Peanut Leadership Academy Class XI includes Ga. farmers and shellers

Published 12:48 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

Twenty peanut growers and sheller representatives from across the Southeast, Texas and Virginia-Carolina area began Class XI of the Peanut Leadership Academy Dec. 9-12, 2018, in Panama City Beach, Florida. The Peanut Leadership Academy is hosted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association and grower organizations. The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Since then, the academy has grown to include farmers from Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and sheller representatives.

Activities in the leadership program are structured to give participants a thorough understanding of the U.S. peanut industry. Throughout the course of 18 months and five sessions, program attendees participate in sessions ranging from field trips, meetings with industry leaders and professional development training, as well as one session in Washington, D.C., where class members have an opportunity to visit with members of Congress about issues affecting the peanut industry. During this time, class members build on leadership skills, discuss and debate key industry issues and build relationships.

During the first session, the class members participated in leadership team building skills, etiquette training and learned more about the entire peanut industry while joining the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual meeting. Georgia participants in PLA Class X include: Knapp Boddiford, Sylvania; Blake Edenfield, Brooklet; Megan Fletcher, Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts; Andrew Grimes, Tifton; and Kevin Rentz, Brinson.

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Session two of Class XI is scheduled for April 3-5, 2019. For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy, contact PLA Coordinator, Jessie Bland at the Georgia Peanut Commission or visit