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Peanut producers hear messages for survival

<p>Kynlee Martin, 4, Plains, Texas, is the granddaughter of Rickey and Karen Bearden, 2016 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winners for the Southwest region.</p>

More than 600 peanut farmers, University Extension specialists and research scientists, and industry representatives gathered last week at the Sandestin Resort on Miramar Beach, Fla., for the annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

In addition to the obvious attractions of the white sand beaches, warm, crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and great seafood, participants also heard the latest updates on how to survive in the current harsh economic climate for peanuts and other commodities. Featured speakers included U.S. House Agriculture  Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas. Marketing, production and Land Grant University issues also were on the agenda.

Farm Press honored three outstanding producers with the annual Peanut Efficiency Award during the awards breakfast, jointly sponsored by Farm Press and the National Peanut Board. Winners included Rickey Bearden, Yoakum County, Texas; Matt and Tonya Bryan, Baker County, Georgia; and Mike, Cindy and Brandon Belch, Northampton County, N.C.

Here are a few photos of this year’s conference. Photos by Farm Press staff members John Hart and Ron Smith.

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