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Idaho F&V Assn. holds annual convention

by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | July 29, 2010
Held June 10-12 at McCall, ID's historic Shore Lodge overlooking Payette Lake, the Idaho-Oregon Fruit & Vegetable Association convention brought several dozen association members and companions to this year’s 48th annual event.

According to Candi Fitch, executive director of the association, "Attendance for the convention and annual meeting was the largest it has been for several years."

Idaho-Eastern Oregon is one of the larger onion growing regions in the United States, shipping about 30 percent of the onions consumed domestically. The nonprofit association has a membership of about 40 agricultural companies, the largest percentage of which are onion shippers. The balance is comprised of area fruit shippers. Adding to the overall numbers are approximately 80 industry support companies as associate members.

The members and associate members termed this year’s event the “Welcome Home” convention, Ms. Fitch said. “For 37 years, the IOFVA held its annual convention and business meeting at Shore Lodge in McCall, and then about 10 years ago the association, due to Shore Lodge closing its doors to remodel, moved the annual event to the Sun Valley [ID] area,” she said.

Ms. Fitch said that several attempts were made to move the convention back to McCall, and in 2010, “[IOFVA] President Marc Bybee and the board of directors were successful in making that happen.”

Convention co-chairpeople were Chad and Tracy Faaborg of Industrial Ventilation Inc., and Gregg and Randee Garrett of Boise Inc. Packaging. Changes were made to the activities agenda this year, Ms. Fitch said, noting specifically that transportation members hosted tables for the Texas hold-em poker tournament and the addition of a first Fruits vs. Veggies softball tournament. “The fruit side took home the traveling trophy,” she said.

Other diversions included a golf scramble, tennis competition, canoe cruise, mushroom hunt and basketball free-throw challenge.

Additional weekend highlights included Friday morning’s industry breakfast keynote speaker Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Friday evening saw the members honor Stanley Robison of Robison Fruit Ranch.

Mr. Robison, president of the association from 1967 to 1968, detailed for attendees how he started in the industry as a young man and where it has progressed over the years.

The association held its annual business meeting on Saturday morning, and the weekend closed with a family buffet dinner that featured comedian Kermit Apio from Seattle.