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Van Hensarling: 2020 Mid-South Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winnerVan Hensarling: 2020 Mid-South Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winner

Van Hensarling grows about 1,000 acres of peanuts in southern Mississippi and has been chosen this year's Peanut Efficiency Award winner for the Mid-South.

Ron Smith

July 2, 2020

7 Slides

"If it weren't for peanuts, I probably would not be farming," says Van Hensarling, Richton, Miss. "Peanuts are about the only crop that makes money."

Hensarling has grown peanuts for 23 years on his south Mississippi farm. He farmed with his dad while still in high school, using his dad's equipment but making his own crops. He farmed leased land on his own after high school and bought his first farm in 1981, raising soybeans and wheat.

"I enjoy growing peanuts," Hensarling says. "I started during the quota system. I transitioned from soybeans and wheat to 100% cotton in 1995 and 1996. I added peanuts in 1997. I had to gear up for peanuts. Fortunately, I had an understanding banker."

He farms with his wife, Anita, and sons, Jerid, 40, and Brad, 37.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith

Editor, Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

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