What is in this article?:
- Vidalia onion growers celebrate success, look to future
- Grower of the year
- Strategic marketer
Georgia’s Vidalia onion growers gathered recently to celebrate the successes of 2010 and to honor the grower of the year and a hall of fame entry.
Dowdy was known not only as a good grower and for packing the very best quality product, but also he was revered as a strategic marketer and a wizard of financial management. His wife Mary routinely said, "Everything he touches turns to gold."
That statement seemed true because Dowdy had an eye for an opportunity and a keen mind for business. He applied that ability to his onion operation daily.
Other traits he possessed included an eye for detail. Said Torrance, "He spent more time looking at a field of onions than anyone I know. He taught me, as a young county agent, to look closer, and closer still. This benefitted me throughout my career in troubleshooting problems in fields."
Dowdy also had a good recollection of previous seasons, remembering small details. Farmers report, "We may recall the Super Bowl freeze, but he would remember how many days it was below X temperature, how long the soil remained frozen and other details. He would relate past seasons to the current one in an attempt to predict what we might expect."
Because of Dowdy's expertise and commitment to detail, the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension service often utilized his farm for research projects and field days. He had a great willingness to cooperate with these endeavors.
Dowdy passed away two years ago in January, 2009 at the age of 69. Those in the industry often report they wish he were here today to confide in. His depth of knowledge about the onion business was vast. And, as Torrance recalled, "You can't help but grin when you think about Delwin kicked back in his office chair with his arm hanging over his head and toothpick dangling from his mouth."
He was considered a friend to all. He was a resource and an asset to many and a true pioneer in the onion industry.
More information about the Vidalia onion industry may be obtained at VidaliaOnion.orgVidaliaOnion.org.