The Bayer Vegetable Seeds team wishes to announce the retirement of Seminis Vegetable Seeds Onion Breeding Lead, Rick Jones.
For the last 20 years Rick has led a successful onion breeding program for Australia and New Zealand, in addition to other onion growing regions around the world. He has contributed his insight and expertise to the launch of several onion varieties across the region which have met and exceeded customer demands.
“Rick has been an ongoing advocate for the onion breeding program here in New Zealand,” said Commercial Operations Manager in New Zealand, Mark Dunning. “Through his leadership and guidance, our team has been able to develop a successful pipeline of superior onion hybrids for onion markets across Australia and New Zealand.”
Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, onion breeding comes second nature to Rick. He has participated in dozens of Seminis Onion breeding programs and tours around the globe where he has shared his knowledge and passion for the crop with growers and industry professionals. In February 2018, Rick participated in the grand opening of Seminis New Zealand’s $2 million Onion Breeding station in Pukekohe, New Zealand, a world class facility that successfully supports key onion markets in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil.
“It has been an honour to work with Rick,” said Seminis National Sales Manager, Darren Wood. “I look forward to his yearly visits alongside the global onion breeding team and I know our growers do too. We have unique growing conditions here and Rick has always been there to provide support, additional information or alternatives for growers who were struggling with a particular variety.”
The Australian and New Zealand Seminis team sincerely thanks Rick for his ongoing support, encouragement and resilience in helping to develop a successful and high-level onion portfolio.
While he will be sorely missed by many, we wish him all the very best in his retirement and future endeavours.