The upcoming National Onion Association’s Summer Convention, set for July 13-16 at Niagara Falls, NY, will bring attendees up to date on current events and issues within the industry and will also provide a spectacular setting for sightseeing and tours.
Registration for the convention closes on June 20 if you register on line at https://www.onions-usa.org/members/noaconventions. Mailed registration forms must be received prior to June 20, should you choose that method. General registration is $475 per person and includes seven meals, three receptions, speakers, tours and more.
The Sheraton at the Falls is the event venue for receptions, general sessions and meetings as well as the Friday night banquet. Discounted lodging is available for NOA attendees, and early booking is strongly recommended. Keep in mind Niagara Falls draws 12 million visitors annually, and July is one of the busiest times of the year. Also, you’re reminded to bring a current U.S. passport if you intend to cross into Canada during your stay.
Kicking off the convention is the traditional Registration/Reception from 6-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, and Registration will also continue from 8 a.m.-noon on Thursday. A Meetings Day Breakfast will be provided Thursday morning, followed by Committee Meetings from 8:30-10 a.m. The Promotions Committee will meet at 8 a.m.
Members are welcome to attend the Trustees Meeting from 10:15-11:30 a.m., and lunch will run from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the General Session and Educational Presentations. Among the topics to be covered are trends, challenges and public relations program updates. Speakers will explain some of the current political realities, looking at election-year maneuvers and immigration reform, as well as regulatory matters, including the FSMA rules and how implementation is likely to affect the onion industry and any possible policy shift within the EPA.
From 4-6 p.m. a special guided walking tour will leave the hotel for Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park, where you’ll take the elevator down to board the boats for the scenic “Maid of the Mist” tour on river below American and Canadian Falls. That spectacular tour will be followed from 7-9 p.m. by a very special “food tour” set in the Atrium of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, where food stations will feature students’ “Epicurean Arts.”
Friday morning gets underway with the Top of the Falls guided walking tour for spouses and friends. Convention attendees will be given a combined Agriculture/Attractions Tour, with buses leaving at 7 a.m. and breakfast served in Elba, NY. You’ll visit a family business focused on onion harvesting and packing equipment, then move on to a packing facility that will be preparing early transplant onions for market. Next you’ll tour an onion farm in the famed New York muck lands, breaking for lunch at the Erie Canal in Gasport, where an onion sorting and packaging equipment company is headquartered.
Friday afternoon activities are great – you choose either a white water jet boat experience that takes you through Devil’s Hole Class V rapids and the Whirlpool, OR you can take a tour of Old Fort Niagara, an interactive site that shows life during the country’s founding in the 1700s.
The Banquet Reception is Friday evening, starting at 7 p.m., followed by the Banquet at 7:45.
Saturday brings the Closing Breakfast Meeting and Crop Reports.
For additional information, contact our friends at the National Onion Association, 970-353-5895, and be sure to register while there’s still time.