Georgia Peanut Commission honors farmers and industry supporters
By Jennifer Whittaker, Georgia Farm Bureau
One of the highlights of the 46th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show & Conference held Jan. 19 was the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) honoring the individuals and teams who have helped advance Georgia’s peanut sector.
Before the show kicked off at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, the GPC and Agri Supply named the 2023 Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers during a breakfast for the award recipients and their guests. This award is presented annually to a peanut producer from each of the commission’s five districts. The award recognizes farmers who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see Georgia’s peanut industry continue to be the highest quality.
The Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers for each GPC district are: District 1, St. Elmo Harrison of Grady County; District 2, Armond Morris of Tift County; District 3, Lamar Black of Jenkins County; District 4, Barry Martin of Pulaski County; and District 5, Jack Miller of Lee and Sumter counties. Each are Farm Bureau members in their respective counties.
Mitchell County Farm Bureau member Adam Curles received the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award from the GPC and BASF. Curles was recognized for utilizing innovative stewardship practices on the farm to reduce his carbon footprint and water usage. He is active with several community and ag organizations in Mitchell County and across Georgia.
The Honorable Sonny Perdue, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, was inducted into the Georgia Peanut Hall of Fame. As the seventh recipient of this honor, a portrait of Perdue, unveiled at the peanut show awards lunch, will be displayed at the GPC’s Tifton headquarters.
Prior to his current role, Perdue was the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and led the USDA from 2017-2021. He also served two terms as the governor of Georgia from 2003-2011 and was a member of the Georgia Senate from 1991 to 2001, where he chaired the Senate Higher Education Committee and eventually became Senate President Pro Tem.
The GPC presented additional awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts. These awards and recipients are: Distinguished Service Award – Gary Black, former Georgia Agriculture Commissioner; Research and Education Award – Calvin Perry, retired superintendent of the University of Georgia’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, and the UGA Peanut Team; Innovator Award – Dr. William D. Branch, UGA peanut variety breeder; Promotion Award – Bob Parker, National Peanut Board president; Media Award – Peanut Farm Market News, published by Tyron Spearman, Angela Elder and Rosalie Reeder; ; and the Georgia Peanut Special Award to Dr. Darlene Cowart, Birdsong Peanuts vice president of food safety/quality.
Cole Godowns of Louisville, Ga., won the show’s grand door prize donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. – a season’s use of a new KMC peanut combine with the option to buy the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price after the 2023 season, as well as a cash prize.
Amadas Industries provided a grower door prize to Austin Griffin of Ocilla, Ga., and Gary Paulk of Wray, Ga. Griffin received a customized Grizzly cooler and a certificate towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled peanut combine, pull-type peanut combine, peanut digger or peanut dump cart. Paulk received a customized Grizzly cooler and a certificate for Amadas parts.
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