Jul 27, 2023G&R Farms’ Pam Dasher, Vidalia onion pioneer, dies
Pam Durrence Dasher, a third-generation Vidalia sweet onion grower and co-owner of G&R Farms in southeast Georgia, has died. She was 79.
Dasher died on July 24. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, July 28, at the Glennville First Baptist Church in Glennville, Georgia.
Dasher was a prominent Glennville, Georgia, farmer and businesswoman and was considered a Vidalia pioneer, according to a news release. G&R began in 1945 and grows conventional and organic sweet onions as well as pecans and other crops.
A partner in G&R Farms since 2003, Dasher joined the business in 1962 when she married her high school sweetheart Gerald W. Dasher. Following her husband’s unexpected death in 2003, Dasher assumed co-ownership and management of the company alongside her brother-in-law Robert Dasher and continued in that capacity until her passing.
Throughout the years, Dasher worked alongside her husband and brother-in-law as they grew the farm and helped build what would become a leading year-round global sweet onion empire, according to the release. Though Dasher was G&R’s office manager for many years, it wasn’t uncommon for visitors to find her grading onions or doing any other job that was needed as their farming operation grew, according to the release.
G&R employees fondly shared memories of Dasher, including her attention to detail, pride in a job well done and the balance of work and family without exception.
“She was filled with the truest of Southern grit and charm, exuding confidence and a gentle spirit which always lent a calming presence in a fast-paced produce world,” according to the release.
In addition to cultivating their farm, Pam and Gerald also sought to cultivate a brand: not only of G&R’s, but of the Vidalia sweet onion itself. The Dashers were the first growers to market sweet onions directly to supermarkets, thus cementing the crop’s popularity and success of their own farming company. The couple also traveled together, sharing the benefits of the unique sweet onion and helped to secure the passage of the Vidalia Onion Act by the Georgia General Assembly, according to the release.
“From the earliest of years, Pam was the backbone of the office, providing the structured support Gerald and Robert needed so they could focus on sales and production,” Blake Dasher, G&R Farms’ CEO, said in the release. “It was her unwavering support and quiet confidence that helped build the foundation that we continue to grow from today, and there’s no doubt she was a tiny giant among men.”
A Tattnall County native, Pam is preceded in death by her parents and husband and other family members. She is survived by her children, the Honorable Paige Dasher Mulligan, the Clerk of Courts of Tattnall County, and husband Mike, and Gerald Walter “Walt” Dasher II and wife, Anita as well as many grandchildren and other family members.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice at PO Box 531, Statesboro, Georgia 30459.
G&R Farms began in 1945 with a small southeast Georgia farm. It grows a variety of crops on more than 5,000 acres. In addition to sweet onions and pecans, the third-generation family farm also grows peanuts, field corn, soybeans, hay, wheat and rye and operates a 1,500 cow-calf beef herd operation.