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Member Update: 10_21_15
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Employment law changes coming in 2016, Volker predicts warm, wet winter, more
Welcome to the Oregon Association of Nurseries weekly Member Update
October 21, 2015    |     EVENTS     |     ADVERTISE

Town hall to discuss raising Oregon's minimum wage

Portland State University and KATU-Channel 2 are hosting a town hall meeting to discuss whether Oregon should raise its $9.25 hourly minimum wage and what impact it would have on workers and businesses. Organized labor wants legislators to either raise the wage or allow cities such as Portland to raise it on their own. Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities have passed minimum wage increases up to $15 an hour.

The panel includes Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries; Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland); and Dr. Tom Potiowsky, chair of PSU's Economics Department and former Oregon state economist. They will be questioned by journalists from The Oregonian, Portland Business Journal and the PSU Vanguard. Moderator Steve Dunn of KATU will also encourage questions and comments from the audience.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 7–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom (Third Floor), 1825 SW Broadway, Portland. Members may attend but a ticket is required. To reserve your spot, go to the PSU Box Office or call 503-725-3307. The event will also be televised on KATU-Channel 2 and webcast on

Last call for OAN awards nominations

If you know someone who deserves recognition for making the nursery industry better, let us know — but don't delay! Today is the last day to send in your OAN awards nomination form.

Our industry is made up of an incredible group of hardworking people constantly driven to improve their business, help their neighbors and contribute to our shared success. The OAN awards process is designed to recognize these people in a variety of categories, but we need your help to identify them!

Completed forms must be returned no later than today — October 21, 2015. Your OAN Awards committee will review every nomination as a critical aspect of the selection process.

Please join us when we honor these recipients at the 2015 President's Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 14. The banquet is part of the Friends in Growin' Places: the 2015 OAN Convention at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon. Go to for details and to register. We hope to see you there!

Nomination Form

Employment law changes coming in 2016

Oregon employers must reckon with several new employment-related laws that were passed during the 2015 Oregon Legislature, attorney Amy Robinson of Jordan Ramis P.C. told Willamette Chapter members at their Tuesday luncheon meeting. "My advice is to make sure your policies are up to date and reviewed by legal counsel or by someone who is qualified in human resources," she said. The significant changes include:

  • The new Oregon paid sick leave law requires employers to provide an hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. For employers of 10 or more, the leave must be paid, but for others, it can be unpaid. In Portland, the threshold is eight employees.
  • There is a new "ban the box" law that disallows employers from asking applicants about criminal history on the application form. Forms that contain this question must be taken out of use, Robinson said. They can ask about the issue during interviews, but it must be a tailored inquiry related to job requirements.
  • There are new timelines on the reporting to OSHA of workplace fatalities (within 8 hours), work-related hospitalizations (within 24 hours), work-related amputations (within 24 hours) and work-related eye loss (within 24 hours).
  • There are proposed changes to federal overtime rules. There would continue to be special agricultural exemptions to the overtime law under both state and federal law.

OAN members are entitled to up to 30 minutes per month of free legal consultation through Jordan Ramis P.C.

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Volker predicts warm, wet winter

El Niño warm water conditions in the Pacific Ocean this year mean the likelihood that Oregon will experience above average precipitation this winter and slightly warmer temperatures, meteorologist Phil Volker told members of the OAN Willamette Chapter on Tuesday.

The term El Niño does not refer to weather, but to conditions in the water. However, it can effect weather patterns in different ways depending on the strength of the effect and other factors. "No two El Niños are alike," he said.

Volker's prediction for this coming winter is based on the modeling work he has done. The model also predicts that California will have rainfall that is well above average, while in Washington, it will be normal, and in British Columbia, normal or below average.

Wilbur Ellis

Lane Forest Products

Jordan Ramis

Leonard Adams


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Economic injury disaster loans now available

Small businesses in nine Oregon counties and three Washington counties are now eligible to apply for low interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought in Columbia, Washington and Yamhill counties that began July 28, 2015. Businesses in neighboring counties are also eligible for disaster loans. The neighboring Oregon counties are Clackamas, Clatsop, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Tillamook; in Washington, they are Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size 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. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary's declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website at The deadline to apply for these loans is May 23, 2016.

Ash whitefly becomes a major nuisance

"Clouds of small white-winged insects flying around homes, gardens and even parking lots up and down the Willamette Valley have the public more than a little annoyed," The Oregonian reported this weekend. The article, written by frequent Digger contributor Kym Pokorny, documents the surge of ash whitefly (Siphoninus phillyeae) sightings.

Comments and questions about the aggravating insect have been trending on social media and lighting up the hotlines of Extension's Master Gardeners, according to Pokorny.

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OAN Events

Learn advanced insect biological control at the next OktoberPest workshop

Want to improve and expand your nursery's insect biological controls? Then plan to attend "Taking it to the Next Level" (PDF). This workshop is an opportunity for nursery growers who are experienced users of insect and mite biological control to increase the consistency and effectiveness of their existing programs and to expand their programs to cover additional pest species. Emphasis will be on refining techniques and building capacity, including the use of banker plants, insectaries, indicator plants and application methods.

The workshop will take place from 9 a.m.–noon on Thursday, Oct. 22 at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC). Three pesticide license education credit hours will be available. Cost is $25. To register, contact Jan Egli at 503-678-1264 or

The following day, NWREC will host a free workshop for homeowners, master gardeners and retail nursery employees to learn more about biological control in home gardens. "Bugs in the System: An Introduction to Beneficial Insects in the Garden" will take place from 10 a.m.–noon on Friday, Oct. 23. To RSVP, contact Jan Egli at 971-373-5912 or e-mail at

OktoberPest wraps up the following Thursday, Oct. 29, with a workshop on strategies to protect pollinators.

More information about the OktoberPest Workshops

Hot topics of employment law to be discussed on Nov. 3

The Oregon Employer Council–Clackamas County is presenting "Employment Law Essentials & 2015 Legal Updates," a seminar covering the topics every manager, supervisor and HR professional needs to know in order to be fair, objective and most importantly, legal when working with employees.

Topics include discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; employee performance and discipline process; employment termination process; leave law, including Portland Sick Pay; Americans with Disability Act and "Reasonable Accommodations"; marijuana laws and company drug policy; and social media in the workplace.

The seminar will be held from 8 a.m.–noon on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Monarch Hotel, 12566 SE 93rd Ave., Clackamas. Cost is $49.

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Sprayer workshop set for Nov. 12

Save the date for this free workshop on sprayer maintenance, setup and calibration. Topics to be discussed include sprayer operation and care; how to determine the fitness for use of boom and air blast sprayers; how to use spray equipment for efficacious, cost-effective pesticide applications; and techniques to accurately determine sprayer output and speed. You can also bring in your pressure gauge for a free checkup.

The class will take place from 8 a.m.–noon on Thursday, Nov. 12 at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (15210 NE Miley Rd., Aurora). Four core pesticide license recertification credit hours are available to workshop participants. To register, email Peter Sturman at

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Symposium to explore connection between beneficial bacteria, soil and plant health on Nov. 16

Beneficial bacteria — such as probiotics found in yogurt — can aid the digestive systems of humans and animals. In nature there exist microbes that may have a similar effect on the soil and plants, enhancing soil and water sustainability as well as their response to extreme drought and high temperatures.

"The 'phytobiome' includes the environment (e.g., soil) and all of the living organisms in, on and around plants," according to Jan Leach, a professor at Colorado State University. "This entire system influences plant and soil health."

"Connecting Phytobiomes with Soil and Plant Health," a symposium held in conjunction with the Synergy in Science 2015 meeting, will address this topic on Monday, November 16, 2015, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The symposium will focus on the importance of the microbiome in the interactions between plants and soils as they relate to crops, agronomy and entomology. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

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Two-part seminars on 'Family Agricultural Enterprise Succession' scheduled for this fall

The transition of farms and ranches to a new generation is one of the greatest challenges facing the agricultural industry. To address this issue, OSU's Extension Service and Austin Family Business Program is presenting seminars on agricultural enterprise transition and succession planning. People can attend in Medford on Friday, November 6, or in Klamath Falls on Saturday, November 7. A second, follow-up session will take place in Klamath Falls on Friday, December 11 and in Medford on Saturday, December 12. All seminars will run from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

The seminars are open to family farm, ranch, agribusiness and small woodlot owners, and their successors, in both Southern Oregon and Northern California. At least one person from the current (owning) generation and one person from the next generation must attend both workshops. Cost is $40 per person.

For more information and to register, call 800-859-7609 or click here.

AmericanHort to present webinar on changes to EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

AmericanHort will present a webinar on "EPA's Worker Protection Standard Update — How It Will Impact Your Business" at 8 a.m. PST on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The one-hour webinar will look at how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has changed the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, affecting provisions on mandatory training of farmworkers, pesticide exposure, recordkeeping and other requirements. There is no cost, but you must pre-register.

Pre-Register Here

Registration is live for the two-day 2015 OAN Annual Convention — Nov. 13–14

Registration is now live for the annual OAN Convention, which will take place Friday–Saturday, Nov. 13–14, at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon. This year's theme will be "Friends in Growin' Places," a reference to nurseries as well as the current economic rebound.

The agenda includes the return of the hospitality suites reception on Friday evening, the Annual Membership Business Meeting and General Session on Saturday, and the President's Awards Banquet on Saturday evening.

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, convention is a great value. All sessions are free (including Saturday continental breakfast and lunch), except the banquet ($59 per person). People can choose to attend any or all sessions. Registration is required. Go to to sign up by October 30. Complimentary child care will be available. There will be optional golf on Sunday as well.

Discounted rooms are available at Eagle Crest. Just call the resort at 1-866-806-4921 and mention OAN. The deadline is October 23.

Thank you to these sponsors:

Allstate Benefits
Alpha Nursery Inc.
Al's Garden Center
Arrowhead Ornamentals LLC
Brooks Tree Farm
F & B Farms & Nursery
Heritage Seedlings & Liners
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
Kraemer's Nursery Inc.
OAN - Central Oregon Chapter

OAN - Clackamas Chapter
OAN - Emerald Empire Chapter
OAN - Retail/Greenhouse Chapter
OAN - Sunset Chapter
OAN - Willamette Chapter
Park's Nursery
Simnitt Nursery
The H C Companies, ProCal
Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas Inc.
Youngblood Nursery

If you are interested in sponsoring the convention, contact Jeff Stone at 503-682-5089 or

Register today

Get more from Membership

Sign up now through December 3 for Winter Trucks to Trade Shows program

The 2016 winter trade shows are fast approaching! To help get you there, the Oregon Association of Nurseries is continuing its Trucks to Trade Shows program for members as an optional benefit.

Trucks to Trade Shows

OAN members can ship plant material to the key nursery events held in January and February across the country — MANTS, The Western, CENTS and others — at economical, less-than-load rates. This form has the per pallet prices for shipping to each of the seven shows the OAN will ship to. You must pay in advance and in full for the pallet(s) you wish to send. The deadline to sign up is December 3. Questions? Contact Mellissa Sumner at 503-582-2010 or

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In case you missed it

Court puts new 'waters of the U.S.' rule on hold

National hydrangea test garden to open in 2016

Brown marmorated stink bug activity heats up in Oregon

Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook receives 2015 revision

New ODA strategic plan hopes to address current challenges

Oregon minimum wage will not increase in 2016

Water Resources Department now accepting Water Supply Development applications

Energy Incentives Program offers $1 million in tax credits

Get the most out of your membership with the OAN Member Resource Guide

Advertise with the OAN

Ready to grow your business with OAN Publications and Events?

Our range of respected publications and engaging events provide valuable opportunities to strategically deliver your message and help achieve your sales and marketing goals. From print to digital to in person at the Farwest Show, we can help you find the best way to reach key nursery industry decision-makers through advertising and sponsorship. And as an OAN member you receive exclusive discounts and can save even more with our frequency discount for multiple ads. Download our 2016 Media Kit for all the details and contact Blair Thompson at 503-582-2012 or to discuss how OAN advertising and sponsorship can help your business grow.

The 2016 OAN Media Kit is now available
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29751 SW Town Center Loop W., Wilsonville, OR 97070
Ph: 503.682.5089 ♦ 888-283-7219 ♦ F: 503.682.5099 ♦ ♦

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