As part of the Georgia Peanut Tour next week, the University of Georgia Peanut Team will educate attendees about peanut production. This year’s tour is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 19, to Thursday, Sept. 21, and based in Albany, Georgia.
“The Georgia Peanut Tour is an educational tour for nonagricultural clientele. It allows manufacturers an opportunity to bring in people who work on, sell or promote peanut products, but don’t know much about the production of peanuts,” said Scott Monfort, UGA Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist.
The tour will begin with a seminar, “Hot Topics on Peanuts,” on Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at Merry Acres Inn in Albany. UGA Peanut Team members Monfort and Scott Tubbs, UGA Center for Food Safety Director Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, and UGA Department Food Science and Technology Assistant Professor Anand Mohan are among those slated to speak.
The tour will visit local producers’ fields in Smithville, Georgia, and Leesburg, Georgia, on Wednesday to learn about peanut harvesting and examine crop conditions. The tour will also travel to Plains, Georgia, on Wednesday to visit the home of former President Jimmy Carter. Attendees will hear from Carter, who was a peanut farmer before he became the nation’s 39th president.
Other Wednesday stops on the tour include UGA’s Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center and the Georgia Seed Development Facility, both in Plains, and the Smithville Peanut Buying Point in Smithville.
On Thursday, the tour will conclude with a visit to the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia. There, UGA Cooperative Extension county agents will demonstrate the blasting process, which is used to determine a peanut’s maturity level. The tour will also visit JLA USA, a food testing and consulting office in Albany.
“The people who buy our peanuts and put them in their products, whether you’re talking about a Snickers bar or M&M’s, may be stationed all over the country and may not be familiar with how we grow the peanuts that they’re buying,” said Glen Harris, a UGA Extension soils and fertility specialist and chairman of this year’s Georgia Peanut Tour committee. “On this tour, they really get a broad understanding of what it takes to produce a peanut, how to determine if it’s ready to be picked and how we ultimately harvest them.”
For more information, contact Hannah Jones at the Georgia Peanut Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-386-3475.
(Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)
UGA peanut entomologist Mark Abney holds up a peanut plant during the Georgia Peanut Tour in 2016.Download Image