Fresh Food

VOC Debuts Service Excellence Award

[caption id="attachment_36027" align="alignright" width="283"]VOC-DerekLevy (l-r) Derek Levey and Aries Haygood; Derek Levy received the Service Excellence Award[/caption] There was a party in Vidalia, Georgia. The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) held its annual banquet this month where it debuted its Service Excellence Award. Awarded to Derek Levy, a local account manager for Bayer Cropscience, the Service Excellence award was established to recognize dedication and diligence to the Vidalia Onion Industry. “Derek Levy has contributed so much time and effort to our industry, the Service Excellence Award was well deserved as it recognizes his passion, dedication and ongoing service,” says Jason Herndon, VOC chairman who presented the awards. The organization also announced its Grower of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee during the “Denim and Diamonds” themed banquet. The 2014 Grower of the Year was awarded to McLain Farms, a 2nd-generation family farm, owned and operated by brothers, Brett and Rusty McLain. McLain Farms began growing Vidalia onions in 1985 with just 12 acres and built their first cold storage in 1994. McLain Farms has continued to grow and expand its facilities, which now grows over 375 acres of onions. [caption id="attachment_36026" align="alignleft" width="229"]VOC-award-McLainFarms (l-r) Rusty McLain and Brett McLain were recognized as Grower of the Year.[/caption] “I was honored to present the Grower of the Year Award to McLain Farms who recognize excellence in quality, production and service to the Vidalia Onion Committee,” says Herndon. Senator Jack Hill was also inducted into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame for his instrumental work in establishing the Vidalia Onion Research Center. Senator Hill was instrumental in solidifying the collaboration between the University of Georgia College of Agriculture, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. In fact, he valued this cooperation as an example of how State departments should look for ways to work together.

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