Monday, July 28, 2008

22nd Anniversary

It is hard to believe that on Friday I will celebrate my 22nd anniversary at the Georgia Peanut Commission. A lot has happened in that 22 years. The 2 row pull type combine was the harvester of choice. There were Longs, Hustlers, Lillistons, and KMCs. The predominant variety was florunner and some GK 7's and Southern Runners came on soon after. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus was not a topic of discussion. Pigweed had not yet discovered that they could become resistant to herbicides. Peanut allergy had not found its way in to the media or politics. Diesel was cheaper than gas. We had one fungicide of choice, Bravo. In the office we had one computer. We had eleven full time positions and two student workers working in the mail room.

Jump ahead 22 years. The Mariners just put peanut free sections in a ball park. We dig with guidance systems and pick with 6 and 8 row pickers some of which some are self propelled. We are spraying a host of different fungicides and now doing it at night? At last count we had 15 serious peanut varieties with at least some level of seed supply. We have 8 employees at the Commission that do more than eleven because of technology advances. Fuel costs are crushing farmers like a giant stepping on an ant. And, nobody planned for weeds that there is no way to kill, especially one that produces nearly a half million seeds that can remain viable int he ground for a hundred years.

If I ever did worry that there would be no more need for a Peanut Commission and that maybe I would work myself out of a job, it sure hasn't happened yet. Frankly, I cannot think of anything I would rather have been doing for the past 22 years. I am privileged to have had this opportunity in life.

No comments: