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Seismic shift coming to National Onion Association with Mininger's retirement

A seismic shift is about to occur at the National Onion Association as an era comes to a close. Come April, former onion grower Wayne Mininger, who hast spent the better part of his professional career at the helm of the National Onion Association, will move to Texas and headlong into retirement.WayneHeadshotWayne Mininger

His replacement, Greg Yielding, has officially assumed the executive vice president role at the NOA. Yielding spent the past 14 years traveling the world marketing rice, the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. Now, he’ll bring his global trade expertise and strong relationship-building skills to onions, the third-most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States.

Mininger will stick around through March to help bring Yielding up to speed on all things onion.

Yielding hails from Jackson, MO, where he served simultaneously as the director of emerging markets and special projects for the U.S. Rice Producers Association, as the executive director of the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, and as the executive director for the Arkansas Rice Growers Association. In one capacity or another, he’s been in rice for 14 years, and he feels it gives him a kinship with the farming community.

 “I like representing the farmers and growers,” Yielding said. “I believe that everyone needs to be represented, and representing farmers is important for the country.”

YieldingPhotoGreg YieldingYielding is used to wearing many hats. While serving as constable in North Little Rock from 1994 to 2004, he also served on the North Little Rock City Council, from 2000 to 2004. He served as the chairman of the Jackson Historic District Commission throughout last year.

“I enjoy helping people and trying to make things better,” Yielding said.

He relocated to Greeley, CO, the NOA’s headquarters, at the end of December. He and Mininger are readying for an upcoming trip (mid-February) to Washington DC, to meet new legislators and policy makers on behalf of onions. That trip will be a united onion front with Mininger, Yielding, NOA President Doug Stanley, Vice President Doug Bulgrin, former president Kay Riley, and trustee Barry Vculek. Yielding is already familiarizing himself with the onion industry’s interests in ag transportation, and trade and labor issues.  He’s also going to keep abreast of all the continued regulations plaguing the industry. He said he wants to work toward ensuring regulations are what the industry can live with and are actually making a difference.

Mininger, meanwhile, is readying for a big move to greener pastures. He and his wife, Ardith, plan to move to a small area east of Austin in southern Texas. There, they’ll be an hour and a half away from their grandkids and start a new adventure.

Mininger is ready to pass the torch.

“I’m confident Greg will be a great successor to take on the onion world,” Mininger said. “I know when I hang up my hat, the NOA will be in good hands.”

Yielding's wife is named Caroline; he has a 7-year-old son named Elisha and a 23-year-old son, Zachary, who is in the U.S. Marines.