The nursery industry is a big part of Oregon. Some consider it to be even older than the state, itself. In 1933, the Oregon Nurserymen’s Association began organizing growers, sponsoring research projects to expand the field, and lobbying lawmakers to give growers a voice in legislative and regulatory affairs. Today, it’s known as the Oregon Association of Nurseries, or OAN. It’s our key partner this month.
OAN represents more than a thousand individual nursery stock producers, retailers, landscapers, and related companies that serve the nursery and greenhouse industry. The non-profit also serves as a voice for the state’s nursery and greenhouse producers, re-sellers, transporters, retailers, and suppliers.
The idea behind the organization is a simple one—represent and serve the interests of its members. Through programs that promote research, business development, and education, organizers hope to support their members and their industry.
Those members take an active role in the OAN. They serve on several committees that create, manage, and recommend programs for the association to sponsor. OAN’s website breaks down the categories this way:
- Legislative Advocacy: Members look for nursery-related issues in the Oregon Legislature and suggest what the industry can do in response. A political action committee also takes positions on statewide political races.
- Member Education: This is a major emphasis for the OAN. In fact, several committees work to find topics for continuing education seminars. They also provide information on topics ranging from labor issues and general safety tips, to pest control and the latest research results.
- Member Services & Recognition: The OAN provides members with opportunities to get workers’ compensation and health insurance, legal and financial advice, and training programs. There are also opportunities for networking, social interaction, and recognition.
- Marketing: Committees also sponsor a nationwide campaign to promote the quality of what’s grown in Oregon. Work is also being done to educate the people who live there about the industry’s importance to the state’s economy.
Raising awareness of Oregon’s nursery industry doesn’t end there. In 1988, members started the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. It’s become one of the largest consumer gardening shows presented by a volunteer association. More than 200 exhibitors and upwards of 25,000 spectators attend the show each February in Portland.
Then there’s the Farwest Show and the Farwest Show Seminars at the Oregon Convention Center the last weekend of each August. Since 1973, it’s become a showcase for Oregon growers and one of the largest nursery industry trade shows in North America. In addition, there are educational sessions focusing on a wide variety of current nursery and greenhouse industry topics.
Here at Hortica, we’re excited to say we’ll again be exhibiting at the Farwest Show in Portland, August 25-27, and look forward to seeing you there.
If you’d like more information about the Oregon Association of Nurseries, check out their website. You can also find information about other services they provide like scholarships and publications, as well as how you can become a member.