Georgia Peanut Show includes awards, crop and farm bill updates
Posted on Feb 02, 2024 at 12:12 PM
Georgia peanut growers attending the 47th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show & Conference held Jan. 18 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center had a total immersion in all things peanuts. About 100 exhibitors displayed the equipment, products and services they offer to help growers produce their peanut crop. More than 1,000 people turned out to attend the one-day event the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) sponsors each year.
Members of The University of Georgia Peanut Team staff presented an educational peanut production seminar covering the 2023 peanut crop’s yield and quality and what to expect in 2024. They also discussed weed, disease and nematode management for 2024, and sustainability issues for Georgia peanut production. The peanut seed seminar highlighted peanut varieties available for 2024.
Peanut growers, industry leaders & supporters honored
During a breakfast held the morning of the show, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply recognized five peanut growers as Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year. A grower from each of the GPC Districts is selected each year. GPC Chairman Joe Boddiford, far left, & AgriSupply Rep. Angela Carter, far right, congratulate the 2024 recipients who are from left: GPC District 1 – Donald Shirah, Camilla/Mitchell Co.; GPC District 2 – Gerald Fowler, Sycamore/Turner Co.; GPC District 3 – Lee Cromley, Brooklet/Bulloch Co.; GPC District 4 – Sam Crenshaw, Cordele/Crisp Co. The GPC District 5 award was presented posthumously to Richard Morrison of Lumpkin/Stewart Co. and accepted by his son, Winston Morrison. / Photo courtesy Ga. Peanut Commission
GPC directors started this award several years ago to honor farmers who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see Georgia’s peanut industry continue to thrive.
Each of these outstanding growers are or were Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members. Donald Shirah is a Mitchell Co. Farm Bureau Director. Gerald Fowler is a past chairman/member of the GFB Peanut Commodity Advisory Committee and currently serves as the Turner County Farm Bureau vice president. The late Richard Morrison is a past Stewart Co. Farm Bureau president/director.
During the event lunch, the Georgia Peanut Commission presented more awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry or promotion of peanuts.
Pictured from left, GPC Chairman Joe Boddiford congratulates the 2024 GPC Award recipients who are: Distinguished Service Award – John T. Powell, executive director of the American Peanut Shellers Association & The Peanut Institute; Research & Education Award – Dr. Glen Harris, University of Georgia Extension soil fertility specialist; Media Award – Dal Cannady, former bureau chief for WTOC-TV in Savannah; and Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award - Mallory Harvey of Appling County. / Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
The Georgia Peanut Commission & BASF sponsor the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award. This award is presented to a Georgia peanut farmer based on the applicant’s overall farm operation, environmental stewardship practices, and leadership & community service activities. Mallory Harvey of Baxley grows 1,500 acres of peanuts and cotton along with breeder hens for Pilgrim’s Pride. He strives to utilize innovative stewardship practices on the farm to reduce his carbon footprint and water usage. Harvey is active with a number of community and agriculture organizations in Appling County including Farm Bureau.
Harper opposes nemesis nations owning U.S. farmland, promotes GDA 150th anniversary
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. / Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Growers heard updates on peanut and general ag issues from several speakers during the lunch.
Georgia Ag Commissioner Harper commended the Georgia Peanut Commission and other ag organizations for working last year to get additional peanut research positions funded for the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. Harper discussed his commitment to ensuring the Georgia General Assembly passes legislation this year that prevents nations or their citizens who have an adversarial relationship with the U.S. from buying U.S. farmland.
“I’m working with legislators to ensure that Georgia farmland remains for Georgia farmers and cannot be bought by foreign adversarial nations,” Harper said. “At the end of the day, agriculture is a national security issue.”
Harper encouraged Peanut Show attendees to join the Georgia Department of Agriculture in celebrating its 150th anniversary with events and promotions throughout 2024.
Lepicier gives National Peanut Board Update
As of Jan. 1, Ryan Lepicier is the National Peanut Board’s CEO & president following Bob Parker’s retirement Dec. 31. Lepicier, a 15-year NPB employee, is no stranger to marketing and advocating for peanut nationwide. / Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Lepicier said the NPB has set three priorities for 2024:
1) Promotion. “Peanut butter consumption reached an all-time high in 2023 to about 4.4 lbs per person,” Lepicier said. “We’re proud of the role your National Peanut Board played to make this happen along with the Georgia Peanut Commission and other peanut organizations. In 2024 our theme will be ‘We Grow Comfort.’ This will allow us to talk to school nutritionists and parents about the health benefits of peanuts and to address peanut allergy issues.”
2) Driving Impact of the NPB programs by evaluating their success to decide which ones they continue.
3)Educating consumers about peanut allergies and how early introduction to peanuts can alleviate or reduce children’s peanut allergies.
“The National Peanut Board continues to support research to eradicate peanut allergies and to educate parents and school nutritionists that early introduction of peanut products to children can alleviate or reduce peanut allergies,” Lepicier said.
In December, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released an early analysis of data from a clinical trial that shows 165 children and adolescents who received injections of the drug Xolair – a drug already approved for asthma and chronic hives - were able to consume higher doses of foods they were allergic to, such as peanuts, eggs & milk, without triggering an allergic reaction, compared to those who treated with placebos.
Visit https://nationalpeanutboard.org/peanut-allergy-prevention/ to learn more about NPB’s work to help children with peanut allergies.
Redding gives farm bill update
Bob Redding with the Redding Firm, which represents the National Peanut Federation in Washington, D.C., gave an update on what’s happening in D.C. regarding the farm bill.
“Congress decided to delay voting on a funding bill until early March. Since Congress can’t agree on a funding bill, the likelihood of them completing a farm bill lessens,” Redding said. “The longer we go, the more likely it will be 2025 before we have a new farm bill.”
The legislation Congress finalized on Jan. 18 extends funding at current levels for some government agencies through March 1 and others through March 8. The two-part deadline is an extension of the current deadline originally conceived by House conservatives to avoid a massive omnibus spending bill to fund the government. But many conservative Republicans opposed the stopgap measure to keep the government funded.
Redding warned that Congress didn’t budget enough money to fund existing farm programs and new smart climate programs the Biden Administration wants. “There’s not enough money to do everything everyone wants to do in this farm bill. Increasing the peanut reference price is the No. 1 priority for the National Peanut Federation.”
KMC & Amadas award door prizes
At the end of the peanut show, Kelley Manufacturing Co. presented the Grand Door Prize to Jim Deen, Broxton, Ga. Deen received one season’s use of a new KMC peanut combine and the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2024 season, as well as a cash prize.
Amadas Industries provided its top Grower Door Prize to Zach Brown of Sumner, Ga. Brown received a custom Grizzly cooler and a certificate towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled peanut combine, pull-type peanut combine, peanut digger or peanut dump cart. Ted O’Steen of Ambrose, Ga., won the second Amadas door prize of a custom Grizzly cooler and a certificate for Amadas parts.
Georgia Peanut Commission announces ’24 officers; Boddiford re-elected GPC chairman
In related Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) News, the commission’s five district directors re-elected Joe Boddiford of Screven County to continue serving as GPC chairman at its January board meeting. This is Boddiford’s third consecutive term serving as chairman. He previously served as chairman in 2000. He represents the GPC’s District 3.
“I look forward to working with Georgia peanut farmers and our industry partners to help enhance the peanut industry and the profitability of farmers,” Boddiford said. “Farmers can contact me at any time if they have suggestions for the work of the Georgia Peanut Commission on their behalf.”
Other officers elected during the GPC board meeting include GPC Dist. 5 Director Donald Chase of Macon County as vice chairman and GPC Dist. 4 Director Rodney Dawson of Pulaski County as treasurer. Additional board members include GPC Dist. 1 Director Tim Burch of Baker County and GPC Dist. 2 Director Ross Kendrick of Turner County.
Georgia’s peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location with one board member representing each district. Nomination meetings are held every three years for each of the district director positions on a staggered schedule. Georgia Farm Bureau conducts the nomination meetings as an objective third party.
GPC District Directors Burch and Boddiford were renominated to their respective positions with no opposition during meetings held Dec. 13, 2023. They will each serve a three-year term ending on Dec. 31, 2026.
The GPC represents more than 4,500 peanut farm families in the state and conducts programs in the areas of research, promotion and education. For more information on GPC programs visit www.gapeanuts.com .