Jan 14, 2024
National Onion Association taps new president

Onion industry veteran Jared Gutierrez, who likes to say he has “dirt in his veins,” has taken the helm of the National Onion Association (NOA).

The promotion to industry association president follows two years serving as the organization’s first vice president.

Jared Gutierrez
Jared Gutierrez

For the last 30 years, Gutierrez’s career has taken him from onion farmer to general manager of Volm Companies’ Pasco, Washington, office.

He will serve as the organization’s president for the next two years.

Gutierrez succeeds Delbert Gehrke, of AgriNorthwest in Kennewick, Washington. Barry Vculek, of Four Star Ag in Oakes, North Dakota, moves to first vice president. Volm is a packaging material and equipment supplier.

As NOA president, Gutierrez plans to advocate in Washington for the nation’s onion farmers, and agriculture in general.

“I have dirt in my veins,” Gutierrez said in a news release. “I love farming, I love advocating. Being in the NOA, I’ve learned to advocate, especially when I go to Washington, D.C., and talk with politicians to fight for the farmers of America and helping them understand what farmers of America go through.”

From onion farmer to shed manager and everything in between, his industry knowledge continues to launch him forward. After serving several years as general manager of Columbia Basin Onion in Hermiston, Oregon, Gutierrez was named general manager of Volm’s Pasco office last summer. He credits the move to his networking ability and industry knowledge.

Gutierrez looks to the position as one in which he can relate to all members of the NOA, from farmer to equipment dealer to seed sales.

“I know how to grow it, I know how to farm it, store it, cure it, run it to warehouse, package it, ship it and sell it,” Gutierrez said in the release. “I know which equipment to use, which bags to use, etc.”

Gutierrez knows the onion market; he knows its quirks, where to fill gaps, and how to build sustainability. What he’d like to do is cement American onion farmers’ role in regaining its share of the global onion industry, according to the release.

National Onion Association NOA“We used to be a net exporter of onions and now we’re a net importer,” he said in the release. “How do we regain our share in the world? The onions grown here in the U.S. from all varieties to all sizes, we grow bigger onions here. We can produce, we know how to farm.

“We need to convince retailers to purchase local onions,” Gutierrez said in the release

As the NOA’s new president, Gutierrez promises advocacy for the American farmer. He promises to continue to teach politicians the plight of the American farmer and fight to help them survive, especially the small family farm.

“That was a big thing for them in my recruiting process,” Gutierrez said in the release. “It doesn’t take me out of the industry. I’m almost involved more in working with all the farmers on a different level. I’m their supporter. I’ll help each one of them.”

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