How BASF Helps #Peanut Farmers Survive

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio, Conference Sponsors1 Comment

spgc-16-basfPeanuts may be considered a minor crop when it comes to the agriculture industry as a whole, but its an important one for sponsors of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference like BASF.

“We have a good product line for peanuts so we value our relationship with the peanut farmer,” says William Reed with BASF. Last year BASF introduced Priaxor fungicide for peanuts last year and Reed says they anticipate Zidua herbicide will be labeled for peanuts next year, with more products in the pipeline.

When it comes to surviving tough times, Reed says higher yields are more important than ever. “With a low price, you’ve got to produce a yield, and that’s where we really think we can benefit growers,” he said.
Interview with William Reed, BASF

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Happy 75th to M&Ms!

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-marsThe melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand classic candy is 75 years old this year and Mars has been celebrating by targeting the biggest generation in history with modern messaging.

“We want to make sure that we’re staying relevant with our consumer base and the largest consumer base is the millennials,” said Anne-Marie DeLorenzo, who serves as strategic sourcing manager for Mars Chocolate North America. “The way they get their news and media is on some type of device.”

That’s why Mars has really stepped up its use of social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram to really connect with millennials this year, starting with the release earlier this year of a remake of Sammy Davis Jr.’s 1972 classic “The Candy Man” by recording artists Zedd and Aloe Blacc.

“The Candy Man remake was 98 percent neutral to positive response, which is a phenomenal response for an advertising campaign,” said DeLorenzo.

In this interview, Anne-Marie also talks about how Mars will be 100% high oleic peanuts in 2018. Interview with Anne-Marie DeLorenzo, Mars Chocolate

If you haven’t seen the M&Ms Candyman, watch it below – it’s a treat!

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

#2016SPGC was a Blast with DuPont

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Conference Sponsors0 Comments

spgc-16-dupont-blastDuPont gave young and older alike a blast of fun at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference at Sandestin Resort.

The 2400 acre resort includes a village with shops, restaurants and entertainment including an arcade which DuPont rented out for Friday afternoon to provide a fun place for everyone to hang out in the air conditioning after a long day of meetings or the beach.

DuPont has been a long time supporter of the conference and started offering the Friday afternoon family-oriented entertainment option the past couple of years and this year was definitely a blast for all!

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Ag Colleges Helping #Peanut Farmers Survive

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio0 Comments

spgc-16-deansThe deans of the colleges of agriculture at three major land grant universities in the southeast presented their views on the importance of research to helping peanut growers survive challenging times.

From left to right, Mississippi State dean Dr. George Hopper, Auburn dean Dr. Paul Patterson, and University of Georgia dean Dr. Sam Pardue, all shared their stories of how the land grant universities are continuing the mission of Land-Grant College Act of 1862, also called the Morrill Act. That act of Congress provided grants of land to states to finance the establishment of colleges specializing in “agriculture and the mechanic arts.”

Listen to them here: Land Grants’ Role in Survival
2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Surviving Production Uncertainty Panel

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio0 Comments

spgc-16-panel-1Entomologists, plant pathologists, and weed scientists from major universities in the southeast peanut growing region talked about the challenges facing growers now and going forward.

University of Georgia plant pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait moderated the panel, which included his university’s colleagues entomologist Dr. Mark Abney and weed scientist Dr. Eric Prostko, as well as University of Florida plant pathologist Dr. Nicolas Dufault and Mississippi State entomologist Dr. Jeff Gore.

Listen to the whole panel here:
Surviving Production Uncertainty panel

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Bayer Welcome Dinner Sets Mood for #2016SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio, Conference Sponsors0 Comments

spgc-16-luauThe welcome reception and dinner/luau at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference came complete with leis and roasted whole hog to set the mood.

Bayer continued its platinum level sponsorship of the SPGC this year, which includes hosting the opening party. “We always look forward to the opportunity to come and visit with the peanut growers in this association,” says Bayer southeast district sales manager John Hand.

spgc-16-bayerWith the conference theme this year of Survivor, Hand says Bayer brings innovative solutions to the market to help growers in challenging times.

“With the product portfolio that we bring to the marketplace, we believe it allows a peanut grower to maximize his production which at the end of day is what is needed to survive trying times,” he says. “That’s what we’re all about.”

Interview with John Hand, Bayer

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Marketing Peanuts to Millennials

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-leslie-ryanSouthern Peanut Growers Executive Director Leslie Wagner and National Peanut Board Senior VP of Marketing Ryan Lepicier joined forces at the opening session of the 18th Southern Peanut Growers Conference to talk about what they are doing to market peanuts to the important millennial generation.

“Those of us who have millennials in their life know that they get their information from some sort of electronic device,” said Lepicier. “As marketers we have to be cognizant of where we’re putting our messages. We have to deliver the right message on the right platform.”

“Millennials are the largest living group in the United States. They’re also the first group that grew up not necessarily being able to eat peanut butter in school,” Wagner said. That has impacted how this important demographic views peanuts and peanut butter, making it critical for the industry to connect with them.

Learn more about how the industry is using social media to talk to millennials and provide facts in a fun way in my interviews with Ryan and Leslie.

Interview with Ryan Lepicier, National Peanut Board

Interview with Leslie Wagner, Southern Peanut Growers

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Valent Valor Award Goes to Fletcher

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-valorThe normally talkative Dr. Stanley Fletcher was left speechless when John Altom of Valent announced that he was the winner of this year’s Valor award at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

“I was totally surprised,” said Fletcher, an agricultural economist with the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness who has worked on the last five farm bills and is already starting work on the 2018 bill. “Farm bills used to be you get through and you have a three year break,” he said. “Now farm bills are 24/7, 365 days a year. You have a lot of preparation before hand.”

Fletcher also presented at the last session at the conference and talked about the farm bill process.

Interview with Dr. Stanley Fletcher, Center for Peanut Competitiveness

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

#2016SPGC Screens New Ice Cream Flavors

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-ice-creamIt was a sweet start to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference as attendees had the opportunity to taste and vote for their favorite southern-inspired flavor in the Eat Y’all Ice Cream Contest during the opening social.

Eat Y’all, a social media company dedicated to telling the story of southern agriculture, collected nearly 200 dream ice cream flavor suggestions in June for National Dairy Month and then had followers choose the three finalists. Sweet Magnolia Gelato Company created the top three flavors for tasting: Rocky Delta Road (sweet potato, marshmallow and pecan), Fluffernutter (marshmallow cream, peanut butter and chocolate-covered peanuts, and Peachy Keen (peach, pecan and bourbon).

Eat Y’all writer Brooke Goff says they hope to announce the winning flavor in 2-3 weeks, but considering Fluffernutter is the one that features peanuts, it was the clear favorite at the conference!

Listen to my interview with Brooke here: Interview with Brooke Goff of Eat Y’all

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Welcome Back to Florida #2016SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-ms-flThe 18th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is back on the Gulf Coast of Florida and the theme this year is Survivor: Managing the Challenge.

The meeting last year was held at Callaway Gardens in Georgia, after the longtime conference location in Panama City Beach was no longer an option, and those who attended that event were surveyed about potential future locations. “Our attendees overwhelmingly said we love beach locations,” said Florida Peanut Producers Association Executive Director Ken Barton. So, this year the conference is at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida – which is basically Destin.

Malcolm Broome with the Mississippi Peanut Growers says they chose this year’s theme because of all the challenges facing the industry. “We’re hoping to give our growers information about how to survive in the next 3-4 years,” said Broome.

Listen to my interviews with Ken and Malcolm here and look forward to hearing more about surviving the challenges ahead in the peanut industry.

Interview with Ken Barton, FL Peanut Producers

Interview with Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Producers

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album