Not as far as Bob Stafford is concerned.
Since the mid-1990s, Stafford, who spent 34 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture, has been director of the Vidalia Onion Business Council.
In that job, Stafford, who spent much of his career working in Jacksonville, lobbies on behalf of farmers, works with researchers to improve the annual crop and does his best to protect the Vidalia trademark.
"We've got to make sure that name is protected," said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. "When it comes to protecting that name, Bob will go the extra mile."
The area around Vidalia, with its low-sulphur soil, isn't the only place where sweet onions grow.
But it is the first place sweet onions were grown, and people in and around Vidalia think their combination of soil, climate and seed varieties makes Vidalias the sweetest.
"This is the onion they're all trying to imitate," said Stafford, who was inducted into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame last month. "They all want to compare themselves to the Vidalia onion. But the taste and the texture can't be matched."
Since the sale of those onions has grown into a $100 million industry, the state of Georgia, which selected as the Vidalia onion state vegetable in 1990, has become vigilant about protecting the Vidalia trademark.
A state law passed in 1986 and a marketing order issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1989 codified which onions could be sold under the Vidalia name and established fines, beginning at $10,000, for violations.
Stafford said when he first took the job, there were lots of registered Vidalia onion bags that had fallen into the hands of non-Vidalia growers. He spent a lot of time cleaning that up.
These days, most violations of the trademark involve vendors at farmers markets passing off their produce as Vidalias.
But in one huge scandal in 2001, Stafford determined that a Del Monte plant had been bagging Peruvian onions and selling them under the Vidalia label.
It was a major scandal around Vidalia, and for a while there was talk of a $3 million fine. Eventually the state leveled a $400,000 fine and suspended all but $100,000.
Stafford doesn't look like a guy who has spent his life hanging out with farmers.
With his nimbus of curly white hair and his fondness for brightly colored, crisply starched shirts, he looks like he "just stepped out of Esquire magazine," said Rod Coffin, who worked with Stafford at the Florida Department of Agriculture for two decades.
But Stafford came by his taste for produce early. He grew up on a small truck farm in Raiford and went to work as an agricultural agent out of high school.
He still has a home in Raiford, where two of his four children live. He has another home in Marshall, N.C., not far from Asheville, where he can pursue his passion for bluegrass music.
At 75, Stafford could easily retire, Brannen noted, and have a sweet life moving between Florida and the mountains.
"But I don't think he will because he is just so dedicated to that Vidalia name," Brannen said.
So during the week, you'll usually find Stafford in Vidalia, where he has an apartment.
A big part of his job, Stafford said, is "to ride the farms and talk to the farmers."
"These are some of the best farmers I'd ever met," said Stafford. "Laid-back good old boys."
There are about 130 registered growers spread over a 20-county area where Vidalia onions can be grown. Anyone can grow an onion in that area, but only registered growers can sell their onions under the Vidalia name, Stafford said.
A farmer named Mose Coleman is credited with discovering in 1931 that onions grown in the low sulphur soil around Vidalia came out tasting sweet, rather than hot. In the 1940s, the state built a farmers market in Vidalia, then a busy crossroads, and word began to spread about the unusual flavor of the onions sold there.
But word spread slowly.
By the mid-1970s, there were still only about 600 acres planted with onions in the area. Today, there are about 13,000.
Then efforts to market Vidalias became more aggressive. A Vidalia Onion Festival was started in 1977, and an official mascot, Yumion, was created in 1980.
On the Web site www.sweetonionsource.com, onion expert Jan Roberts-Dominguez also credits Willard Scott, who became the weatherman on the "Today" show in 1980, with helping spread the onion's fame beyond the Southeast. While on the air, Scott would eat the onions raw, like he was eating an apple.
Vidalia onion harvest season lasts from late April to June, with opening day determined each year by a state advisory board on which Stafford sits.
Stafford said his favorite way of eating a Vidalia onion is raw, cut up in a salad. But the Vidalia Onion Committee's Web site, www.vidaliaonion.org, has a long list of recipes that involve cooking with Vidalia onions.
Stafford said he plans to keep working as long as the growers want him.
"I love agriculture," he said. "And I love the family farmers. I'll do whatever I can to help the family farmer."
Still, these days onions have to share his affection with a different crop.
"I'm farming grandchildren," joked the grandfather of eight.