Vidalia Onions

SUSAN WATERS RETIRING FROM VIDALIA ONION COMMITTEE Bob Stafford to Serve as Interim Executive Director; National Search Launched for Waters’ Successor

June 07, 2017

Vidalia, Ga. (June 7, 2017) – The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) today announced that Executive Director Susan Waters is retiring from the organization that oversees marketing, promotion and research for the popular sweet onion grown in the mild climate and unique soil conditions surrounding this south Georgia community.

Bob Stafford, the director of the Vidalia Onion Business Council, has been named interim executive director while the VOC launches a national search for Waters’ successor. Waters had served as VOC executive directorsince 2013.

“We are very grateful and appreciative for Susan’s leadership over the past four years,” said VOC Chairman Troy Bland. “We are fortunate that Bob Stafford will be able to step in while we look for a new leader to handle the day-to-day operations of the committee.”

Waters joined the VOC seven years ago initially serving as the executive assistant to a former executive director before assuming the top role. Stafford is a veteran agriculture industry executive having spent 34 years with various state departments of agriculture. He is a member of Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame and a member of the Georgia Agriculture Vidalia Onion Advisory panel.

The VOC launched its 2017 season April 12, 2017 and is celebrating the silver anniversary of the State of Georgia‘s ownership of the Vidalia onion trademark. The committee also launched a new marketing campaign, “Only Vidalia” to highlight the provenance of the Vidalia onion that has been hand crafted by grower artisans for more than 80 years in Georgia.


About the Vidalia® Onion Committee Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and
marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit

"The only thing better than the onions in Vidalia is the people. They’re great cooks, and friendly."
Bobby Flay - Chef Bobby Flay, "Postcard from Vidalia, Georgia" Bobby Flay Cooks American