Emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in Boulder, Colo. in September 2013. As a non-native insect, EAB lacks predators to keep it in check. EAB only attacks ash trees and is responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees in the Midwest and East Coast. Ash trees are popular in Colorado, with an estimated 98,000 in the city of Boulder alone, and another 1.45 million ash in the Denver Metro area, making this a very serious threat to Colorado's urban forestry. For more information, click here.
AmericanHort to launch January 2014
Members of OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) have voted to consolidate the two organizations into a new, national trade association. The new trade association, named the American Horticulture Association, will be known as AmericanHort, and will begin operations by January 1, 2014. Bob Terry, owner of Fisher Farms in Gaston, Ore. and past-president of the OAN Board of Directors, will serve on the new board. To learn more about the merger, log on to www.americanhort.org.
Oregon's net farm income drops slightly in 2012
Despite a drop of 5.2 percent in the overall bottom line for Oregon farmers and ranchers, net agricultural income continues a general trend of recovery from the dark days of recession, according to a report published last week by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).
Oregon agriculture showed a net farm income at nearly $960 million in 2012. That's a drop from the $1.01 billion mark recorded in 2011 but a huge improvement from the $452 million recorded in 2010. Oregon's net farm income began a downward slide during the national recession that ran through 2009 following 2004's record high of $1.14 billion.
New home sales rise nearly 8 percent in August
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 7.9 percent in August, according to newly released figures from HUD and U.S. Census Bureau. Sales rose 8.8 percent in the Northeast, 19.6 percent in the Midwest and 15.3 percent in the South for the month. The West was the exception to the rule, with a 14.6 percent decline. The improvement in the housing market is good news for nurseries, who grow the material used in the landscaping of new homes and other developments.
Survey predicts increased visa demand in 2014
Business demand for temporary visas and green cards continues to rise, according to the 2013 Annual Business Immigration Survey recently published by the Global Immigration Benchmarking Council (GIBC). Thirty-four percent of companies anticipate hiring more H-1B visa holders in the year ahead, while 25 percent of companies anticipate hiring additional H-2A or H-2B workers. Respondents stated that the projected increase is due to business demand and the unavailability of U.S. workers.
While neither H-2A nor H-2B is used to secure labor for nurseries, many landscapers get visas for their workers through the H-2B program. With greater across-the-board demand, businesses should expect tighter supplies and, therefore, should not wait to start the visa process.
International Society of Arboriculture honors Terrill Collier
Terrill Collier, an OAN member and ISA-certified arborist with Collier Arbor Care (now a division of Bartlett Tree Experts), was presented with an Honorary Lifetime Membership and named a True Professional of Arboriculture for 2013 by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) at the ISA Annual Conference, held this past August in Toronto, Canada.
"Collier is a true leader in our industry, tirelessly promoting proper tree care to the consumer, encouraging ISA Certification and generously donating his time to tree causes," said ISA President Terrence Flanagan. Click here to read more about Collier and the other 2013 ISA True Professionals.
First Aid and CPR classes start this week
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. in Boring will host the first classes in the month-long series of First Aid and CPR classes, Thursday, Oct. 3 (English) and Friday, Oct. 4 (Spanish). Each class runs from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Classes are offered in Hillsboro, Boring and Wilsonville. Visit the OAN website for details and registration.
First of four OktoberPest workshops takes place this week
Undesirably white gardens in the Pacific Northwest are more commonplace, thanks to the increasing distribution of azalea lace bug in Oregon and Washington. If you want to learn more about the identification, damage and management of azalea lace bug in nurseries and landscapes, this first OktoberPest workshop is for you! Entitled "When Rhodies Wear White: Integrated Pest Management of Azalea Lace Bug," the workshop will take place on Thursday, October 3, from 9 a.m. until noon.
Presented by Oregon State University and the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC), this series of workshops will continue every Thursday thereafter in October, with future classes on protecting pollinators, banishing wilt and damping off, and aphid management. All sessions will be held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (15210 NE Miley Road, Aurora, Ore.). Organizers have applied to make pesticide license recertification credits available. Registration information can be found by logging on to the Pacific Northwest Nursery IPM page.
Webinars to address irrigation pathogens and water quality
A series of monthly webinars organized by USDA is scheduled to start on Oct. 8 and continue throughout 2014. The series will focus on irrigation pathogens and recycled water quality as these issues relate to crop health, agricultural water security and environmental footprint. There's no cost to participate. Click here for more information. The webinars are presented by USDA, Virginia Tech, Penn State, the University of Maryland, Rutgers University, Christopher Newport University and the University of California at Riverside.
In Memoriam: James H. Wagner
The Oregon Association of Nurseries is saddened to report the passing of OAN Honorary Life member James H. Wagner of Wagner's Landscape Service. He was also the former head of the horticulture department at Mt. Hood Community College. He died Wednesday, September 18, in Portland at the age of 86. A celebration of life was held on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Gresham Memorial Chapel. Click here to read his full obituary.
Clackamas, Sunset and Willamette chapters
♦ October 8 - Winter Weather Forecast, Speaker: George Taylor, CCM
OAN One-Day Convention
♦ November 8 - Register today for the One-Day Convention of the Membership and President's Awards Banquet at the Oregon Garden
OAN reminds members: If you're not seen, you don't exist
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 503-582-2012 or email@example.com.