Hello everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Josh Robinson. Alongside my parents, Rick and Roxanne, and brother, Chris, I am a co-owner of Robinson Nursery in McMinnville, Oregon.
Mom and Dad started the business in 1984. I consider myself blessed to have been raised on the farm and as a part of the nursery community. My earliest memory is playing in the sawdust beds with Chris. We would stand at the top of the pile and pretend to be various employees, placing imaginary bundles of freshly dug, bare root plants in the sawdust to heal.
Even though Chris would occasionally convince me I was the bundle that needed to get “healed in,” I can pinpoint that the joy from these childhood games was the beginning of our nursery journey together.
Chris and I would spend many summers working in propagation, learning where the life of the plants at our nursery began. From the moment our propagator showed me it is possible to take a stick with roots and graft a cultivar to it, I was hooked. This is where my love for the plants and our world-changing employees was born.
In 2004, I went to study business at Linfield College in McMinnville. I graduated in 2008 and had my sights set on starting my own business in the bubble tea and coffee industry. After a very trying year, with many valuable lessons learned, my path to becoming a nurseryman continued and I was back at the nursery in 2009.
I experienced all the jobs the nursery had to offer and found my place in a customer service role. Here, a co-worker wisely encouraged me to get involved with the OAN. My first experience was sitting on the OAN Marketing Committee. From there, I got involved with the Sunset Chapter’s activities.
My deep appreciation for the OAN began at the chapter meetings. It blew my mind that I was invited to spend time with some of the best in the industry. The wealth of knowledge and everyone’s willingness to share it is a true testament to the character of this industry and what makes us so successful.
Engaging and investing in the next generation of growers is a value I hold close to my heart. When the OAN began a networking platform for young nursery people at the Farwest Show, I knew I had found my home. I soon dove into the Government Relations Committee, the Membership Committee, and then the Board of Directors. Eventually, I was asked to join the Executive Committee. Through all these experiences, I have learned how fundamental this association is to the success of our industry. We have someone watching out for us when new rules and regulations are being formed by a distant government branch. We have a voice with significant influence when legislation is being drafted. The presence of the OAN allows each of us the ability to do what we do best in an environment that would simply not be possible without diligent advocacy.
I would have never got to this point without the full support of my family, most importantly my wife Ashley. I am excited to be an advocate for you and to be a part of the impact the OAN generates. I am looking forward to the challenges this year will bring, and I am grateful to you for allowing me to be your president.
I would like to give a special thank you to our outgoing president, Kyle Fessler of Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas Inc., and his wife, Molly.
Kyle, your ability to be efficient, incredibly thoughtful, and thorough while representing all our members is something I admire and will strive to do. Molly, thank you for your support and putting Kyle in a position to allow our industry to benefit from his leadership.