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VIDALIA, GA — The Vidalia Onion Committee always brings something special to the table to market its annual crop. The season will begin April 25 and Whitney Miller, the first winner of "America's Masterchef" has signed on to promote the crop this year.

Miller was not only the first Masterchef winner — she is the youngest to date, taking the title at age 22. Now an accomplished author and blogger, Miller talked with our Maggie Giuffrida about her involvement with the world's most-famous onion.

The "V is for Vidalia" marketing campaign will continue as well — with this year's take on theme being "V-Inspired" — with point-of-sale promotional materials and more good stuff in the pipeline. VOC Executive Director Susan Waters shares the details.

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VIDALIA, GA — Early season weather problems have been overcome and the region is expecting a normal season with a crop that could be above average in quality despite some early stand losses that diminished volume slightly.

Now that's assuming "the cow doesn't walk over the cliff," as one grower put it. Meaning barring unexpected bad weather or events, the deal should come off in excellent shape.

Across the board the region expects to produce roughly 11,000 acres. Last year’s crop was a little over 12,000 acres, typical for the deal.

It will likely be ready well ahead of the April 25 start date set by Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. Most growers say they will have market-ready onions between April 10 and April 15.

A Vidalia advisory council is expected to recommend that Black move this year's start date up, as state law allows. If he doesn't, there will still be Vidalias coming to market but labeled as sweet onions or possibly in some cases "Georgia sweets."

Stay tuned to The Produce News for updates.

 

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HOLLYWOOD, FL — Produce for Kids has raised some $5.7 million for children's charities since its inception in 2002. The organization said thanks and unveiled its plans and new programs for the 2016 campaign at its annual reception at the Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure expo here March 4.

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HOLLYWOOD, FL — Three yacht parties in 24 hours? Oh yeah — and that was even before the Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure expo officially kicked off. While Southern Exposure is one of the industry's more power-packed business gatherings, it's also renowned for its social side.

In this final installment of our Southern Exposure video series, we take a look at the south Florida social scene, from those yacht parties to the elegant luau-themed March 4 gala that was the highlight of SEPC's momentary diversion to south Florida (next year's expo will be at one of Orlando's premium resort destinations before returning to Tampa the following year) and show there ain't no party like an SEPC party.

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HOLLYWOOD, FL — From Led Zeppelin to lizards, it wasn't your typical golf tournament. That was made even more apparent by the golf ball cannon available to duffers on one hole.

Regardless, about 280 turned out March 3 for the annual Tom Page Golf Classic, which officially launches Southern Exposure. The Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation, FL, may never be the same....