Georgia Peanut Farm Show provides a day of education for farmers

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More than 1,400 attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 41st annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 19, 2017, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The one-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of more than 110 exhibitors, as well as a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on advanced irrigation management. An industry seed seminar was held which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2017.

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The Georgia Peanut Commission presented awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts across the United States. The award recipients are: Distinguished Service Award – Gov. Nathan Deal; Research and Education Award – Jere W. Morehead, president of the University of Georgia; Promotion Award – The Kroger Company; Media Award – RFD-TV; and Georgia Peanut Special Awards to John Harrell, past chairman of the National Peanut Board and Don McGough, director of the commodities/marketing department with Georgia Farm Bureau. The Georgia Peanut Commission board members also recognized Kelley Manufacturing Co. for their 50 years of agribusiness within the peanut industry.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF, was presented to Brandon Branch of Baxley, Georgia. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. Branch, a third-generation farmer, operates a 1,500 acre diversified row crop operation including peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as a custom harvesting enterprise.

On the farm, Branch strives to keep up-to-date with ag technology which enables him to be more efficient. To remain sustainable, Branch has constructed terraces on land that is highly erodible and constructed grass waterways to manage water and prevent soil erosion. He takes a proactive approach to educate the public regarding the practices he implements on the farm to preserve land, soil and water through farm tours.

Branch is also active in the agricultural industry and his community. He is president of the Appling County Young Farmers and serves as the South Region Junior Director for the Georgia Young Farmers Association. He is also active with the Appling County Farm Bureau and serves on the Appling County High School Agriculture Department Advisory Committee. Branch receives a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July.

In addition to the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals representing each of the commission’s five districts. The GPC board members started this award to honor farmers each year who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continue to be the highest quality. Winners include: District 1 – John Bridges Sr., Brinson; District 2 – Kenneth Hall Sr., Tifton; District 3 – Rep. Jon Burns, Newington; District 4 – Richard Nutt, Pitts; and District 5 – Glen Lee Chase, Oglethorpe. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and a $100 gift card from Agri Supply.

At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize package donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Aaron Cosby of Smithville, Georgia, and Alex Hardy of Hawkinsville, Georgia. Cosby received one season’s use of a new six-row 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 2017 season. Hardy received one season’s use of a new digger shaker inverter and the option of purchasing the peanut digger from a KMC dealer with 10 percent off the list price at the end of the 2017 season.

Amadas Industries also provided the Grower Door Prize to Al Rowland of Wrightsville, Georgia. Rowland received one season’s use of a new Amadas four-row or six-row peanut digger or a certificate good for the amount of $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of any new Amadas pull-type peanut combine.