Danny Ray with Ray Farms in Glennville, GA told us on April 10 that the operation was excited to start shipping Georgia Sweet Onions on April 11.
“We will start shipping Georgia Sweets tomorrow and then market Vidalia on April 22 in accordance with the Vidalia start date,” Danny said. He added, “We are very happy with the crop. As a whole acreage is down in the Vidalia area, but we will have plenty of supplies and availability for customers. Yields look to be very good, and the quality is very nice.”
Twenty-four hours before the first loads were to head out, Danny told us, “We are excited to get going with this season’s crop.”
The three-generation operation is having what the visitor-friendly website, www.rayfarmsinc.com, calls a “family reunion of sorts” with Avon and Annette Ray, the originators of Ray Farms, “back to the farm to help their sons, Danny and Gary Ray, and their children bring in the latest crop of sweet onions.”
With a family portrait on the home page showing Avon and Anette, brothers Danny and Gary, their respective wives Patsy and Rhonda and a beautiful bunch of grands and great-grands, visitors are told that “three generations work seamlessly as they go about the business of getting the onions out of the fields and onto the waiting trucks as fast as they can.”
The family includes Gary and Rhonda’s twins, Savannah and Nicholas, as well as Danny and Patsy’s daughters, Bridge and Whitney. Bridge and her husband, Michael Sapp, are parents of Gavin, Gape and Grant; Whitney and her husband, Keith Groover, are parents of Brantley.
And Whitney works in the office at Ray Farms overseeing food safety, and trafficking the “the never-ending stream of pickers, packers and paperwork heading in the right direction.”
Launched in 1972 on five acres of farmland, Ray Farms initially used the State Farmers Market in Glenville to sell its onions. The shed was built in 1989, and the website says, “The family has grown a lot since then, and so has their farm.” Acreage has expanded to 350 in Vidalia Sweets and 50 in Sweet Georgia Reds.
“The Farm is just big enough to where we can do the best job we can and still spend time together with family,” the site says. Ray Farms ships sweet onions all over the United States to large chain stores, wholesalers, and individual customers.
Crediting both technology and hard physical work as keys to expansion, the website notes that along with Ray family members, “extra workers are brought in to help harvest and ship the onions. Due to labor shortage in 2016, Ray Farms had to convert harvesting their onions in the field with a mechanical harvester… [and] Ray Farms has approximately 45 people sorting and packing the onions in the packinghouse.”
There is one Higher Key that Ray Farms acknowledges and OnionBusiness is happy to share: “Ray Farms gives all the glory to God. Acts 14:17 is a Bible verse that holds special meaning to Ray Farms. ‘Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons filling our hearts with food and gladness.’”
Here’s to a sweet season.
Contact Ray Farms, Inc. for more information: