Peanut Leadership Academy Class XIII hosts first session

Joy CrosbyNewsLeave a Comment

Jan. 31, 2024, TIFTON, Ga. – Twenty-seven peanut growers and sheller representatives from across the Southeast, Arkansas, Texas and the Virginia-Carolina area began Class XIII of the Peanut Leadership Academy Jan. 8-11, 2024, in Savannah, Georgia. The Peanut Leadership Academy is hosted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association and grower organizations. The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Since then, the academy has grown to include farmers from Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and sheller representatives.

Activities in the leadership program are structured to give participants a thorough understanding of the U.S. peanut industry. Throughout the course of 18 months and five sessions, program attendees participate in sessions ranging from field trips, meetings with industry leaders and professional development training, as well as one session in Washington, D.C., where class members have an opportunity to visit with members of Congress about issues affecting the peanut industry. During this time, class members build on leadership skills, discuss and debate key industry issues and build relationships.

During the first session, the class members participated in leadership team building skills, etiquette training and learned more about the entire peanut industry while joining the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual meeting. Participants in PLA Class XIII include: Cutchin Anderson, Tarboro, North Carolina; Eric Bailey, Waverly, Virginia; Emmanuel Bankston with Golden Peanut; Miles Birdsong with Birdsong Peanuts; Sean Brannen, Statesboro, Georgia; August Cassebaum, Lillian, Alabama; Jay Corte, Daphne, Alabama; Riley Davis, Parrott, Georgia; Garrett Dixon, Salem, Alabama; Heath Donner, Manila, Arkansas; Trevor Dyer with Sandy Land Peanut; Henry Froese, Seagraves, Texas; Lonnie Gilbert, Marianna, Florida; Chad Harris with Olam; Judson Hornsby, Iron City, Georgia; Douglas Jarrell, Estill, South Carolina; Cason Kirkland with Premium Peanut; Will Krause, Unadilla, Georgia; Kirk Martin, Brownfield, Texas; Daniel McMillan, Enigma, Georgia; Jess McNeill, Americus, Georgia; Phillip Melvin, Altha, Florida; Travis Mixon, Dothan, Alabama; Garrett Moore, Chancellor, Alabama; Cody Robinson, Williston, Florida; Chase Trimble with Coastal Growers; and Emily Williams with the National Peanut Board.

Session two of Class XIII is scheduled for March 17-20, 2024. For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy, contact PLA director, Jessie Bland at or visit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.