Featured Image: 2016 NOA Winter Convention in Savannah, GA, photo by Sherise Jones with OnionBusiness.com
Kim Reddin, director of public and industry relations for the National Onion Association, is one busy lady this month. She’ll be the first featured speaker at the 2017 Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association’s Conference, which runs Wednesday, Nov. 15, and Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.
Kim kicks the conference off with her 8:30 Wednesday morning presentation entitled “What’s Now and What’s Next for Onion Producers and Marketers.”
And she’ll, of course, be front and center at the upcoming National Onion Association Winter Convention in historic Santa Fe, NM, from Nov. 29-Dec. 2., The convention is being hosted at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, and the agenda, which is posted in pdf at https://www.onions-usa.org/img/site_specific/uploads/Santa_Fe_Brochure_2017_w_Fields.pdf, includes committee meetings, a trustees meeting, general session with an educational presentation and several networking and touring opportunities.
For the fitness-minded – and we all should be – there will be a 5K walk/run called, appropriately, the Race to the Reception from 3-4:30 on Wednesday. The Registration Reception itself will be from 6-8:30 p.m. that evening.
And according to the agenda, “Reports and discussion will key on current events affecting the onion industry; topics tied to NOA’s important purpose and its action plans. All participants in onion production, shipping, marketing, and commerce are invited to deliberate onion-related trends, opportunities, and challenges. Marketing insights from the Association’s public relations program will be highlighted.”
The post added, “Invited speakers will address legislative, regulatory, transportation, and trade issues. FDA’s FSMA implementation continues; updates of its industry-altering regulations are planned. Ag sustainability and soil health are featured, as are the crucial roles of IR-4 and impacts of national environmental regulations. Legislative topics include the perennial need for immigration reform, highway transportation modernization, the next farm bill, and urgency of general regulatory relief. Interact with your peers and learn how the issues affect your business, and what you, we, all of us, can do to create positive outcomes.”
Thursday evening’s speaker lineup will feature the expertise of Drew Zabrocki, CEO of Centricity Global, who will look at new technologies that re “rewriting the rulebooks for business worldwide.” Also on hand will be Bob Ehart, Senior Policy and Science Advisor for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, who’ll look at FSMA and food safety policy issues.
Mary Lucero, PhD, Systems Biologist of End-O-Fite Enterprises LLC, will address soil health and the “direct and indirect benefits of restoring natural microbiomes in your soil and how you can set up a lab for less than the cost of a flat screen television.” And Lauren Singh, manager of C.H. Robinson’s Western Growers Transportation Program, will speak to the cost of transportation and the fact that fleets “must implement electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record driver hours of service (HOS) by December 2017.” In addition, Lauren will “give perspective about the ‘Amazon effect’ on the nation’s retail supply chains, Wal-Mart’s recent ‘on-time, in-full’ (OTIF) delivery mandate that pushes the supply chain to up its game.”
Another especially intriguing session is during the Friday, Dec. 1, breakfast when a “Food in Focus” interactive panel discussion will include Mac Johnson from Category Partners, who will join Blue Apron’s Ariane Michas, Onions Etcetera cookbook authors/food photographers Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino. The panel will share “how retailer, meal kit delivery services, recipe development, and food photography are evolving to attract and influence the ‘at-home’ eating trends of a rapidly changing consumer.” And immediately following the session, “NOA will engage Mac in a lively Q & A conversation to take a deeper look at supplier-to-retailer partnerships and category development strategies.”
During the Friday tour of downtown Santa Fe, NOA members will visit three restaurants and meet the chefs.
The agenda noted, “Santa Fe School of Cooking staff will meet us at the Inn and Spa of Loretto for a festive meet-and-greet with its chefs and tour guides. We’ll break into smaller groups. Then we’re off into downtown Santa Fe, a deliciously walkable city, to visit three individual dining establishments exemplifying respected dedication to the culinary arts. We’ll meet the chefs, learn about their personal food philosophies and property themes, and sample a favorite dish! Along the way, we’ll hear tidbits of the unique history of Santa Fe!”
The Friday night banquet will include installation of officers and awards ceremony, and the closing breakfast meeting on Dec. 2 will include current crop reports.