Shelling Plant Going Up In Georgia

Peanut-Grower-March-2015-copy_Page_08_Image_0002

Premier Peanut’s board of directors are as follows: (seated L-R): Gabe Evans, Steve Dixon, Gene Waldron, Ralph Evans; (standing L-R): Griffin Evans, Scott Williams, Ben Evans, Gary Evans, Drew Walker. (not shown – Kent Fountain)

Premium Peanut has announced plans to build a $50 million peanut shelling plant in Coffee County, Ga., that will employ 100 people.

Coffee County Development Officials said that initial work has already begun on the 42-acre site on Barrington Road off Georgia Highway 32 west of Douglas, explains JoAnne Lewis, executive director Douglas-Coffee County Economic Development Authority.

“A commitment of 100 new jobs is just what we need to kick-start the economy in 2015,’’ Lewis says. “The investment will reach far beyond our county lines: This project is regional. The impact will be felt by many counties in South Georgia.”

The owners of seven peanut buying points in Coffee, Jeff Davis, Berrien, Irwin and Appling Counties formed Premium Peanut as a limited liability corporation in November 2014. The companies will warehouse peanuts and then supply them to the shelling plant during the year, according to the development authority. Using modern shelling equipment, the plant is expected to begin with 110,000 tons from the 2015 crop and grow to 140,000 tons in its first three years. The plant will have a capacity of 200,000 tons.

Record Attendance At Farm Show

More than 2,100 producers and guests attended the 39th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference in January at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus and the Southeastern Peanut Farmer.

The Georgia Peanut Commission presented awards to the following recipients: Distinguished Service Award – Birdsong Peanuts; Research and Eduction Award – Steve Brown, retired University of Georgia interim associate dean for Extension; Media Award – 92.5 The Farm, WKZZ; and Special Awards to Steve Spooner, S&S Marketing, Peanut Proud, Inc. and Debbie Cannon, retired representative for Sen. Chambliss.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award was presented to Andrew Grimes of Tifton, Ga. The award was sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.

The Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to the following: District 1 – Wayne Carr, District 2 – Ralph Underwood, District 3 – Olin Boyd, District 4 – James Warbington, District 5 – Jimmy Curry. The Grand Door Prize, donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co., was presented to Jared Cross, Unadilla, Ga. Cross received one season’s use of a new six-row KMC peanut combine and the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2015 season. Another part of the Grand Door Prize package offered by KMC was $1,000 cash and it went to Drew Whigham, Cairo, Ga.

Amadas Industries provided a Grower Door Prize of one season’s use of a new Amadas four-row or six-row peanut inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $5,000 towards the purchase of any Amadas pull-type peanut combine. This prize went to Steve Shivers, Ft. Gaines, Ga. For information or photos, visit their website at www.gapeanuts.com.

Southern Peanut Growers Conference Is On The Move

Peanut-Grower-March-2015-copy_Page_09_Image_0002The 17th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is moving to Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga., for 2015, but the program line up and social events offered will still be stellar. The conference is planned for July 23-25.

Owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Callaway Gardens includes a garden, resort, preserve and residential community on 13,000 acres. Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and special events throughout the year.

In addition, Callaway Gardens offers nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 685 guest rooms, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more.

Peanut-Grower-March-2015-copy_Page_09_Image_0003Callaway Gardens is home to a 4,610-acre forest preserve, which is sustainably-managed for biological studies and environmental education programs, and has provided a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world for millions of visitors.

As for the conference, producers will continue to have an opportunity to learn more about legislative issues, marketing opportunities, production issues and promotional efforts. Additional information, including registration details, will be available soon.

Southern Ag Carriers Reach New Level

The largest hauler of farmer-stock peanuts has been certified for a major food safety initiative. EAGLE Certification Group, a third-party certification body that audits businesses to international quality and food safety standards, certified Southern AG Carriers Inc., in Albany, Ga., to the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 standard. SQF is a globally accepted farm-to-fork food safety standard recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Peanut-Grower-March-2015-copy_Page_09_Image_0001

A Southern Ag Carriers truck brings Peanut Proud peanut butter to the tornado relief effort in Oklahoma in 2013.

Southern AG Carriers, who primarily transports agriculture foodgrade products as well as frozen foods, has been certified to SQF Level 2 since 2010. The company made a commitment to take the certification to the next level during this year’s recertification process. SQF Level 3 adds a comprehensive quality management system indicating that a food quality risk analysis of the product and its associated process has been completed and actions taken to prevent incidences of poor quality have been implemented.

“Our company is committed to food safety and quality objectives that meet customer and regulatory expectations for the transportation of food products,” said Brooke Johns, Director of Administration/HR for Southern AG Carriers, Inc. “We have developed a standard, written procedure for every aspect of our business to better serve our customers, which takes our certification to the next level and confirms our commitment to quality service.”

As the only trucking company to achieve SQF certification, Southern AG Carriers is setting the standard for the food transportation industry. More information on certification can be found at www.eaglecertificationgroup.com or by contacting EAGLE Certification Group directly at 800-795-3641.