July 18 at 7 a.m., Farm Press will recognize its 21st class of Peanut Efficiency Award winners at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Fla. Seven peanut producers from four states throughout the Peanut Belt will be honored.
This year, I have the privilege of announcing our Southwest winners, father and son, Glen and Aaron Martin of A&G Farms. They farm peanuts, cotton, wheat and run cattle near Wellman, Texas. Together this generational team consistently produces high peanut yields. Glen's youngest son, Kirk, joined their production team fulltime in 2016.
The Martins will tell you they're not doing anything special, that they don't run the latest equipment or use fancy apps. They're just farming, they say, planting and producing peanuts, trying to raise their families on the family farm and continue what Glen's father and Aaron's grandfather, James Martin, and generations of Martins before him, started.
(2020 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winners Aaron and Glen Martin, A&G Farms.)
But there's something unique about the 2020 winners. They aren't the first in their family to be recognized for economically producing high peanut yields. In 2000, the first year Farm Press presented the award, known then as the Peanut Profitability Award, James was named the Southwest winner.
When James was interviewed 20 years ago by former Southwest Editor Ron Smith, he discussed drought and the depleting Ogallala Aquifer – two concerns that still top the list for his son and grandsons today. In a 2019 interview, I asked James when he thinks about the future of the peanut industry and his grandsons, what comes to mind?
James said, "They love it like I did. My son Glen, he's got it in his blood and those two grandsons have got it in their blood as well. They're dedicated to it and they do a good job. They're not afraid to adapt to whatever is necessary to make it work."
As James has since transitioned to the role of landowner, leaving Glen in charge, Glen says one of the things he appreciates about his dad from their time farming together is how James gave him room to be his own person. "It wasn't his way or the highway. He wanted us to work together and bounce ideas off each other. And now it's the same way with the boys. This is a team. We're a family farm, everybody works together. Everybody has input."
Four generations of the Martin family plan to travel to the 2020 PEA breakfast to celebrate Glen and Aaron's accomplishment. What a celebration that will be!
Watching will be Aaron's three children, Tenley, Sadie and toddler Rhett. It makes me wonder, in 20 years, will they find themselves making this trip again to the 2040 PEA breakfast? If history repeats itself, I would say so!
Congratulations Martin family on your heritage and peanut production on the Texas Plains. Best of wishes on the 2020 growing season and those to come!
*After this column was written and due to COVID-19, the breakfast is rescheduled for 2021.
To read more about the Martins, click on the following links:
- No easy fix for 2020 PEA winners