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24th class of peanut efficiency winners celebrated

Nine peanut producers were recognized for their regenerative practices and high peanut yields at the Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Awards Breakfast in Destin, Fla.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

July 31, 2023

15 Slides

Farm Press and the National Peanut Board celebrated the 24th class of Peanut Efficiency Award winners at the annual PEA Breakfast during the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, Destin, Fla.

Greg Baltz, National Peanut Board vice chair, addressed the winners, their families and those gathered for the event and stressed the importance of sustainable peanut production.

"As costs on the farm continue to increase the sustainable production of high-quality peanuts that this award recognizes is essential. The National Peanut Award understands the need for your dollars to stretch and to work as hard as possible," Baltz said. "We've taken full advantage of opportunities like matching grant programs from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and we worked with NIFA and other industry groups to secure nearly $4 million additional dollars in funding for peanut research. In total, since 2001, the National Peanut Board has invested and secured more than $45 million in production research funding, and through our budget allocations as well as through industry matching funds. This investment has and will continue to have an amazing impact on our industry."

He also touched on the more than $36 million the board has invested in peanut allergy research, outreach and education. "Our message of early introduction to prevent peanut allergies is spreading and more organizations are taking up the banner of allergy prevention, which makes our resources go even further."
Brad Haire, Farm Press/Farm Progress senior content director, told the crowd the PEA program started with some people who were forward-looking to know two decades ago the industry was changing, from technology to policy changes and the end of the quota system. "It was a way to start building up a good sustainability message for the industry, what the growers are doing, and also bringing up what the industry does to promote agriculture around the regions."

"This marks the 24th class of winning growers and each class continues to impress with their innovative techniques and improving bottom-line profits," said Greg Frey, Farm Progress senior vice president of operations. "Since its inception in 2000, the peanut efficiency award has honored over 70 deserving winners from the upper and lower regions of the Southeast, the Delta region and Southwest region of the United States."

Before presenting the winners with their awards, Marshall Lamb, USDA National Research Laboratory research leader, said the award considers a nominee's production and economic efficiency as well as sustainability metrics.

"If we look back over the 24-year history of this program, not just looking at the winners of each year, but all the nominees that came in and look at what the cost of production was on an annual basis, it has really increased over time. And as these gentlemen and ladies who farm, know this year and last year was probably the most expensive crops you've ever grown with the inputs that you're facing. So, it's very important that within this program, we look at different metrics to try to decide the winners."

Sustainability "resonates with the people who have purchasing power," he told the crowd as he explained more about the award. "It's a good process that we go through because it's not just balanced on economics, it's balanced on the things that are important for growers, which is good production efficiency, managing costs and economic efficiency, but also a way that we can look at the sustainable footprint that we have in peanuts and use that to reach more and more consumers."

Take a look through this gallery to learn more about what each grower had to say about receiving their award. Learn more about their operations and the secret to their production success by following the links below.

2023 Peanut Efficiency Award winners:

Upper Southeast: Colt Woody and Brandon Woody, Aiken, South Carolina

Lower Southeast: Ryan Jenkins, Jay, Fla.

Delta: Triple D Farms, Sikeston, Mo.

Southwest: John Reddecop, Seminole, Texas

Read more about:

Peanut Efficiency Award

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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