Speaking Up for Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Peanut growers heard from the dairy industry about how important it is to speak up for agriculture and be a good industry ambassador.

Cheryl Hayn with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association was on the program at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference to talk about what they are doing to get producers comfortable with speaking to the media and the public about their business. “What that does is really put a face on the industry,” Cheryl says. “We spend a good bit of time in training to develop confidence and have follow up sessions to refresh skills.”

Cheryl says the program has helped the dairy industry to lay a foundation of credibility in times of crisis, but also to help promote public confidence in dairy products during good times, and she encourages peanut growers to get out and tell their story.

Listen to an interview with Cheryl here:

Listen To MP3Cheryl Hayn (5:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Peanuts are Energy for Life

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

The National Peanut Board kicked off a new promotional campaign this year that focuses on all the great benefits of peanuts – Energy for the Good Life.

“It’s kind of self-explanatory,” says NPB Chairman Roger Neitsch, a producer from Texas. “I think it’s really a great slogan that will further the consumption of peanuts and peanut products.”

The new slogan was actually launched earlier this year in New York City, right in the middle of the salmonella situation. “We had to re-direct our program of work because it was already planned and it fell right in the time of crisis,” Roger says. “New York being the media capitol of the world, we got to visit and do a lot of media interviews there and it helped spread the word and it helped us help the consumers understand.”

Listen to an interview with Roger here:

Listen To MP3Roger Neitsch (5:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Peanut Profitability Award Winners

Cindy ZimmermanUncategorizedLeave a Comment

This morning, three growers were recognized at the 10th Annual Peanut Profitability Awards Presentation. The awards, sponsored by Farm Press, are based on production efficiency and honor those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. The awards are based on a producer’s entire farm operation – not just on individual farms or small plots.

This year’s winners (shown left to right) are T.E. Moye, Jr. of Newton, GA for the southeast region, John Crumpler of Suffolk, VA for the Virginia-Carolina region, and Weldon Shook of Seminole, TX for the southwest region.

Cindy interviewed each of the winners to get their thoughts on profitability in the peanut industry.

Listen to or download the interviews here:

Listen To MP3T.E. Moye (6:00 min MP3)

Listen To MP3John Crumpler (4:00 min MP3)

Listen To MP3Weldon Shook (4:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Trimble/Ag Technologies Continue Blog Sponsorship

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, Audio, Conference SponsorsLeave a Comment

This is the second year for the Southern Peanut Growers Conference blog and the second year it has been sponsored by Trimble and Ag Technologies. The two companies work together to provide the very latest in technology to help growers be more productive.

I spoke once again this year with Tim East of Trimble and Brian Kelly of Ag Technologies about their relationship with peanut growers in the southeast and what they offer for growers. “The peanut growers and the people in the peanut industry are great to work with,” Tim said. “Technology is a tool in the tool box. We’re trying to make the farmers more efficient to get more things done in less time.”

Brian says the sponsorship of the blog, using new media technology, is a good fit for their companies. “Using this type of technology seemed like a good synergy,” he said. “It really shows that we really are a technology group. We deal with all things ag and if it deals with technology inside that world, that’s what we do.” He says they listen to the needs of growers and bring the technologies to them and the farmers really show them how to make money with it.

Listen to an interview with Tim and Brian here:

Listen To MP3Tim East and Brian Kelly (4:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Peanut Growers and Food Safety

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Peanut growers were not to blame for the salmonella contamination problem that happened earlier this year, but everyone can do their part to make sure peanuts are the safest product possible from farm to plate.

The role that peanut growers play in food safety was addressed during the Southern Peanut Producers Conference today by Dr. Darlene Cowert, president of JLA USA, a tech services company based in Albany, Georgia. “Food ingredient safety is started at the farm level,” Darlene says, and growers can minimize risk on their operations to deliver a safe product to shellers and ultimately to consumers.

Her presentation was a joint effort between her company and the American Peanut Council to revamp and improve the good agricultural practices. The APC board will vote on those practices and ultimately that will lead to educational sessions to be offered through county extension offices.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Cowert here:

Listen To MP3Darlene Cowert (3:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Bayer Continues Support for Peanut Industry

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, Audio, Conference SponsorsLeave a Comment

Bayer Crop Science has been a sponsor of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference since it started 11 years ago and they are especially proud to help welcome the industry every year by hosting the opening dinner and entertainment.

Southeast district sales manager John Hand says Bayer Crop Science is committed to the peanut industry. “The information that is shared at this meeting for producers is vital for their success and we have a large portfolio of products that we offer to help them be successful as well,” John tells me.

Among those products are Trilex, Proline, Absolute, and Provost, which John says all help growers protect their crop and get higher yields.

Listen To MP3John Hand (3:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Peanuts and Politics

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

First up on the agenda at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference Monday morning was Congressman Allen Boyd (D-FL), who gave growers and industry members an update on what’s happening in Washington DC these days could will affect them. Among the topics he discussed were food safety, agriculture funding, health care reform and energy.

“We’ve got a good solid farm bill that was written just a year ago, we’re going to get some energy legislation that I hope is going to work for us,” Boyd said. “Number one, it’s going to give us a less expensive, reliable energy source domestically, and number two we (agriculture) are going to be in a large part providing that resource.”

Southeast Agnet reporter Randall Weiseman interviewed Rep. Boyd about some of the issues. Listen to that interview here.

Listen To MP3Southeast Agnet Interview with Allen Boyd (4:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Redfish and Peanuts

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, Audio1 Comment

A new addition this year to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference first day fun was a Redfish Sport Fishing Seminar, presented by Redfish Riviera Outfitters.

Steve Bailey with Redfish Riviera and Captain Daniel Snapp with Grassy Flats Charters, in colorful shirts promoting peanuts, presented tips and tricks of the fishing trade to peanut growers and their families.

Listen to an interview with Steve and Captain Daniel here:
Listen To MP3Redfish (4:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Peanut Butter Makes Cherries Divine

Cindy Zimmerman2009 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

A simply divine treat is in the bag of goodies given to each person at registration for the Southern Peanut Growers Conference – chocolate covered peanut butter cherries. And they are just incredibly delicious.

Leslie Wagner with the Peanut Advisory Board says the new gourmet product comes from a company called Cherries Divine Chocolatiers. “We actually helped them develop the product and they are going to be offering them in their product line,” Leslie said. “This is a very high-end company. They really specialize in fancy, corporate gifts, weddings and things like that. So, it’s a high end company and peanut butter will be right there in the middle of it!”

Leslie says the Peanut Advisory Board has been very busy with promotional activities this year, such as two nights of Screen on the Green, an annual outdoor film festival and a popular Atlanta summertime tradition, where they gave away peanuts and Lance peanut butter snack products.

Listen to an interview with Leslie here:
Listen To MP3Leslie Wagner (6:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album

Comfort Food Greets Peanut Conference Attendees

Cindy Zimmerman2009 ConferenceLeave a Comment

Registration for a conference is often just a hum-drum experience – but at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, it’s a taste of true southern hospitality.

The Peanut Advisory Board has made it an annual tradition to welcome the peanut industry members and families as they arrive in Panama City Beach with a sweet treat – ice cream with all kinds of toppings, especially peanuts.

Another tasty afternoon snack is provided by the National Peanut Buying Points Association – grilled PB&J to make Elvis envious!

It is a wonderful opportunity for the members of the peanut industry family to meet and greet each other before the real work gets underway.

See more photos in the SPGC Flickr Photo Album