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American Peanut Council, National Peanut Board name officers

Posted on Jan 11, 2024 at 11:58 AM

Donald Chase of Macon County has been appointed as chairman of the American Peanut Council (APC) and Casey Cox Kerr, who farms in Mitchell County, was named vice chairperson of the National Peanut Board (NPB).

Donald Chase, owner of Chase Farms, will serve the 2024 term as APC chairman. He was elected at APC’s Board of Directors meeting during the organization’s annual Insights Summit conference in Washington, D.C.

Chase, together with his wife, Michelle, and parents grow peanuts, corn and sweet corn on 600 acres of irrigated land. Chase Farms also produces poultry.

Chase serves on the board of the Georgia Peanut Commission and several other peanut organizations, as well as on the board of Flint Energies. He is the immediate past chairman of APC’s sustainability committee and immediate past vice chair of APC’s Board of Directors. 

Chase served on the American Farm Bureau Energy Issues Advisory Board in 2022-2023 and on the Georgia Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee those same years.

He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Adventist University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. 

Chase succeeds 2023 APC Chair Collins McNeil, president of M.C. McNeill & Co.

APC’s 2024 elected board officers include: Vice Chair - Anne-Marie DeLorenzo, Mars Wrigley; Secretary/Treasurer - Clint Piper, Golden Peanut.

APC’s 2024 executive committee includes: Greg Baltz, National Peanut Board; Tim Burch, Georgia Peanut Commission; Dell Cotton, Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association; Greg Harnish, Birdsong Peanuts; Lauren Marcinkoski, Luray Peanut Company; Collins McNeill, McNeill & Company; Patricia Moody, OFI; John Powell, American Peanut Shellers Association; Brian Reed, The JM Smucker Company; Rachel Santos, Premium Peanut; Joel Sirmon, Alabama Peanut Producers Association and Larry Don Womack, Texas Peanut Producers Board.

The National Peanut Board held its last meeting of the year on December 6 – 7, in Washington, D.C. The Board approved a new slate of officers for a one-year term beginning on January 1, 2024. The 2024 roles are: Baltz, of Arkansas as chairman; Cox Kerr of Georgia as vice-chairman; Neal Baxley of South Carolina as treasurer; and Jeff Roper of Texas as secretary. GFB member Wesley Webb of  Calhoun  County serves as an alternate board member representing Georgia on the NPB.

Cox Kerr is a sixth-generation grower who farms along with her father, Glenn. Cox Kerr is the president and CEO of Longleaf Ridge Farms. They grow runner peanuts, sweet corn, field corn, soybeans and timber. Cox Kerr graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources and Conservation. Cox Kerr is married to Chris Kerr.

Cox Kerr is involved in a number of industry and professional organizations. She is a shareholder/member of American Peanut Growers Group LLC and serves as a board member on the Georgia Seed Development Commission and Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Cox Kerr is currently the vice chair of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Dean’s Advisory Council and member of the Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Regional Water Council. Cox Kerr also serves on the Georgia Peanut Commission Advisory Board and the American Farm Bureau Federation Farm Policy Committee. She is on the board of directors for the Mitchell County Farm Bureau and Mitchell County Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Cox Kerr is the former executive director of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and currently serves as a district supervisor.

Baltz previously served as vice chairman, treasurer and secretary; Cox Kerr previously served as treasurer and secretary; and Baxley previously served as secretary; and this is Jeff Roper’s first appointment as an officer for NPB.

In related NPB news, Ryan Lepicier began serving as president & CEO of the organization on Jan. 1. He succeeds Bob Parker who retired last year. To read more about Lepicier click here.

Georgia Peanut Commission to take nominations for National Peanut Board terms beginning in 2025 on Feb. 7

On Feb. 7 at noon, during its annual Research Report Day, the Georgia Peanut Commission will hold a nominations election  to select two nominees each to serve as a member and alternate to the NPB for terms to begin Jan. 1, 2025. The meeting will be held  at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL), located on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus at 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, Georgia.

All eligible peanut producers are encouraged to participate. Eligible producers are those who are engaged in the production and sale of peanuts and who own or share the ownership and risk of loss of the crop. Casey Cox Kerr of Camilla is the current Georgia National Peanut Board member and Wesley Webb of Leary serves as the alternate. The terms for the current Georgia board member and alternate expire Dec. 31, 2024.

 The USDA requires two nominees for each position of member and alternate. The National Peanut Board will submit Georgia’s slate of nominees to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who makes the appointments.

 The NPB encourages inclusion of persons of any race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital or family status. NPB encourages all persons who qualify as peanut producers to attend the meeting and run for nomination.

 It is USDA’s policy that membership on industry-government boards and committees accurately reflect the diversity of individuals served by the programs.

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