ONIONS were front and centre in Ulverstone, Tasmania, in October as Onions Australia hosted its annual conference.
The Onions Australia AGM, Levy Payers’ Day and Reg Miller Awards were held at Pier 01, with more than 50 industry members attending.
The conference kicked off with a tour of Dobmac Machinery, followed by a grower walk to inspect onion trials.
One of the event’s highlights was the presentation of the Reg Miller Award to Lewis Lydon – a long time contributor to the Australian onion industry.
Life memberships were also presented to industry stalwarts Tim Groom, Dean Metcalf, Steve Rathjen and Peter Ivankovich.
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Keynote speaker for the awards dinner was Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Export Facilitation Group’s Ian Locke.
The Levy Payers’ Day featured a host of speakers, with presentations from Peracto, Nielsen, Monsanto Seminis, Terranova, EE Muir and Sons, AgNova, FMC, Safe Ag Systems and Hort Innovation.
The keynote speaker for the day was international onion expert Fred Crowe.
Dr Crowe retired in 2007 as Emeritus Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at the Oregon State University.
He now serves as a consultant on garlic, onions, carrots, peppermint and other crops, and his main clients are large Western US-based garlic and onion companies together with many small garlic producers both domestically and internationally.
During his time in Australia as a guest of Onions Australia, Dr Crowe gave presentations at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s open day, local industry and growers at Forth Football Club, the Tasmanian Onion Agronomy Group, and visited numerous farms.
Onions Australia chairman, Peter Shadbolt, said the annual conference was exceptionally well attended, with growers travelling from throughout Australia to take part.
“We pride ourselves on bringing together all aspects of industry to receive updates about the latest happenings in the world of onions,” he said.
“It was a real honour to be able to present Lewis Lydon with the Reg Miller Award, and great to see some industry stalwarts receive life membership to OA.
“Once again the Tasmanian industry were exceptional hosts and helped us to run a very successful and informative event.”