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Colorado Onion Association Disbands, CFVGA to Carry on Onion Research

­For Immediate Release:  Feb. 1, 2022
Contact:             Marilyn Bay Drake   303-594-3827  admin@coloradoproduce.org    Robert Sakata  RTsakata@sakatafarms.com

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the leadership of the Colorado Onion Association (COA) to establish an onion committee and oversee COA funds raised for onion research. After serving Colorado onion growers for over 25 years, the COA has voted to disband.

“The COA, through support from sponsors and voluntary assessments from its members, has been able to support research for onion production in Colorado that included onion variety trials as well as weed, water, pest and nutrient management studies,” said Robert Sakata, past COA president. “The COA, working with former Colorado State University Plant Pathologist Dr. Howard Schwartz, was instrumental in forming and leading nationwide research partnerships that are active and growing today.”

Examples of the COA’s research legacy are the National Allium Research Conference (NARC), the W-3008 multistate research project on integrated onion pest and disease management and the ‘Stop the Rot’ research project. All three research entities will meet in Denver, Feb. 28-March 1, https://alliumnet.com/2022-annual-meetings/ alongside CFVGA’s 8th Annual Conference: https://pheedloop.com/CFVGA22/site/

“The COA’s support of onion research has had impactful and long-lasting effects that will benefit the entire industry for years to come,” said Michael Bartolo, Colorado State University vegetable crops specialist.

Although still an important crop in Colorado, onion production has declined significantly over the last five years with a dramatic decrease in commercial-scale onion growers. Due to decreasing membership and a disruption in COA management, the COA decided to dissolve.

Through an agreement with CFVGA that is in accordance with the COA bylaws, remaining COA funds have been transferred to the CFVGA. The CFVGA onion committee will provide the CFVGA Board of Directors with recommendations for the best use of these funds for continued support of the Colorado onion industry as well as look at opportunities to continue to fund this important work.  Anyone interested in serving on that committee should contact the CFVGA at admin@coloradoproduce.org

“This is a great opportunity for the CFVGA to build on the great work they are doing and continue to use these funds as leverage to bring in outside research dollars to Colorado,” said Sakata.

The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.

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