Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Georgia Peanut Tour Day One Recap

Day one had the Hot Topics seminar and you guessed it the hot topic in the peanut industry is still food safety.

We heard from speakers from the CDC, UGA Food Science Department, JLA which is a major testing lab in the food industry, and also from John Beasley who farmers kind of view as Mr. Peanut in Georgia. John did a good job of reminding the rest of the industry that farmers do a good job of adopting good management practices but also that peanuts still grow in water and dirt. Both of those things need to be put in check at the farm and once peanuts are harvested water and dirt become the enemy of peanut processing.

Another presentation which was quite informative was done by Dr. Stanley Fletcher on peanut crop specifics and the economic health of peanut farms across the country. Of 22 Representative farms the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness has developed from Virginia to New Mexico only three or four find them selves in a positive situation. All the rest are in the red and Fletcher says this is not a sustainable situation if it goes on long term.

Today the field visits start. Can't wait to see some farmer hospitality and have some fresh boiled peanuts.

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