Peanut farmers and shellers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi visited Washington D.C. during the Peanut Leadership Academy held in March. The program is sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and the American Peanut Shellers Association. During this trip, participants had the opportunity to attend meetings with legislators and participate in meetings related to government affairs, international peanut markets, policy development and the U.S. peanut industry. This session is the fourth and final component of the Peanut Leadership Academy before graduation in June 2014.
Day one of the session consisted of meetings with industry representatives including: Bob Redding, The Redding Firm; Reece Langley, USA Rice Federation; Dr. David Graves, Crop Insurance; Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss.; and Patrick Archer, American Peanut Council. During this time, participants were able to learn more about the 2014 Farm Bill, particularly peanut provisions, ask questions related to their individual states, as well as hear how peanut industry groups are working on their behalf.
Meetings with state legislators began day two in Washington, D.C. where participants were able to visit with senators and representatives from each of the Southeastern peanut-producing states. During these meetings, they were able to express concerns related to their state, as well as express gratitude for their delegation’s service and support. Lunch on day two included a meeting with guests from the House Ag Committee, where more discussion on the 2014 Farm Bill took place. To conclude day two, growers had a special opportunity to meet with Krysta Harden, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Peanut Leadership Academy, which is coordinated by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, provides leadership training for young farmers and sheller representatives throughout the peanut industry. Through the training, participants gain valuable leadership skills to be used in the future. Additionally, it gives growers and industry representatives an insight into many different types of issues the peanut industry faces.
Additional information on the Peanut Leadership Academy is available online at www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.