The 2020 Farwest Show in Portland, Oregon has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to show producer the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN).
The show, for nursery and greenhouse operators and professionals, had been scheduled for August 26–28 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.
“We are very disappointed not to be able to hold Farwest in 2020,” Farwest Show Chairman Patrick Newton of Powell’s Nursery Inc. (Gaston, Oregon) said. “Our show dates back to 1973 and is the biggest nursery trade show in the West. We know what Farwest means to the industry — it’s where nursery professionals from all over the region, the country and the world renew old connections, make new ones, gain new knowledge, advance their careers, find new customers and discover new plants and products. We will now focus on bringing the industry back together for a strong and vital show in 2021.”
OAN leaders initially held off making any decision on the 2020 Farwest Show. Instead, they waited to see how the pandemic might evolve, and how that might affect their ability to produce the show safely and successfully.
However, on May 7, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced her phased plans for reopening Oregon for business and public life. Included was a stipulation that large public events may not take place in Oregon at least through the end of September, or until treatments or vaccinations for the coronavirus are available. As a result, the Oregon Convention Center determined it could not host the event as scheduled.
The OAN is currently reaching out to exhibitors, partners, sponsors, speakers and others connected with the show to communicate the decision and outline next steps. Any show registration fees will be refunded. Those who planned to attend will need to cancel any hotel reservations on their own.
“We had exciting plans for the 2020 show and will work hard to make the 2021 show even more exciting and useful,” OAN Director of Events Allan Niemi said. “We have a feeling that people will be more than ready to get together, do business, learn together and celebrate a renewal of the industry’s success.”
Farwest was founded in 1973 and has run annually since then. It is the largest green industry trade show on the West Coast and is hosted in Oregon, where nurseries and greenhouses are the #1 agricultural sector in the state by annual sales. It attracts around 5,000 professionals and 400 exhibitors each year, including nursery and greenhouse operators, nursery industry suppliers, landscaping professionals, service providers, researchers, students and others.
Oregon’s $1 billion nursery and greenhouse industry leads the nation in production of coniferous evergreens, deciduous shade trees, deciduous flowering trees and cut Christmas trees, according to USDA statistics. The state is #1 in bareroot nursery products, #1 in ball and burlap nursery products, and #3 in containerized nursery products.