The Oregon Association of Nurseries recently honored five Oregon legislators as “Friends of Nurseries” for 2016. The five earned the recognition for working with the nursery industry to solve issues of concern.
“The Oregon Association of Nurseries is focused on solving problems, and we work with officials on both sides of the aisle to deliver positive outcomes for the nursery industry on critical issues,” OAN Government Relations Chairman Josh Zielinski of Alpha Nursery said. “These five legislators have set an example that we hope others will emulate.”
The following legislators were recognized:
Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay). Recently elected to her third term, she chairs the House Transportation Committee and serves on the House Agriculture Committee. During the Legislature’s consideration of a minimum wage increase, she was an outspoken advocate for agriculture and critic of how the proposal would affect farmers. She has also supported the right to farm, and investments in transportation systems to help move products to market efficiently.
Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield). Recently elected to his second term, he has maintained a strong relationship with the nursery industry. He met with industry members personally at a local nursery to discuss labor and the minimum wage and listened to concerns that growers raised. The input he received help to shape his opinion, resulting in his vote against the minimum wage increase.
Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River). Recently elected to his fourth term, he serves as vice-chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee and member of the House Revenue Committee. Dedicated to bipartisanship, he has taken tough votes for the association and led the effort to pass a bill in 2013 to make Oregon’s roads safer by creating a driver’s card for residents not eligible for the full license. He has also prioritized support for education.
Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem). He was recently elected to a sixth term in the Oregon House of Representatives, where he chairs the Rural Communities Committee. He has worked hard for the nursery industry and is well versed in the details of agriculture, land use and funding for natural resource programs. He was the chief sponsor of the OAN-designed Estate Tax bill in 2007, which protected the ability of family farms to pass from generation to generation. He was a key player behind the urban and rural reserves process to protect land for farming, and worked with House Speaker Tina Kotek to make the minimum wage bill less harmful to agriculture.
Sen. Fred Girod (R-Stayton). Recently elected to his third term in the Oregon Senate, Girod previously served four years in the Oregon House. He has been a strong supporter of the nursery and greenhouse industry and a respected voice on both sides of the aisle. He takes into consideration before voting how bills would affect agriculture if they became law.