Twenty-two peanut growers and sheller representatives from across the Southeast, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia began Class IX of the Peanut Leadership Academy hosted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, Dec. 15-17, 2014, in Panama City Beach, Florida. During the first session of the program, leadership academy attendees were introduced to one another, presented an overview of the peanut industry and attended the annual Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual meeting where they had the opportunity to listen to grower and industry reports.
The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association, grower organizations and agricultural extension. 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 Peanut Leadership Academy Class IX members are: Alabama – Brian Byrd, Ariton; Jeremy Sessions, Grand Bay; Marshall Speake, Eufaula; and Russ Walters, Andalusia; Florida – Levi Findley, Jay; Jeremy Rolling, Westville; and Trey Sanchez, Old Town; Georgia – Bubba Curry, Shellman; Justin Harrell, Nicholls; Jeffrey Heard, Newton; Zack Thaggard, Leesburg; and Austin Warbington, Pinehurst; Mississippi – B. Jones, Ridgeland; North Carolina – Wade Stanaland, Bladenboro; Texas – Kelton Coleman, Lamesa; and Rusty Strickland, Wellington; Virginia – West Drake, Newsoms; sheller representatives – Colton Farrow, Golden Peanut Co.; Paul Huber, Birdsong Peanuts; and Japheth Saecker, Birdsong Peanuts; National Peanut Board – Dexter Gilbert, Campbellton, Florida; and Meredith Rogers, Camilla, Georgia.
For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy contact the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association or visit the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation online at www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.