By René Hardwick
National Onion Association
The election is over, and so far, you’ve survived the pandemic over the last 10 months. Many in the National Onion Association figure it’s time to try return to a bit of normalcy to continue the important work of supporting the onion industry.
That’s why we’ve opted to hold an in-person convention Dec. 6-9 in Cheyenne, Wyo., a perfect meeting place that has equal access to all of our members throughout the country. Our annual meetings are always a way for our membership to come together, network, learn and discuss important topics facing the onion industry.
This year has thrown our industry an interesting few curveballs, and know that we must sit down and have some critical conversations about some looming issues important to all of us. This year, that includes foreign trade, Canadian and Mexican imports, Coronavirus relief, Panamanian onion restrictions and food safety research.
“We really need to have strong attendance at this meeting,” said NOA President Doug Bulgrin. “Our business and the issues don’t stop because of the virus. The board and members need to meet in person.”
Please register your attendance by Nov. 16. Non-members are welcome but must be sponsored by an existing NOA member. The registration fee for all is $500 a piece.
The NOA will not take this meeting lightly along the lines of the continuing pandemic. In public areas, the hotel does require face coverings, and there is enough room to allow proper social distancing in group meetings and dinners.
“We can have our annual meeting and meet all the requirements of the state and hotel as far as social distancing and face coverings when needed,” said Greg Yielding, executive vice president and chief executive of the NOA. “We’re taking all the precautions and we’ll be able to accommodate everyone’s needs within guidelines.”
The agenda so far has yet to be fully set, but we have secured the attendance of Ted McKinney, the USDA undersecretary for trade, as a main speaker. We also will have representation and discussions by researchers looking into ways of curtailing pathways for pathogens to infect onions. Our Banquet Dinner and Raffle will be held on Monday, Dec. 7 at the hotel. During that time we will recognize special achievements of some of our members, including our members who recruited three or more new members into the organization this year. Randi Svaty of Northwest Farm Credit Services in Ontario, Ore., will receive her first award for this accomplishment, and Kimi Maag, of Jamieson Produce in Vale, Ore., will receive her second award. We also will have new awards: Legislative Advocate of the Year will be and the Promotions Champion award. And don’t forget the raffle. Each year, we award someone $4,500 in our raffle.
On Tuesday, we’ll go to the Bunkhouse Bar & Grill, just minutes west of Cheyenne for dinner, some live music and dancing. On Wednesday, Dec. 9, we will have our traditional board meeting and crop report breakfast.
We hope you can all make it to this year’s event.
Click image to download PDF of flier.