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Northwest Agricultural Show receives part of $98,000 grant awarded to OAN
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Northwest Agricultural Show receives part of $98,000 grant awarded to OAN

The Oregon Association of Nurseries was awarded a $98,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to increase safety awareness through risk management education programs. A key component to the grant is a major overhaul of the OAN's Northwest Agricultural Show seminars, creating sessions that rival that of the Farwest Show.

Safety, specifically risk management, will be the emphasis of the ag show seminars. The OAN's seminars will be held Jan. 28-29, 2004, in conjunction with the NW Ag Show, which runs Jan. 27-29. Heavy-hitting speakers have already been lined up, including David Bernknopf, one of the founders of CNN, the Cable News Network.

Bernknopf speaks to executives and corporations on brand building, international business development, successful team building, effective public relations campaigns, crisis communications and ethics and the media. A master storyteller, Bernknopf will take seminar attendees on a journey of how to master crisis communications and team building in the trenches. He will give the inside secrets of a good relationship with national and local media.

David White is executive director of the Ohio Livestock Coalition and director of commodity relations for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. White will speak on Good Neighbor Policies, sharing his expertise as a facilitator on the subject for the Green Industry Task Force. "The best public relations happen one-on-one," White says. "If you're a good neighbor, you provide the best possible public relations for your industry."

Being a good neighbor means being considerate and responsible, and it means communicating about things we do that may affect our neighbors, White says. He will share several good neighbor tips, such as taking the time to explain to neighbors what you do and why. If you use chemicals or pesticides, explain to customers and neighbors when and why you'll be applying them to a crop.

In addition to beefing up the safety-related seminars at the NW Ag Show, the OAN will be updating safety and water-management materials, creating a safety CD-Rom available to all OAN members, producing a tractor/forklift training video and providing miscellaneous educational opportunities on risk-management topics.

Another seminar speaker, Thomas Ash of HydroPoint Data Systems in California, will address water management. Director of conservation alliances for the California company, Ash has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of water use efficiency, public education and horticulture. As the water conservation coordinator for the Irvine Ranch Water District and a horticulture advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, he has helped create successful water savings programs for homeowners, homeowner associations, property managers, landscapers, the building industry and public agencies across the country. He is the author of Landscape Management for Water Savings, published by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Funds from the Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education Grant are distributed through the USDA FCIC's Risk Management Agency. According to the grant, "the purpose of the program is to provide U.S. farmers and ranchers (with an emphasis on priority commodities) with training and information opportunities to be able to understand: The kinds of risks addressed by existing and emerging risk-management tools; the features and appropriate use of existing and emerging risk-management tools; and how to make sound risk-management decisions."

As part of the grant, RMA will provide funds, guidance and the substantial involvement of RMA to carry out risk-management education and information programs for producers in a specific geographical area. The grant funds are good for a one-year period.

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