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Q&A with Allison Floyd

By Allison Floyd
University of Georgia, Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

Background

Allison Floyd has worked as a writer and editor since 1996, when she took a newspaper job covering the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Throughout her career, she has won national and statewide awards for non-deadline reporting on the ways public policy, environmental protection and land use affect real people.

In 2012, she turned her attention to agriculture and has worked for various publications covering farming and environmental sustainability. She also writes for mainstream news outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and critiques high-school newspapers and websites as part of their improvement programs.

She holds a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Georgia.

Allison lives in Athens, Ga., with her husband Bill Stewart, who also is a journalist.

What attracted you to the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab?

I have always been interested in programs that empower people to improve their community, region and country. Knowledge and education are keys to making the world a better place.

PMIL focuses on both, through research in the U.S. and collaborating countries, as well as by supporting students working toward degrees in food science disciplines. It is a very graceful way to approach the problem of food insecurity.

Did you know much about peanuts when you took the job?

I’ve written about agriculture for a few years and am based in Georgia, so … yes, I had some knowledge of peanuts.

The peanut plant really is fascinating, though. As a food, it’s a good source of protein and fiber, folic acid and Vitamin E. But, as a crop, it can grow in some rough soil types and fixes nitrogen to help in crop rotation. It’s just an amazing plant.

What do you like most about the lab?

The researchers and students I’ve met so far are incredibly smart and educated people who truly care about improving access to healthy food around the world. It’s a challenge to keep up with them, but interesting to learn something new every day.

Published November 23, 2015