Bland Farms buys electronic sorters

Delbert Bland, president of Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms, said the company recently upgraded its grading line with three new electronic sorters that will allow for even more control over the packing process.

“We’re always adding new bagging machines and other things. Those changes need to be made to meet the demand because customers expect onions to be packed correctly,” Bland said.


Desert Spring Produce adds shipping facility

Desert Spring Produce added a shipping location in Hatch N.M., which will complement the facility in Array, N.M., according to Bill Coombs, salesman.

“We’ll be running out of both sheds, which will give us another packing line and increase our capabilities to pack more product,” Coombs said.

The new facility has about 65,000 square feet and will be ready for the 2014 deal. Coombs said the company plans to use each location for a more specific area of focus.

“We’ll be focusing more on the Array shed as being the consumer pack shed with the new Hatch shed more focused on bulk cartons,” he said.


Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee hosts outreach events

The Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee/USA Onions has several outreach events planned for the year, including a breakfast at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference, according to Sherise Jones, marketing director for the committee.

“We’re hosting a breakfast for the first time on Sunday, July 27,” Jones said.

In August, the committee plans to continue the tradition of hosting a customer reception as part of the Midwest Produce Show at the Weber Grill restaurant in Chicago.

Invitations are sent out for these special events, but Jones said information will also be available on the website. RSVPs are required.

The committee will also host its VIP Onion Tour again this fall, for the 13th year.

The tour is scheduled for Sept. 25-27 and application will be accepted through August.

Information can be found at the committee’s website,


Mesilla Valley Produce upgrading website

T.J. Runyan, owner of Mesilla Valley Produce, Hatch, N.M., said the company is updating its website.

“We’re making it more user-friendly so we can get our story out there to consumers,” he said.

Before the website was pretty basic, according to Runyan. Once relaunched, the new site will hopefully provide a clearer picture of the company’s mission.

Along with the website revamp, the company plans to start tying in social media.

“It will help us get our message out to customers,” Runyan said.


ProSource Inc. grows, adds personnel

ProSource Inc., Hailey, Idaho, is growing, according to Corey Griswold, president.

The growth has led to some recent personnel changes.

Noilyn Hogan, who was hired about six months ago as a sales assistant, is now handling all international sales.

 Brian Davis, an industry veteran, was hired near the beginning of April to handle mostly fresh onion sales.

 In addition, last year the company’s owners started Vertical Logistics Inc., based out of Meridian, Idaho, to handle the transportation and shipping of its own sales, as well as of outside clients.


Shuman Produce hires three

Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga., recently added three to its staff, according to a news release.

Robert Franklin was hired as logistics manager. He formerly worked in the transportation industry and will now oversee daily logistics and transportation, according to the release.

Erin Waters was hired as sales coordinator. She joins Shuman from the environmental services industry after serving as a customer service specialist.

In addition, Kathy Griggs was hired as accounting administrator. She has more than 15 years of experience.

Adam Brady was also promoted to director of marketing, after serving as marketing coordinator since 2009.


Young Guns/Billy the Kid Produce adds packing line

Deming, N.M.-based Young Guns Produce Inc. and Billy the Kid Produce have taken steps to improve, said Chris Franzoy, president of Young Guns.

Young Guns is the exclusive sales agent for Billy the Kid Produce.

Billy the Kid recently added an automated packing line, which marks the third packing line added by the company over the past three years.

The company also installed the Famous accounting and PTI software, which Franzoy expects will produce help grower reports in real time and trace lot codes in minutes.

Other improvements were made at the farm level.

In addition, Dale Lindstedt was hired earlier this year as logistics coordinator and Peter Fultana as account specialist, both at Young Guns, Franzoy said.