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Member Update 06_01_17
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Welcome to the Oregon Association of Nurseries weekly Member Update
June 1, 2017    |     EVENTS     |     ADVERTISE

OAN meets with governor's office on corporate tax

With the clock running on the 2017 Oregon Legislature, leaders in both chambers still don't agree on how to close a $1.4 billion state budget gap through a combination of budget cuts and increased corporate taxes.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries is keeping a close eye on the tax part of the equation in particular. Various proposals have been floated to impose a corporate gross receipts tax. The big questions include at which income level it kicks in, whether and how the rate differs depending on the type of business, and how businesses would be protected against so-called "pyramiding." Pyramiding is the cumulative effect when a product is taxed at each step in the supply chain and the costs are passed along to each succeeding customer.

OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone and contract lobbyist Elizabeth Remley recently met with Jason Lewis-Berry, economic policy adviser to Gov. Kate Brown, to explain the impacts such a tax would have on green industry businesses.

"We're at the table for our members," Stone said. "Moments like this are why the association exists — to protect the members, large and small, suppliers and growers. And the governor's office is interested in what we have to say."

The Legislature faces a July 10 deadline to adjourn with a balanced budget. There's been talk of a special session to accomplish priorities the Legislature can't complete in the regular session.

Oregon delegation returns from Washington, D.C.

OAN President Mark Bigej, Government Relations Chair Leigh Geschwill and Executive Director Jeff Stone met with individual members of Oregon's Congressional delegation last week in Washington, D.C. In nearly all cases, the workforce and immigration issue was the main topic of discussion.

"They seemed to be getting the message that now is the time and that the labor shortage is real and ongoing," Geschwill said. "Opinions varied on what can be accomplished given the current climate in Washington."

The group also met with members of the House and Senate Agriculture committees, and officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They made a strong case for several priorities in the upcoming 2019 Farm Bill, including specialty crop research, pest and disease issues, water supply pilot project funding and more. "We will have to defend several key programs from cuts, and also strategize about how to creatively use certain titles for funding needs here in Oregon," Geschwill said.

All in all, the OAN delegation was warmly and respectfully received.

OAN staff welcomes Stephanie Weihrauch

Stephanie Weihrauch (pronounced why-rock) joined the OAN staff this week as the organization's new director of finance and administration. Previously she was controller for Eyelevel and Clinicient Inc. She replaces Sherry Markwood, who accepted a new position elsewhere.

"Stephanie will be a great addition to our team," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "I encourage you to reach out to her once she settles in." She can be reached at or 503-582-2001.

Key deadline looms for Oregon Legislature

This Friday, June 2, is the deadline for committees to approve bills that first originated in the opposite chamber of the Oregon Legislature. Observers are watching this deadline closely because it will indicate which proposals have enough steam behind them to possibly be passed into law.

The deadline does not apply to bills assigned to a joint committee of both chambers, such as Ways and Means, Revenue, or Rules.

The OAN is closely observing a proposal (Senate Bill 828) to mandate flexible or predictive scheduling. Such bills would require employers to pay employees that are called into work but not used. The current version of this proposal would apply to retailers, restaurants and hospitality-related businesses. The OAN is pushing for a high threshold of more than 250 employees, to ensure that retail nurseries and garden centers, whose staffing needs are greatly weather dependent, wouldn't be subject to the rule.

Though the outcome on that bill is not certain, the OAN is more optimistic regarding a pair of water-related bills. A bill that would have imposed an annual water rights fee (House Bill 2706) has been killed. A second bill (House Bill 2705) that would require rights holders to measure water used has been greatly scaled back. The OAN is working with the sponsor of the bill to create amendments to protect nursery operators and their water rights.

OAN Sunset Chapter gets active with golf outing

The OAN Sunset Chapter "Top-Golf Event" was a great success, according to member/event organizer Chris Robinson of Robinson Nursery.

"The attendees had a fun time networking, hitting golf balls and eating a great southern-style buffet," Robinson said. "We are truly grateful for the sponsorships that helped make this happen. A big thank you to Carlton Plants, Northwest Farm Credit Service, Wilbur-Ellis, Oregon Pride and Robinson Nursery!"

Wilbur Ellis

Lane Forest Products

Anderson Pots

Jordan Ramis

Leonard Adams


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Duffers attracts a full draw for this year's golf tournament

Registration for the 28th annual Duffers Classic Golf Tournament, presented by Country Financial, Jordan Ramis PC and Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas, is now full. If you would like your name added to the wait list, please email Allan Niemi at

This year's tourney will tee off at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, Oregon, on Thursday, June 8. A benefit for the Oregon Nurseries' Political Action Committee, the event is a great way to reconnect with friends, have a lot of fun, and support a strong nursery industry voice in Salem and Washington, D.C.

Register for Duffers Classic Today!

Thank you to our Duffers Classic Presenting Sponsors:

NW Ag Show names new management company

The EO Media Group, the parent company of the Capital Press, has assumed management of the Northwest Agricultural Show from Amy and Mike Patrick. The Patricks and Amy's parents, Jim and Shirley Heater, have guided the show for the past 48 years.

"It is with great confidence that Mike and I transition the event to EO Media Group," Amy Patrick said. "I believe they have a broad range of resources that can bolster and improve the show, taking it to its 50th anniversary and beyond."

Read more

Pest alert: Elm leafminer, hollyhock weevil, speckled green fruitworm

With summer-like weather making its first appearance this year, a variety of pests are beginning to rear their ugly heads, according to several alerts issued recently by OSU entomologist Robin Rosetta. Elm leafminer, hollyhock weevil and speckled green fruitworm are all pests to be watchful for.

Keep track of these and other seasonal pests by logging on regularly to the OSU Pacific Northwest Nursery Integrated Pest Management website.

OAN Mt. Hood Chapter to host two gatherings of young growers

Scott Ekstrom and Anthony Kinen of the OAN Mt. Hood Chapter have organized two gatherings for young growers.

The first gathering will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15 at Oregon City Brewing Company (1401 Washington St., Oregon City, Oregon).

The second will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18 at Pleasant Home Tavern (31637 SE Dodge Park Blvd., Gresham, Oregon).

All growers under the age of 40 are welcome. The meetings are designed to include members covering the chapter's vast region. The June meeting will pull together the Clackamas Valley growers, while the July meeting is for the east side growers, but if anyone wants to attend both they are more than welcome.

For more information, contact Anthony Kinen at, 503-866-3627; or Scott Ekstrom at, 503-926-4321.

Come 'Fiesta' at the Annual Pioneer Dinner on June 21

Join the Mt. Hood Chapter in honoring our OAN Pioneers — those over the age of 60 with more than 20 years in the industry. All chapters are welcome!

The event will take place at the Persimmon Country Club (500 SE Butler Rd., Gresham, Oregon). Social hour will begin at 6 p.m. with chips and salsa, followed by a Mexican buffet at 7 p.m.

Honored Pioneers and their spouses will enjoy a complimentary dinner courtesy of the Mt. Hood Chapter. Cost for all other adults is $25; free for kids under 18.

RSVP by June 13 to Rhonda at 360-772-3082 or or register online at

Register Today!

In Memoriam: Kathy Van Veen

The OAN is saddened to report the recent passing of Kathy Van Veen, 70, third-generation owner of longtime members Van Veen Nursery in Portland, Oregon. She died April 26, 2017 following a 36-week battle with brain cancer. She beat the prognosis by a substantial margin, as doctors had given her just eight weeks to live.

Van Veen Nursery was founded in 1926 by Kathy's grandfather, Ted Van Veen Sr., and specialized in rhododendrons. Kathy's father, Ted Jr., took over the nursery in 1961 after Ted Sr. passed away.

Not long after that, Kathy started working at the nursery while still in high school. She went away to college at the University of Portland and then the University of Washington, where she graduated with a doctorate. Post-college, she returned to the nursery, taking over in 2003 when her father passed away.

Kathy was noted for her expertise in rhododendrons and her dedicated service to the industry. She served as president of the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and also chaired the Friends of Crystal Springs garden.

Kathy was interred at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland on May 2. A memorial service was held May 11 at St. Ignatius Church in Portland.

The Oregonian published a full obituary with guestbook, which you can read here.

Survey helps identify issues for ornamental horticulture

The IR-4 Project at Rutgers University helps provide pest management solutions for greenhouse, nursery, landscape, Christmas tree and forestry producers. Since 1963, the project has been a major developer of research data to support new EPA tolerances and labeled product uses. The project works to place new diseases, insects, weeds, as well as new crops on already registered ornamental horticulture product labels. You can help focus the project's research by answering a few questions about the diseases, insects, and weeds which impact your business.

Take the survey today!

Important Dates


  • Duffers Classic Golf Tournament June 8, 7 a.m.–1 p.m., Oregon City, Oregon » More info
  • Biological Control WorkshopJune 14–15, Washington State University Extension Building, Mount Vernon, Washington » More info
  • Young Growers Gathering (Mt. Hood Chapter)June 15 — Oregon City, Oregon » More info
  • 2017 OSU Ornamental Plant Breeding Field DayJune 15 — Lewis-Brown Horticulture Research Farm (33329 SE Peoria Rd., Corvallis, Oregon).
  • Association of Northwest Landscape Designers Garden TourJune 17, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. » More info
  • IPPS Oregon Area MeetingJune 21, 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m. — The Oregon Garden » More info
  • Pioneer Dinner (Mt. Hood Chapter)June 21, — Gresham, Oregon » More info
  • International Master Gardener Conference July 10–14, Portland, Oregon » More info
  • Young Growers Gathering (Mt. Hood Chapter) July 18 — Oregon City, Oregon » More info
  • Farwest Show NEW DAYS AND HOURS!August 23–25, Portland, Oregon. Wednesday, August 23 - Noon–5 p.m. | Thursday, August 24 - 10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Friday, August 25 - 10 a.m.–2 p.m. » More info
In case you missed it...

New host identified for emerald ash borer

Comment period on pyrethroids reopened

EPA delays pesticide handler rule

Pest alert: Cabbage white butterfly

Apply now for therapeutic garden grants

ICE arrests climb 37 percent under new administration

Record rainfall eases drought across the Pacific Northwest

Congress readies tough immigration bill

Pest alert: Azalea sawfly

New version of gross receipts tax proposed

Legislators unveil ambitious tax plan to upgrade Oregon's transportation system

Pest alert: Spittlebugs & wooly beech aphid

Recap of Immigration Forum now online

Court blocks executive order on sanctuary cities


Ready to Grow Your Business with OAN Advertising and Sponsorships?

Our range of respected and engaging publications can strategically deliver your message to nursery industry decision-makers and help achieve your sales and marketing goals. From print to digital, all OAN publications offer advertisers the power to connect with a targeted industry audience and impact their buying decisions.

Our cost-effective opportunities include the monthly Digger magazine, the Nursery Guide website and annual print version, the weekly Member Update e-newsletter, the annual Retail Nurseries & Garden Centers Guide, the Farwest Show and more. And all OAN members receive exclusive advertising rate discounts so download our Media Kit for all the details and contact Blair Thompson at 503-582-2012 or to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

The 2017 OAN Media Kit is now available
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© Copyright 2017 Oregon Association of Nurseries
29751 SW Town Center Loop W., Wilsonville, OR 97070
Ph: 503.682.5089 | 888-283-7219 | F: 503.682.5099 | |

Email your story ideas, tips and comments to Curt Kipp, Director of Publications and Communications, or call him at 503-582-2008.

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