Dec 18, 2023
Packing operations manager promoted at G&R

G&R Farms, a grower and shipper of organic sweet onions and other crops, has promoted one of its staffers.

Ronald “Kelby” Werner, a senior team member, has been promoted from production manager to sales manager. Werner has worked for G&R in managing packing operations and supply chain operations.

Kelby Werner

As a seasoned professional with 10 years in the onion business, Werner is known for fostering strong relationships with both customers and growers. His fiery passion for the onion industry and his exposure to veteran mentors has allowed him to blossom taking on more executive responsibilities, according to a news release from the Vidalia onion and pecan grower based in Glennville, Georgia.

“His passion for the onion industry as well as his experience in and knack for relationship building will be integral as we continue to find new ways to partner with retailers outside of our annual programs,” Blake Dasher, CEO, said in the release. “Kelby’s exposure to both fresh and storage onions will be invaluable as he takes on a more strategic role.”

Werner joined G&R in 2013 where his produce career started inside of an onion packinghouse serving in a janitorial role. However, his aggressive nature to learn helped Werner earn his way to managing packing operations, supply chain operations, and retail customers sales, according to the release.

Werner was integral in supervising production facility operations and leading the charge in food safety. After leaving for a few years to assume a new role in the same category, he realized his heart never left Georgia and his G&R team, so he returned to assume the role as the production manager.

Over the past year, Werner has served as lead on the production team for all retail packing with responsibilities including staff training, warehouse oversight, and examining fresh product to ensure it is up to company, retailer and consumer standards, according to the release.

G&R Farms“I’m grateful I was able to come home to G&R and see that the team is still wholly dedicated to growing with passion and serving with pride,” Werner said in the release. “This new role allows me to share my knowledge with our team while we continue to grow the company. I look forward to continuing to nurture relationships with our growers and our customers.”

Steven Shuman, vice president of sales, has worked closely with Werner over the last several years and knew his transition was inevitable. “I’m excited to promote Kelby to sales manager and have him serve in this new position for G&R Farms,” Shuman said in the release. “His personality and vast knowledge on the industry will bring a new set of skills that will strengthen our team, and ultimately help us carry out our mission to lead with honesty and integrity.”

G&R 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. G&R grows conventional and organic sweet onions.

G&R’s main focus is growing, packing, marketing and shipping sweet onions. For nearly seven decades, the company has worked to provide consistent sweet onion quality and flavor through research and development, according to the release.

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