Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Conference provides education for peanut farmers
TIFTON — More than 1,400 attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 40th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 21 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus and the Southeastern Peanut Farmer.
The one-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of more than 100 exhibitors, as well as a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on marketing, fertility, irrigation and the changing face of disease and weed management. An industry seed seminar was held which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2016.
During the luncheon, Georgia peanut farmers were able to receive legislative updates from U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, and Austin Scott, R-Georgia, as well as, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Bob Redding, Washington lobbyist for the Georgia Peanut Commission.
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 – Jerry Chandler, CEO of McCleskey Mills; Research and Education Award – Nathan Smith, former University of Georgia Extension peanut economist and current professor and Extension economist in Agribusiness Production with Clemson University; Export Award – Stephanie Grunenfelder, senior vice president of American Peanut Council; Media Awards – The Cairo Messenger and Sam Smith, retired photographer with WALB; and the Georgia Peanut Special Award to Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president.
The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award was presented to Trey Dunaway of Hawkinsville, 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. This year’s winner demonstrates volunteerism and service to agriculture in his local area.
Dunaway operates a 2,000 acre diversified row crop operation including peanuts, cotton, soybeans, corn and even shrimp aquaculture. On the farm, he utilizes technology through pivot monitoring using “Ag View” and Greenseeker technology to apply variable rate fungicide to his peanut crop. Both technologies allow him to be more efficient when activating or deactivating his pivots and applying more or less of the fungicide depending on the size of the peanut crop. Dunaway also utilizes 30″ row spacing on all of his crops which allows him to be more efficient by planting 16 rows at a time.
Dunaway receives a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July. This award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.
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 – Louie Grimes, Colquitt; District 2 – Wavell Robinson, Pavo; District 3 – Jimmy Dixon, Girard; District 4 – Sam Floyd, Danville; and District 5 – Wilbur Gamble, Dawson. 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 donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Caleb Brown of Abbeville. Brown 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 2016 season. KMC also provided $1,000 cash as part of the Grand Door Prize package to William Cape of Eastman. Amadas Industries also provided a Grower Door Prize of one season’s use of a new Amadas four-row or six-row peanut inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $5,000 towards the purchase of any Amadas pull-type peanut combine to Wayne Sayer of Wray.