Valor Award Presented To Leslie Wagner

Chuck Zimmerman2010 Conference, Audio, VideoLeave a Comment

Leslie Wagner, Executive Director, Southern Peanut Growers, was presented with this year’s Valor Award. The award was presented by John Altom, Valent.

I spoke with Leslie prior to the award and you can listen to our conversation below. So congrats to Leslie because she’s also celebrating the 30th anniversary of Southern Peanut Growers. In fact, during registration yesterday there was anniversary cake to celebrate with. You can see the cutting of the cake below.

Southern Peanut Growers used to be the Peanut Advisory Board but changed its name last year. Leslie says that SPG has had a great couple of years doing promotion and publicity. She is really excited that peanuts and peanut butter are mentioned as healthy foods in the new dietary guidelines that were published recently.

Listen to my interview with Leslie here:

Listen To MP3Leslie Wagner Interview (MP3)

12th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Opening Dinner Hypnosis

Chuck Zimmerman2010 ConferenceLeave a Comment

Thanks to Bayer CropScience the conference opened with some entertainment that also provided some inspirational and practical ideas for improving your life. On the stage was Dr. Holiday, The Hilarious Hypnotist.

Before getting the show going he talked about using self-hypnosis to facilitate achieving most personal goals. He’s a big advocate of relaxing and then taking action. Then he got volunteers to come forward to be hypnotized. About half made it and he then used them as a live demonstration. It was fun and everyone had a good time, including the volunteers.

12th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Grilling Peanut Butter and Jelly Sanwiches

Chuck Zimmerman2010 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Hot grilled PB&J’s are welcoming attendees once again to the conference. Thank you to the The Peanut Institute and the National Peanut Buying Points Association for grilling.

One of the master grillers is Larry Cunningham, pictured center. I asked what makes a great grilled PB&J. He says it’s just like a grilled cheese sandwich only 10 times better. He says to put some peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, brush on some margarine and slap it on the grill. It’s something you don’t want to miss out on.

Listen to my interview with Larry here:

Listen To MP3Larry Cunningham Interview (MP3)

12th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Florida Peanut Producers Say Industry Is Healthy

Chuck Zimmerman2010 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

One of the associations that puts on the Southern Peanut Growers Conference is the Florida Peanut Producers Association. Ken Barton is Executive Director for FPPA and was welcoming people as they registered.

Ken provided me with an overview of the conference since it’s my first one. He says the content seems to get better each year. The registration room was very busy so it looks like attendance is off to a great start.

The program will include speakers talking about each segment of the peanut industry including research and promotion. Of course farmer attendees get some time to enjoy the beach with their families. Ken points out that the water is beautiful and clean.

I asked him about the status of the Florida peanut industry and he says it’s “very healthy.” Consumption is increasing and the crop is in good shape although some areas could use more rain.

Listen to my interview with Ken here:

Listen To MP3Ken Barton Interview (MP3)

12th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Welcome To 12th Annual Conference

Chuck Zimmerman2010 ConferenceLeave a Comment

Panama City Beach and the Edgewater Beach Resort welcome peanut growers to the 12th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

The beaches are white and the water is clear and emerald green. The recent oil well situation seems to have left us alone and we’re very grateful for that. So, attendees and their families will be enjoying some great fun while also participating in an agenda packed full of educational sessions.

Today is registration day which will conclude with an opening dinner and entertainment. More on that later. In the meantime there is a conference photo album started which you can find here: Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album.

2010 Conference Dates Set

Joy Crosby2010 ConferenceLeave a Comment

EdgewaterThe dates have been set for the 2010 Southern Peanut Growers Conference, once again at the fabulous Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about the legislative issues, peanut research and promotions.

The dates are July 22-24 and you can view the schedule and register online at the  conference website.

Once again, we will be there blogging the event here on the SPGC blog with photos, audio interviews and videos – so stay tuned!

Peanut Academy Awards

Cindy Zimmerman2009 ConferenceLeave a Comment

I think we should call them the “Goobers” – the first ever Peanut Academy Awards presented at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City last week.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Mr. Peanut himself, Tyron Spearman, and the presenters were some of the biggest stars in show biz – from yesteryear and the present.

Presenters included Tom Cruise, Bette Midler, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, David Letterman, Tom Selleck, Audrey Hepburn, W.C. Fields, Mae West, and Clark Gable.

Here is a partial list of the categories and the winners:

Charitable Efforts: Glen Lee Chase of Ogelthorpe, GA
Best Dressed: Jimmy Watford
Print Ad: Chris Thompson family of Alabama

Best Male Dancer: David Reed (pictured here with Michael Jackson)
Best Female Dancer: Nola McMullian
Best Documentary: Peanut Farmers Sustainability by the National Peanut Board
Best Educational Program: Peanut Institute
Best Group No One’s Heard Of: Syngenta Soul Team
Second Favorite Syngenta Rep: Frank Moore
Best Actor: Gene Roney of Georgia
Best Actress: Rosemary Corte

And the Humanitarian Award for 2009 went to …………. America’s Peanut Farmers for their outstanding efforts in helping to feed the nation’s hungry with the most nutritious and delicious natural food in the world!

Hats off to everyone and have another great year!

Make sure you check out the 2009 Southern Peanut Growers Conference photo album for more fun photos.

Stars Come Out for Peanuts

Cindy Zimmerman2009 ConferenceLeave a Comment

The Southern Peanut Growers Conference rolled out the red carpet Tuesday night for the stars of the peanut industry.

The first ever Peanut Oscar awards night and dinner was sponsored by our good friends at Syngenta, who got into the spirit of the evening by coming dressed as some of their favorite stars. Oscars were handed out for best humanitarian, actor, actress, dancers, documentary, and much more. I will have details in later posts.

Between the peanut group staff members and Syngenta sales reps, we had a great bunch of stars on hand – many you just thought were dead! We saw every one from Mae West and W.C. Fields, to Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, to Elvis and yes, even Michael Jackson! It was really a lot of fun and these people deserve a big round of applause for the work they did to make this a very memorable event. Click on the group shot for a closer look.

The entire conference has been immortalized once again in photos. Make sure to check out all 651 of them on the Flickr Photo Peanut Family Album. Any photo on the site can be easily downloaded by clicking on it, then choosing “all sizes” and then right click to download.

I will be doing a few more posts on the site this week and probably adding some other photos as well, so be sure to check back for more.

Getting the Message Out with Social Media

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Communicating the message of agriculture to the public has gotten much more personal with the help of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and many agricultural groups, including peanut grower organizations, are already wetting their feet in the new media waters.

A panel discussion at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference Tuesday featured communications staff members from the Alabama Farmers Federation, Georgia Farm Bureau and Florida Farm Bureau, who talked about how they get their message out to the media and the public. I talked with Adam Basford with Florida Farm Bureau specifically about the exciting new opportunities presented to growers and organizations for “tweeting” their message out. “Getting the news out there quickly adds to your relevance. So if you are on the front end of getting messages out to people it really helps,” Adam says.

Listen to my interview with Adam here:

Listen To MP3Adam Basford (3:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Increasing Peanut Producer Profitability

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, Audio2 Comments

This year is the 10th year for the Peanut Profitability Awards sponsored by Farm Press. Dr. Marshall Lamb and USDA’s National Peanut Research Laboratory, working with a national peanut advisory board, helped to bring in an outstanding amount of nominations this year – the most ever.

Dr. Lamb says the program is not just about the winners. “This program gives an education component to other growers around the community to they can benefit from what these winners have done,” he said.

Listen to an interview with Dr. Lamb here:

Listen To MP3Dr. Marshall Lamb (4:30 min MP3)