July 24, 2011
Somewhere around 600 peanut farmers, industry friends and their families helped make the 2011 Southern Peanut Growers Conference one of the record books.
“We sold out more room nights than we’ve ever had, we had higher registration than we’ve ever had, and I really think we had one of the best conferences we’ve ever had,” said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission.
Don says the growers came, despite the fact that dry conditions throughout the southern growing region are causing concerns. “I think there was some desire to just get away, I mean, you can’t make it rain!” said Don, pictured here with two grandsons enjoying the final night entertainment, sponsored by Syngenta.
Don notes that Syngenta has been a sponsor for the conference since the very beginning. “Syngenta’s been the anchor of this conference,” he said. “They were the first sponsor that came forward when we started this 13 years ago.”
Listen to my interview with Don here: Don Koehler (MP3)
“Our sales reps have a relationship with these growers that’s second to none,” said Syngenta Peanut Crop Manager Scott Johnson. “It’s a good time to have fellowship and to learn the needs of the growers and of the industry.”
Listen to Scott explain why Syngenta supports SPGC by clicking on the link below:
Scott Johnson, Syngenta (MP3)
13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album
July 24, 2011
Jimmy Lee has been a fixture at peanut events around the southeast for many moons, as the former host of the Georgia Farm Monitor radio and TV shows, and since his second retirement about four years ago he continues visiting his friends in the peanut industry to do video.
Jimmy celebrated 50 years in broadcasting in June, 2005 and was inducted into the Georgia Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2006. “I’ve met a lot of people and done a lot of interviews,” Jimmy told me. “We counted up at one point and we were about 50,000 interviews in all that time.” Among those interviews were three U.S. presidents and the Duke himself, John Wayne. From 1985-1997 he produced and hosted a weekly half-hour television program and a daily radio program for the Georgia Peanut Commission.
Jimmy says he’s stopped having birthdays and “doesn’t recommend” retirement, but he still stays busy and has a lot of fun.
Listen to my interview with Jimmy here: Jimmy Lee (MP3)
July 24, 2011
A colorful and entertaining childrens’ book about the history of “one of our most beloved yet least understood crops” was included in the registration bags for participants at the 2011 SPGC, not for us to keep but to giveaway. The book is called “The Life and Times of the Peanut” by Charles Micucci.
“One of our speakers talked about the need for farmers to promote their own image and their own product,” said Randy Griggs, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. “And we included this book to reiterate what she said and we asked every participant to take that book back and donate it to a school, or church, or public library.”
Randy says the Alabama peanut producers discovered the book by chance and bought up every copy the publisher had to donate to schools and use for the state’s Ag in the Classroom program, but there are still some copies still to be found on-line! The author also has other agriculture-themed books, including “The Life and Times of Corn” and “The Life and Times of the Honeybee.”
Find out more about the book in my interview with Randy below.
Randy Griggs (MP3)