Thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop block grant program, Texas-grown fruits and vegetables will get their share of the limelight.

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan program worked with the Texas Vegetable Association, Mission, on a series of television commercials to be aired in the state’s largest markets — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin, said Richard De Los Santos, marketing coordinator for the Go Texan program.

“These advertisements will be in partnership with Go Texan and will include Texas sweet onions and other spring vegetables,” De Los Santos said. “The Texas Vegetable Association also has developed some recipes and is working with chef Molly Fowler from the Houston area for these promotions.”

The TDA also is providing Go Texan stickers to onion producers and is working with retailers to conduct demos beginning in April.

De Los Santos said Texas’ thriving fruit and vegetable industry produces more than 3.2 billion pounds of fruits, vegetables and nuts per year, and ranks No. 8 in vegetable production.

“In 2010, the production value of the Texas vegetable industry was $361 million, with the top three vegetables being onions, watermelons and cabbage,” he said. “Onions are always in the top three produce crops in the state, along with potatoes and pecans, which is why the TDA is working with several of its partners this spring to promote Texas onions, along with a wide variety of Texas produce.”