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Bland Farms Agronomist Omar Cruz Recognized as Grower of the Year at Industry Awards Banquet

GLENNVILLE, GA: It was a joyous and unexpected surprise for Omar Cruz when he was named “Grower of the Year” during the 2018 Vidalia Onion Committee awards banquet on February 10.

“I was not expecting it,” says Cruz. “I appreciate what the committee did—I put my heart into these crops. I love the Bland family and each of these growers because they have all touched my life.”

Cruz earned his degree in agronomy from the University of Havana in La Habana, Cuba, and he has been farming with Bland Farms since 2005. He gladly shares his vast knowledge with various Vidalia Onion growers in the surrounding counties, something the Vidalia Onion Committee took particular note of.

Bob Stafford, interim executive director of the committee and director of the Vidalia Onion Business Council, said “Omar Cruz has been a god-send in the industry, and everyone calls him for advice to share his knowledge. We are very happy with him.”

Omar has hosted numerous onion trials that have yielded valuable information to benefit the Vidalia industry. Aries Haygood, last year’s recipient of “Grower of the Year” notes, “Omar really cares about this crop and he is a huge advocate for Vidalia Onions and this industry. I couldn’t be more pleased and excited to see him receive this award.”

The Vidalia Onion Committee gives the annual “Grower of the Year” award to a farm or grower in order to recognize overall achievement and success as a producer of Vidalia Onions. A particular emphasis is placed on quality production and compliance with the Marketing Order, in addition to meeting specific requirements.

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