Peanut Academy Awards

July 19, 2009

I think we should call them the “Goobers” – the first ever Peanut Academy Awards presented at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City last week.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Mr. Peanut himself, Tyron Spearman, and the presenters were some of the biggest stars in show biz – from yesteryear and the present.

Presenters included Tom Cruise, Bette Midler, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, David Letterman, Tom Selleck, Audrey Hepburn, W.C. Fields, Mae West, and Clark Gable.

Here is a partial list of the categories and the winners:

Charitable Efforts: Glen Lee Chase of Ogelthorpe, GA
Best Dressed: Jimmy Watford
Print Ad: Chris Thompson family of Alabama

Best Male Dancer: David Reed (pictured here with Michael Jackson)
Best Female Dancer: Nola McMullian
Best Documentary: Peanut Farmers Sustainability by the National Peanut Board
Best Educational Program: Peanut Institute
Best Group No One’s Heard Of: Syngenta Soul Team
Second Favorite Syngenta Rep: Frank Moore
Best Actor: Gene Roney of Georgia
Best Actress: Rosemary Corte

And the Humanitarian Award for 2009 went to …………. America’s Peanut Farmers for their outstanding efforts in helping to feed the nation’s hungry with the most nutritious and delicious natural food in the world!

Hats off to everyone and have another great year!

Make sure you check out the 2009 Southern Peanut Growers Conference photo album for more fun photos.


Stars Come Out for Peanuts

July 15, 2009

The Southern Peanut Growers Conference rolled out the red carpet Tuesday night for the stars of the peanut industry.

The first ever Peanut Oscar awards night and dinner was sponsored by our good friends at Syngenta, who got into the spirit of the evening by coming dressed as some of their favorite stars. Oscars were handed out for best humanitarian, actor, actress, dancers, documentary, and much more. I will have details in later posts.

Between the peanut group staff members and Syngenta sales reps, we had a great bunch of stars on hand – many you just thought were dead! We saw every one from Mae West and W.C. Fields, to Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, to Elvis and yes, even Michael Jackson! It was really a lot of fun and these people deserve a big round of applause for the work they did to make this a very memorable event. Click on the group shot for a closer look.

The entire conference has been immortalized once again in photos. Make sure to check out all 651 of them on the Flickr Photo Peanut Family Album. Any photo on the site can be easily downloaded by clicking on it, then choosing “all sizes” and then right click to download.

I will be doing a few more posts on the site this week and probably adding some other photos as well, so be sure to check back for more.


Getting the Message Out with Social Media

July 14, 2009

Communicating the message of agriculture to the public has gotten much more personal with the help of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and many agricultural groups, including peanut grower organizations, are already wetting their feet in the new media waters.

A panel discussion at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference Tuesday featured communications staff members from the Alabama Farmers Federation, Georgia Farm Bureau and Florida Farm Bureau, who talked about how they get their message out to the media and the public. I talked with Adam Basford with Florida Farm Bureau specifically about the exciting new opportunities presented to growers and organizations for “tweeting” their message out. “Getting the news out there quickly adds to your relevance. So if you are on the front end of getting messages out to people it really helps,” Adam says.

Listen to my interview with Adam here:

Listen To MP3Adam Basford (3:00 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album


Increasing Peanut Producer Profitability

July 14, 2009

This year is the 10th year for the Peanut Profitability Awards sponsored by Farm Press. Dr. Marshall Lamb and USDA’s National Peanut Research Laboratory, working with a national peanut advisory board, helped to bring in an outstanding amount of nominations this year – the most ever.

Dr. Lamb says the program is not just about the winners. “This program gives an education component to other growers around the community to they can benefit from what these winners have done,” he said.

Listen to an interview with Dr. Lamb here:

Listen To MP3Dr. Marshall Lamb (4:30 min MP3)


Speaking Up for Agriculture

July 14, 2009

Peanut growers heard from the dairy industry about how important it is to speak up for agriculture and be a good industry ambassador.

Cheryl Hayn with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association was on the program at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference to talk about what they are doing to get producers comfortable with speaking to the media and the public about their business. “What that does is really put a face on the industry,” Cheryl says. “We spend a good bit of time in training to develop confidence and have follow up sessions to refresh skills.”

Cheryl says the program has helped the dairy industry to lay a foundation of credibility in times of crisis, but also to help promote public confidence in dairy products during good times, and she encourages peanut growers to get out and tell their story.

Listen to an interview with Cheryl here:

Listen To MP3Cheryl Hayn (5:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album


Peanuts are Energy for Life

July 14, 2009

The National Peanut Board kicked off a new promotional campaign this year that focuses on all the great benefits of peanuts – Energy for the Good Life.

“It’s kind of self-explanatory,” says NPB Chairman Roger Neitsch, a producer from Texas. “I think it’s really a great slogan that will further the consumption of peanuts and peanut products.”

The new slogan was actually launched earlier this year in New York City, right in the middle of the salmonella situation. “We had to re-direct our program of work because it was already planned and it fell right in the time of crisis,” Roger says. “New York being the media capitol of the world, we got to visit and do a lot of media interviews there and it helped spread the word and it helped us help the consumers understand.”

Listen to an interview with Roger here:

Listen To MP3Roger Neitsch (5:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album


Peanut Profitability Award Winners

July 14, 2009

This morning, three growers were recognized at the 10th Annual Peanut Profitability Awards Presentation. The awards, sponsored by Farm Press, are based on production efficiency and honor those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. The awards are based on a producer’s entire farm operation – not just on individual farms or small plots.

This year’s winners (shown left to right) are T.E. Moye, Jr. of Newton, GA for the southeast region, John Crumpler of Suffolk, VA for the Virginia-Carolina region, and Weldon Shook of Seminole, TX for the southwest region.

Cindy interviewed each of the winners to get their thoughts on profitability in the peanut industry.

Listen to or download the interviews here:

Listen To MP3T.E. Moye (6:00 min MP3)

Listen To MP3John Crumpler (4:00 min MP3)

Listen To MP3Weldon Shook (4:30 min MP3)

Southern Peanut Growers 2009 Flickr Photo Album