It’s the May issue of Peanut Grower, and it has just dawned on me that 2022 marks 30 years that I have been in the peanut industry.
On one hand, looking back to my beginning at the Florida Peanut Producers Association makes me a little sad. A brighter light in this world never existed than Sherry Saunders, who passed away last December. I loved her dearly and will miss catching up with her at Southern Peanut Growers Conference each year. She was the consummate promoter of peanuts and simply the loveliest of persons.
Besides missing friends and a few other bumps in the road, working in this industry is a joy. The same peanut that kept George Washington Carver insatiably curious for more than five decades keeps me interested and fascinated as well.
I remember speaking to a group of agriculture students once, and I was asked if after that many years in the industry, surely I knew everything there was to know about peanuts, and it must be boring to still write about. Owing it to their youthfulness, I politely let the young lady know that we had likely only tapped a small portion of what there was to know about peanuts, and researchers were finding out new things all the time. That’s what makes it fun.
What got me skipping down memory lane? Something as simple as the American Peanut Research and Education Society announcement on the management agreement with the American Peanut Council. I’ve been around long enough to see organizations come and go, but APRES isn’t going anywhere. Under the two-year administrative agreement, APRES will remain an independent organization with its own board, governance structure, branding, scientific journal, programs and events. The impetus for the move is the retirement of Kim Cutchins. The APC’s Richard Owen, president and CEO, will become executive officer for APRES.
APRES President and North Carolina State University Extension peanut specialist David Jordan says, “I’m pleased that we were able to find a strong industry partner to continue the work of APRES following Kim’s retirement. I’ve personally been involved in the peanut industry on a professional level for 25 years, grew up on a farm with peanuts, and the affiliation with APC, whose members represent the peanut supply chain, will bring added value to the important conversations that will provide solutions to the issues we face moving forward.”