OAN’s Willamette Chapter just made a sizable deposit into its educational fund — and an investment in the green industry’s future workforce.
The chapter raised $4,700 at its annual plant sale, which took place this past April 26–27 at the Oregon Ag Fest in Salem. The money will be used to grow and train a new generation of nursery workers.
Over the past few years, the chapter has made several contributions to the Horticultural Program at Chemeketa Community College (CCC). To date, the chapter has contributed $17,500, which has been used to purchase a pickup truck, various tools and planting supplies, new benches, irrigation and HVAC systems.
For the third year, the chapter contracted with the CCC students to grow annual flowering baskets, which were in full bloom. “This is a good learning experience for the students and the public loves the product,” Val Tancredi, president of the Willamette Chapter, said.
The majority of the beautiful plant material sold at the event was donated by chapter members. The Willamette Chapter extended its thanks to the donors who made this another successful fundraiser: Adelman Peony Gardens, Alpha Nursery, Arbor Grove Nursery, Blue Heron Farms, Brentano’s Tree Farm, Heritage Seedlings, Holden Wholesale Growers, J & S Farm & Nursery, Kraemer’s Nursery, St. Christopher Nursery, Tree Frog Nursery, Van’s Nursery, Van Essen Nursery, Weeks Berry Nursery, Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas, and Youngblood Nursery.
The chapter also thanked the booth volunteers — Brenda Knobloch, Denece Messenger, Janet Poot, Victoria Ernst, Kyle Fessler, David Malcolm, Bradley Weeks, Robert and Eric Van Klaveren, Josh Zielinski, Val and Joanne Tancredi.
The chapter gave special thanks to Alpha Nursery and Brentano’s Tree Farm for their help setting up and loading trucks, and to the members of the Future Farmers of America’s Gervais High School Chapter for their help delivering plants to customers’ vehicles, watering plants and keeping the booth clean.