Buck Shuman, Respected Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame Member’s Life Remembered and Honored

The Vidalia Onion Industry is honored to celebrate the remarkable life and enduring legacy of Mr. Buck Shuman. “Mr. Buck” Shuman was considered a true pioneer and esteemed Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame member. As the proprietor of Shuman Fertilizer, Inc., and later marketing seed genetics to growers throughout the Vidalia Industry, Mr. Shuman left an indelible imprint on the onion industry.

In the 1970s, Mr. Shuman boldly pioneered the practice of blending fertilizers for his customers, challenging conventional methods and fundamentally transforming the way onions were grown during that period. His unwavering belief in customizing fertilizer blends based on the unique needs of each field led to a groundbreaking innovation, crucial in preserving the unmistakable sweet, mild flavor of Vidalia onions, renowned for their exceptional quality.

Beyond fertilizer blending, Mr. Shuman’s commitment to the Vidalia onion industry extended to hands-on experience as an onion farmer that began in the early 1980s, where his profound understanding of cultivation practices played a pivotal role in establishing the Vidalia onion as the epitome of sweetness worldwide.

Following his retirement as a grower, Mr. Shuman embarked on a new chapter in his career, joining D. Palmer Seed in 1994 as a Vidalia onion representative. In this influential role, he collaborated with breeders globally, developing cultivars and varieties that became the foremost sweet onion varieties in the Vidalia onion industry. Notably, his contributions include the renowned ‘Miss Megan’ variety and the ‘Sapelo’ variety, which were considered cornerstones of the industry.

Buck Shuman’s passion for the Vidalia onion industry was not merely a profession but an intrinsic way of life. His unwavering dedication and tireless efforts over five decades have played an instrumental role in shaping the industry and upholding the esteemed brand image of Vidalia sweet onions.

“Mr. Buck was a true legend in the industry; his reputation as the Southern Gentleman and his passion for Vidalia Onions was as evident as anyone I know. His work ethic and dedication to enhancing the Vidalia Sweet Onion lasted for multiple decades, and I am extremely thankful for Mr. Buck’s legacy; he set the example for us all to follow,” said Cliff Riner, VP of G&R Farms and Chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee.

“He was always encouraging and wanted everyone to do good within our whole industry; our industry has lost its best and finest gentleman. Mr. Buck made you feel respected and valued, and he kept a smile and the humblest attitude,” said Alan Sikes, Owner of Sikes Farms.

Delbert Bland, Owner and President of Bland Farms and Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame Member, echoed similar comments, saying, “Mr. Buck was a true mentor to me. He had a way of encouraging you when things were not going well. He injected a positive attitude into our industry, and I don’t know anyone he didn’t encourage and wanted to see succeed in our business. He was a blessing to know.”

“I’ve always enjoyed doing business with Mr. Buck. When he sold fertilizer, he helped our farm; when he sold seed, he was a pleasure to do business with. He was both a friend and doing business with him for multiple decades meant a lot to me. I truly enjoyed our relationship. Most importantly, he was an outstanding family man and raised a great crop of children and a family that is well respected,” said R.T. Stanley, retired owner of Stanley Farms and Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame member.

Shane Curry, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee, stated, “Our industry’s success is built on the work of many people from the past 90 years and the legacy they left. Mr. Buck was one of those people, and we are truly grateful and blessed for his work in Vidalia Onions. The industry wouldn’t be where it is today without his commitment to Vidalia Onions.”

Mr. Buck Shuman passed away at the age of 91.

His obituary can be read at https://www.bradleybanderson.com/obituaries/benny-shuman-jr .