Southern Peanut Growers Conference July 13-15

The 10th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is scheduled for July 13-15, at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is made up of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, the Florida Peanut Producers Association, the Georgia Peanut Commission and the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

This year's conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming farm bill, peanut research and promotions. In addition to the conference sessions, the event focuses on the family by offering a kids' program and a spouses' program. These programs will be similar to previous conferences.

Registration for the meeting will begin on Sunday, July 15, at 1 p.m., lasting until 6:30 p.m. at the Edgewater Beach Resort Conference Center. A welcoming reception hosted by Bayer CropScience will be held from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

On Monday, July 16, beginning at 6:45 a.m., Valent will host a prayer breakfast. This will be followed by the Valor Award presentation.

The general sessions on Monday will be as follows:

General Session I — Peanuts & Politics begins at 8 a.m. Speakers and topics will include the following: A Senate Perspective, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (invited); Agriculture & Appropriations, Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop; Farm Bill Results, Bob Redding, The Redding Firm; Farm Bill Regulations, John Johnson, USDA Farm Service Agency; and FSA & Restructuring, Teresa Lasseter, USDA Farm Service Agency.

General Session II — Effective Legislative Involvement will feature the following topics and speakers: What You Do in Congress, Cory Lynn, American Farm Bureau Federation; Grassroots Lobbying, Keith Gray, Alabama Farmers Federation; and, Joy Carter, Georgia Peanut Commission.

Following a lunch buffet at noon sponsored by BASF, three breakout sessions will be presented at 1:15 p.m. Topics and speakers will include The Conservation Stewarship Program — How to Make It Work for You, Stanley Fletcher, and Allen McCorvey, University of Georgia; Cropping Systems, Rotation & Nutrient Cycling, Kris Balkcom, Auburn University and Scott Tubbs, University of Georgia; and Peanut Hay: What's It Really Worth? Forage versus Fertilizer, Ann Blount and Glen Harris, University of Georgia.

Monday evening will be on your own in Panama City.

The Southern Peanut Growers Conference continues on Tuesday, July 15, with registration beginning at 6:45 a.m. and the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards Breakfast and Grower Panel set for 7 a.m. The awards will be presented this year to Mike Nugent, Lower Southeast Region; Otis Johnson, Southwest Region; and William McElveen, Upper Southeast Region.

Sponsors of this year's awards include BASF, Bayer CropScience, Golden Peanut Company, John Deere, Sipcam Agro USA, Inc., the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, Syngenta, the Texas Peanut Producer's Board, Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

This will be followed at 8:30 a.m. with the third general session, entitled Federal Programs & Issues. Topics and presenters will include USDA/ARS & Research Funding, Gale Buchanan, U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture, and Peanut Grading: What's Needed & Wanted: Buying Points Demographics, Stanley Fletcher, University of Georgia; Grower, Joe Boddiford, Sylvania, Ga.; Sheller, Joe Campbell, Golden Peanut Company; and Federal State Inspection, Frank Boddiford and Ron Wood.

The fourth general session, beginning at 10:30 a.m. will be entitled Markets & Market Implications and will include the following topics and speakers: Supply & Demand: The Numbers, Richard Barnhill, Mazur & Hockman; What Consumers Think, Liz Rahavi, International Food & Information Council; The Potential of Plumpnut, Jeff Johnson, Birdsong Peanut Company; and The Economy — Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel? Robert Nobles, Synovus Bank.

Lunch will be on your own on Tuesday, with the afternoon free. A golf tournament will be held from 12:30 until 6 p.m. at the Hombre Golf Course. A reception sponsored by Syngenta will be held at 7 p.m. with dinner and entertainment to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Room reservations for the Southern Peanut Growers Conference can be made by contacting the Edgewater Beach Resort at 1-800-874-8686. When making hotel reservations, ask for the Southern Peanut Growers Conference rate.

For more information about the conference, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229-386-3470, the Alabama Peanut Producers Association at 334-792-6482, the Florida Peanut Producers Association at 850-526-2590, or the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association at 601-947-4223. You may register online at

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