Georgia Peanut Farm Show provides two days of education for farmers

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 45th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference Jan. 19-20, 2022, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The two-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of 106 exhibitors and education opportunities. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on the impact of weather on peanut growth and development, disease management, challenges in fertility and peanut sustainability. An industry seed seminar was held, which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2022.

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 include: Distinguished Service Award – Evans Plowden Jr., lawyer representing the American Peanut Shellers Association, Michael Reed, retired chief of staff for Congressman Sanford Bishop, Dr. David Bridges, president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Armond Morris, retired chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission; Research and Education Award – Dr. David Lee, retired vice president for research and executive vice president of the University of Georgia Research Foundation, and the University of Georgia; Media Award – Ron Smith, retired editor of Southwest Farm Press, and Ocilla Star; Innovator Award to Lewis M. Carter Jr., owner and former president of LMC, and the Georgia Peanut Special Award to Gerald Long, former president of Georgia Farm Bureau and Dedria Smith, director of the Georgia Department of Agriculture Tifton Seed Lab.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF, was presented to Shane Branch, 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’s farming operation includes 2,100 acres of peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat, cabbage and watermelons. Branch strives to utilize innovative stewardship practices on the farm to reduce his carbon footprint and water usage. He is also active within a number of community and agriculture organizations within his county and across the state of Georgia.

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 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 – Bob McLendon, Leary; District 2 – LeRoy Howell, Adel; District 3 – Ralph Sandeford, Midville; District 4 – James and Dean McCranie, Eastman; and District 5 – Ronnie Lee, Bronwood. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and gift cards from Agri Supply and the Georgia Peanut Commission.

At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Jamie Jackson, Collins, Georgia. Jackson 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 2022 season, as well as a cash prize. Amadas Industries also provided the Grower Door Prize to James Dean of Broxton, Georgia, and Mason Roberts of Sylvester, Georgia. Dean received a customized Grizzly cooler and a certificate for $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled peanut combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas pull-type peanut combine or $3,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas peanut digger or $1,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas peanut dump cart. Roberts received a customized Grizzly cooler and a $1,000 certificate for Amadas parts.