Golfers on the LPGA Symetra Tour took a break from practice during the Vidalia Championship to see the crop that has put the town on the world map. They visited Vidalia Valley, a part of Stanley Farms that manufactures dressings and salsas based with sweet onions as the primary ingredient.
"I almost felt obligated to come out here and see because I've grown up with them in the house and grown up eating them. It was great to learn how it all works," explained golfer Susan Martin, a Norcross, Georgia native.
"I've never seen an operation even remotely close to this large so it's kind of overwhelming," added tour member Tara Goedeken, who spent part of her early childhood on a family farm.
The tour includes 16 tournament stops around the country. The woman who wins the most during the season wins a spot on the LPGA tour the following year.
The group saw how the company takes the onions, processes them, then cooks and blends its recipes for dressings, salsas and other products. Vidalia Valley sells their work under their own label as well as selling to stores who put their own name on the jar or bottle.
Golfers said the tour was just an example of the welcome they've received.
"Most places seem to be glad we're there. But Georgia just seems to have that southern hospitality and are just so friendly," said golfer Susan Choi.
"When I met my host family for the week, she met me at the door with a hug," Goedeken added.
Tournament play begins Friday and wraps up Sunday.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:38:31 GMT
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