For more than four generations, farming has been an integral part of our family. It’s in our blood.
My father, Jay Nelson, decided to leave his father’s turkey farming operation in Utah as a young man, determined to leave its challenging work behind. But after successfully running his orthodontic practice for years, he recognized that no other lifestyle instilled values, discipline and a strong work ethic in his five children like farming. So, he purchased a farm in Woodburn, Oregon, and we began growing hazelnuts. We later transitioned to nursery stock.
Alongside my father, my brother, Brent, was an integral part of this change. It was an exciting new world for our family. It was also a whole lot of work.
My mother led by example. She could easily outwork any of us kids. I can’t count how many times she would tell us that “the early bird gets the worm” and “many hands make light work.” Eventually, my mother’s words sunk in. Now, I find myself teaching my six children the same things my mother and father tried taught me years before.
I’d like to introduce myself and express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve as your Oregon Association of Nurseries president for 2023. My name is Todd Nelson. I am the owner of Bountiful Farms Nursery Inc. in Woodburn. My wife Lisa and I have been married for 28 wonderful years. We have six children whom we adore, and who keep us busier than we thought possible. They are our joy, and I’m so appreciative of their support and love.
Over the years, my business partner Blake Nelson and I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people who have become family. They are the heartbeat to our purpose to beautify the world’s landscape with beautiful and unique nursery products.
I look forward to working alongside the OAN Executive Committee for 2022–23, including President-Elect Amanda Staehely, Vice President Wes Bailey, Treasurer Ben Verhoeven, Secretary Patrick Newton and Member at Large Darcy Ruef. I’m particularly looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Farwest Show next August!
Much of what we do in the OAN could not be accomplished without the passion and dedication of the OAN staff. Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do.
I’d also like to express my sincere appreciation to Mike Hiller, who encouraged me to become involved in the OAN several years ago. This has afforded me the opportunity to come to know some of the giants in our industry, such as Jim Simnitt, Kyle Fessler and, of course, our outgoing president, Josh Robinson. These individuals have led with confidence through unprecedented times, such as navigating through a global pandemic, with its accompanying supply chain issues, demand for product and rising costs. They have been faithful stewards and vocal advocates for the OAN, its members and the nursery industry. I am grateful for their generous mentorship and their devotion to our industry.
When I joined the OAN board five years ago, I was blown away by how much really happened behind the scenes. Witnessing firsthand the selfless service and dedication to helping members of our nursery industry has inspired me to want to do my part.
We live in a state of ever-changing rules and regulations. The OAN is a powerful voice for good in safeguarding our industry. One of my objectives is to bring transparency to how and what the OAN can do for you. Together, we can protect our industry now and for future generations of growers by fostering family-like support as growers and OAN members and create strong financial backing. Together, our voices will be heard as we champion ideals that are best for our people and
I look forward to meeting many more friends while carrying out this unique opportunity for service.