Nine peanut farmers and sheller representatives from the Southeast graduated from the Peanut Leadership Academy on June 7 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. During the graduation weekend, graduates and their families had the opportunity to tour Baldwin County Alabama and learn about farming practices in the area, as well as visit Auburn University’s Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope.
The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association, grower organizations and agricultural extension. The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Since then, the academy has continued to grow to include growers from Texas, Mississippi and sheller representatives.
Activities in the leadership program are structured to give participants a thorough understanding of the U.S. peanut industry. The leadership sessions range from field trips, meetings with industry leaders and professional development training. Each class has one leadership session in Washington, D.C. where class members have an opportunity to visit with their congressmen about issues affecting the peanut industry.
The Class VIII members who graduated from the Peanut Leadership Academy are: Alabama – Steven Byrd, Ariton; Florida – Alan Davis, Chipley; and Damon Griswold, Jay; Georgia – Will Ellis, Douglas; Sam Hattaway, Blakely; and Justin Jones, Leesburg; Mississippi – Daniel Parrish, Greenwood; sheller representatives – Cole McNair, Damascus Peanut Company; and Reed Rogers, Golden Peanut Company.
For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy, contact the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission or Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.
Download Peanut Leadership Academy application for Class IX.
Applications are due Sept. 1, 2014.