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The Democratic legislators were recognized by the Oregon Association of Nurseries for their work.

Suzanne BonamiciThe Oregon Association of Nurseries announced Wednesday, Nov. 19, that Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici are among the nine legislators recognized by the trade group as "Friends of Nurseries."

The Friends of Nurseries award serves to acknowledge state and federal officials who listen to concerns and help protect the interests of Oregon's nursery and greenhouse industry, which is the state's top agricultural sector with nearly $1 billion in annual sales, according to the Wednesday press release from OAN.

"Our products beautify the world while delivering numerous health and environmental benefits, but our growers face numerous challenges having to do with labor availability, water supply, regulation, taxation, market access and more," OAN President Jim Simnitt states in the release. "We like to recognize officials on both sides of the aisle who put in the effort to help us find construction solutions."

Johnson was recognized for her "strong advocacy for industry concerns and objections regarding the business activity tax that harms agricultural operations," the release noted, adding that she is "an advocate for reasonable solutions to the debate on climate/carbon legislation."

Betsy Johnson"Oregon's nursery, greenhouse and Christmas tree industries are national, if not global, leaders and incredibly important to the economy of the state," Johnson stated in the release. "I am honored to be associated with this important segment of Oregon's agricultural sector. We need to protect the high quality of nursery products and strive to keep production costs reasonable."

Bonamici, who represents Oregon's First Congressional District, which includes Columbia County, was also among the lawmakers named as Friends of Nurseries. Bonamici "has been a consistent voice in support of industry priorities," the release indicated, adding that she has "been willing to cross party lines to support nursery priorities."

OAN, based in Wilsonville, represents more than 700 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Oregon's ornamental horticultural industry is the state's largest agri-

cultural commodity, with

annual sales of $996 million in 2018.


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