Sunday, January 11, 2009

County Production Meetings

We are in the midst of participation in the county peanut production meetings. I sincerely appreciate the County Agents for allowing us to have this chance to make a brief report.

One thing we are covering this year is the prospect that the Peanut Commission could relocate. we don't have time to go in to all the details so I am trying to look at more ways to get this information to farmers.

We have had a lot of farmers who have pointed out that Farm Bureau and the Georgia Cattleman both have prominent locations on the Interstate and that they get a lot of visibility for our farmers.

Now we have the opportunity to do that for peanut farmers in Georgia but farmers need to support the idea or it is not a good idea.

Our current building is in downtown Tifton a bit over a mile and several turns off of Interstate 75. That is one of the most busy Interstates in the US and has a traffic flow of over 60,000 cars a day that pass through Tifton.

The County has a piece of property which is right on the Interstate at the same exit as the Agrirama. It is across the Interstate from the Agrirama and has great visibility for the highway. Tift County built a new State Patrol Post so they have the property available. They understand the importance of Agriculture to Tift County.

The Commission has looked for more than my 22 years there, off and on at relocation. The major problem was finding a place that has the visibility on the Interstate. Now that opportunity seems a real probability.

If we do this we need to be certain that the location is not just an office that houses staff. It needs to be educational, it needs to promote peanuts, and it needs to further technology for our farmers to improve the profit opportunity for Georgia's peanut farmers.

I told farmers at a meeting the other day, in my 22 years at the Commission I can count on one hand the times we have had anyone get off the Interstate to come learn about peanuts or buy Georgia Souvenir Peanuts. This is a magnificent opportunity.

We own the building we are in and have interested buyer prospects. We also have begun to study grants to look at energy management which may have farm applications and technology which can work for farmers. This can be a facility which will make Georgia Peanut Farmers proud and excited.

But if farmers see a problem we need to know that. And, if they see more that we need to do we also need to know these, too.

Think about it and let us know.

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