Gaston receives Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year Award
Published 11:10 am Thursday, February 28, 2019
TIFTON — James Gaston, Americus, received the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year Award for District 5 at the 43rd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, Jan. 17, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply.
The Georgia Peanut Commission presents the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year awards to one farmer in each of the commission’s five districts. This award is designed to honor farmers who have given life-long devotion to peanut farming and who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see that the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continues to represent the highest quality possible.
Gaston farms 1,385 acres of peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, hay and timber, as well as beef cattle. His youngest son, Wes, joined the family farm in 2018. The Centennial Farm was first purchased in 1919, by Gaston’s grandfather. His father began farming in 1926, and then Gaston began farming in 1972, after teaching school for five years. The original house built on the farm in 1856, and 750 acres of the original plantation, were placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior in 2004, and the farm was named a Georgia Centennial Farm in 2005.
Through the years, Gaston has been honored for his high peanut yields in the Georgia Money Maker Club (now known as the Georgia Peanut Achievement Club) and won state honors three times. In 2018, he received the Sumter County 4-H You Rock award.
Gaston serves on the board of directors for Sumter County Farm Bureau and served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Soybean & Feed Grain Committee, where he served as chairman for two years. He previously served for 11 years on the Lower Chattahoochee River Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Gaston is also a member of Sumter County Young Farmers, FFA Alumni, and SOWEGA Cattlemen’s Club.
He currently serves on the Sumter County Board of Elections and previously served on the Sumter County Board of Education, Sumter County Zoning Board, and Sumter County Board of Equalization. He is a member of Concord Methodist Church, the church’s Men’s Club, and chartered the local Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in 1974.
He is married to Nancy and they have two sons: Jim and Wes. Jim is married to Leah and they have one daughter, Pearl. Wes is married to Mary Catherine and they have two children, Lilly and Emma.
Additional district winners include: District 1, Joe Heard, Newton; District 2 posthumously, Ray Peele, Lenox; District 3, Bobby C. Smith Jr., Rocky Ford; and District 4, Windell Gardner, Cordele. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and gift cards from Agri Supply and the Georgia Peanut Commission.
For photos and additional information on the Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference visit the Georgia Peanut Commission website at gapeanuts.com.