Featured image: A collage of photos from the 2023 Annual Meeting, including Hall of Fame Inductees in the lower right photo: Steve Baker (left) accepting for Jerry Baker with Baker and Murakami Produce Company and Herb Haun (right) with Haun Packing.
As the onion-growing community heads into what looks to be a fruitful year, excitement builds for the highly anticipated Idaho-Malheur County Onion Grower Associations’ Annual Meeting, slated for February 6, 2024. Hosted at the esteemed Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, this event is poised to deliver a comprehensive program addressing various critical aspects essential to the industry’s success.
Stuart Reitz, the Director of the Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, provided insights into the meeting’s agenda, highlighting its diverse and multifaceted approach. “This year’s meeting program will run the gamut from broadscale economics to government regulations to crop production,” Reitz affirmed, emphasizing the breadth of topics slated for discussion.
Expert speakers at the event are set to offer invaluable insights into key areas affecting onion production. Doug Robison, the Idaho President of AgWest Farm Credit, will provide an overview of the farm economy for 2024, offering valuable foresight for growers navigating financial landscapes. Gina Greenway will delve into local concerns, reviewing the costs and returns associated with onion production in the Treasure Valley.
Jen Uranga from Mt. West Ag Consulting will guide attendees through changes in the H-2A guest worker program and other essential employer obligations, providing clarity on compliance and regulatory matters. Marina Denny and Andrew Norwood from Oregon State University will introduce an innovative project aimed at establishing a local recycling facility for drip tape, showcasing the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
On the crop production front, Dr. Uday Sekaran, the newly appointed irrigation and fertility specialist at the Malheur Experiment Station, will share his research findings on irrigation management tailored specifically for onions, offering invaluable insights for maximizing yield and quality. Dr. Lindsey du Toit from Washington State University will provide an overview of the national “Stop the Rot” project, focused on combating bacterial bulb rots of onions and their management.
Dr. James Woodhall from the University of Idaho research station in Parma will discuss other diseases affecting onions, including Stemphylium leaf blight, which posed challenges in some fields in 2023. Dr. Joel Felix from the Malheur Experiment Station will raise awareness of Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp, two potentially devastating invasive weeds recently found in the Treasure Valley and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
In addition to the presentations, attendees can explore a large trade show featuring some 50 vendors showcasing the latest innovations and services. The event will culminate with the honoring of the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame at the luncheon.
With an agenda packed with expertise and knowledge, the Idaho-Malheur County Onion Grower Associations’ Annual Meeting promises to be a vital event empowering onion producers in the region.
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View the Agenda below and download the agenda in a PDF version HERE.