The 2019 Southern Peanut Growers Conference highlighted superheroes this year -- the peanut farmer -- with the theme "Super farmers grow super peanuts."
For the welcome reception and dinner, guests were asked to dress as their favorite superhero. Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission, came dressed as a convincing Hulk. Ken Barton, executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association, sported a cape. Children got into the spirit dressing as Super Woman and Captain America.
The first general session opened with speakers Parker Wallace of Parker's Plate, Sherry Coleman Collins with the National Peanut Board, and Dr. Samara Sterling with Peanut Institue, discussing topics from peanut promotion through cooking to preventing peanut allergies to how the nutrients found in peanuts can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The second general session focused on research with Dr. Soraya Bertioli with the University of Georgia, Dr. Edward M. Barnes with Cotton Incorporated, and Dr. Sott Monfort with the University of Georgia, headlining the session. The third session featured a trade and market update by U.S. Representative Drew Ferguson, George Lovatt, a peanut broker with Lovatt and Rushing, and Dr. Stanley Fletcher, an economist with the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College.
In conjunction with the conference, Farm Press held its annual Peanut Efficiency Award breakfast honoring four peanut growers: Graham Ginn, Lower Southeast Region, Dennis Spruill, Upper Southeast Region, Joe Morgan, Mid-South Region, and Jared and Lexi Floyd, Southwest Region.
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A joint meeting of producers' associations was also held, including Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and Southern Peanut Growers.