Featured Image: Dr. Bill Dean, vice president of Quality Assurance and Sustainability at River Point Farms in Irrigon, OR accepts PNVA “Friend of the Industry” award
It was great to share our real-time photo gallery of the Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association’s annual conference in Kennewick, WA, on Nov. 16, and this week we’re sharing some of the great info we were given at what is described as one of the Northwest’s largest vegetable producer conventions.
The venue was Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, and the opening day of the event is called “Onion Day.” This year attendees were given a full plate of presentations that included everything from research on disease control to retail
and foodservice marketing. The show also featured a terrific tradeshow, and we were impressed with the wide array of vendors and the variety of products and services displayed.
A very familiar face kicked off Onion Day — Kim Reddin from the National Onion Association gave us an overview of the NOA and its membership benefits. Kim shared the rich history of the association, which began in 1913, telling attendees that the NOA provides not only a voice for U.S. onion producers but also services “boots on the ground” for government relations. Moreover, it is continually implementing new marketing and promotion programs to increase consumer onion consumption.
Another event highlight was a presentation provided by Dr. Bill Cobb of Cobb Consulting. Dr. Cobb’s informative talk covered abiotic issues that impact onions, and he shared colorful and entertaining stories, including his passion for race cars.
After a full morning of presentations on various research topics, attendees headed for the tradeshow and visits with more than 110 vendors. The buzz on the trade show floor was largely related to growing interest in organics and products and services related to organic vegetable production.
Vendor Stacy Hasegawa with Germains Seed Technology said, “We work closely with many of the seed suppliers and producers in this region, and we have had more and more inquiries on organic seed treatments, particularly in the Northwest.”
At the event’s luncheon that day, WSU’s Tim Waters presented Dr. Bill Dean with the Annual “Friend of the Industry” award. Bill is vice president of Quality Assurance and Sustainability at River Point Farms in Irrigon, OR, and he noted for his contributions in research and
technology in potato and onion production along with production and post-harvest handling and storage experience with several vegetables.
Keynote speaker was WSU’s Chad Kruger, who provided a data-packed presentation on what can be expected in the future for Northwest weather patterns.
The afternoon continued with more informative sessions and concluded with an update on the activities and plans for Columbia Basin Onion Research Committee, which continues to grow in numbers with expanding services for the region’s onion growers.
Many of the comments we heard from growers and vendors seemed to echo those of Zane Beams, sales representative with Champion Seed Company. He said, “Without a doubt, this is the premier growers event in the Northwest. The convention covers all of the vegetable crops, and if you want to see customers and get the latest information, this is the place to be.”
If you missed our original photo gallery post, you can view it here: