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Peanut show highlights technology

More than 1,200 peanut farmers from across Georgia and neighboring states recently attended the 32nd Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show to see the latest in farming technologies.

The one-day show kicked off Thursday morning in Albany, Ga., and offered farmers the opportunity to visit with more than 65 exhibitors.

Throughout the day farmers also had the opportunity to learn about crop management through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Peanut Seminars. The seminars focused on weed management, disease management, rotation and nutrient management, climate data for production decisions and economics of peanut production.

“No one left the farm show without learning something new and useful,” says Rodney Dawson, Georgia Peanut Farm Show chairman. “Farmers attending learned the latest in technologies and crop management that will help them in finding ways to reduce their production costs and increase their bottom line.”

In addition to the exhibits and educational seminars, GPC presented awards to several individuals and organizations during the morning awards ceremony. The awards are as follows:

  • Research and Education Award — Yen-Con Hung, University of Georgia food scientist, received the Georgia Peanut Research and Education Award. Hung's research is focused on applying the fundamentals of engineering science to biological materials to ensure the high quality and safety of food products and has published more than 130 scientific referred Journal articles. Hung has also been working to develop peanut-based products including a peanut-burger, peanut pasta and peanut drink to increase demand for peanuts. He has also organized the Hot Topics on Peanuts conference for the last five years as part of the annual Georgia Peanut Tour pre-program.

  • Georgia Peanut Media Award — The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight received the Georgia Peanut Media Award from the Georgia Peanut Commission during the show. Sam Griffin, Jr., is publisher of the twice-weekly newspaper which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007. The Post- Searchlight has been very instrumental in dispensing vital peanut information to the growers and the public in Decatur County and the surrounding southwest corner of Georgia. In 2007, the Georgia Peanut Tour was held in the Bainbridge, Ga., area and the Post- Searchlight provided extensive coverage of the event.

  • Georgia Peanut Special Award — The Georgia Peanut Commission presented the Georgia Peanut Special Award to the J.M. Smucker Company during the show. Wayne Braswell, director of peanut butter operations, and Bill Brown, manager of peanut procurement, accepted the award on behalf of the J.M. Smucker Company. The company is the leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk and health and natural foods beverages in North America.

The Georgia Peanut Commission recognized the company's new Jif To Go single-serve cups of creamy peanut butter. This innovative packaging presents an opportunity to shape a momentous boom toward increasing consumption within the peanut butter category.

This convenient, smart, and nutritious snack was a huge hit for the 50,000 consumers that came through the peanut industry's exhibit sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission during the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition.

At the close of the day, Al Rowland, peanut farmer from Wrightsville, Ga., was named the winner of the Grand Door Prize donated by Kelley Manufacturing Company (KMC). Rowland received one season's use of a four-row or six-row KMC peanut combine, valued at $10,000.

Johnny McCleskey of Unadilla, Ga., received the Amadas Grower Prize, a certificate from Amadas Industries valued at $10,000 off the purchase of a self-propelled peanut combine.

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