Robert Dasher of Glennville, Ga., has been named the 2010 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year during the first day of the 33rd Expo in Moultrie, Ga.

“I am proud to be in agriculture. I could not have done this alone,” said Dasher as he shared the award with his family.

Dasher said Georgia and America were unique in that they produced food and clothing. “This is a commodity that will always be sought after. We will be able to supply our own energy needs one day, but there will always be a need for food and clothing,” he said.

The other nine state finalists were equally deserving of the award, said Dasher. “They’re a bunch of great guys. They all deserved this award as much or more than I did. I’ll cherish this award for the rest of my life,” he said.

A pioneer in the Vidalia onion industry, Dasher has been instrumental in making the sweet onions a sought-after food item in grocery stores throughout the United States.

Dasher’s G&R Farms is a family partnership. He started farming full time 42 years ago with 130 acres. Now, his farm encompasses 4,800 acres with 800 acres of rented land and 4,000 acres of owned land.

His crops include 700 acres of onions yielding 30,000 pounds per acre, 1,200 acres of corn yielding 165 bushels per acre, 950 to 1,000 acres of soybeans yielding 55 bushels per acre, up to 400 acres of peanuts during some years yielding two tons per acre, 400 acres of hay yielding five tons per acre, 250 acres of wheat and rye which typically yield 40 bushels per acre and 150 acres of pecans yielding 800 pounds per acre. In addition, his cow-calf beef herd operation has about 1,500 cows.

As a hobby, he raises a one-acre patch of tomatoes each year. He enjoys giving away buckets of tomatoes to friends and people he meets.