By Clint Thompson
Peanut growers and industry leaders are encouraged to attend this year’s Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City Beach, Florida. By the number of applicants that have already registered, the event should once again be filled with excitement.
“It certainly appears that we have some excitement because if we track our registration this year versus last year at the same time, our registration trend is running a little bit early. We didn’t really think we’d have maybe quite as many to attend as we had last year, but at this point, there are more registered than there were last year,” said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission.
This year’s conference is scheduled for July 16-18 at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort in Panama City Beach. It is comprised of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, which features the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, the Florida Peanut Producers Association, the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission.
Koehler said the decision was made on April 30 to move forward with the event amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. He said the camaraderie generated between farmers is something that could not be achieved via virtual format.
“We have educational sessions but the magic of the face-to-face conference that you can’t do on a webinar is the fact that the farmers have the opportunity to visit with one another and gain new ideas and build relationships,” Koehler said. “I just think that farmers do things a different way. There’s been a lot of industry webinars, and farmers just don’t do it. I think farmers need information, too. This is a way for them to gather that.”
Those interested in registering for the conference need to do so before June 30. Any registration done after June 30 will incur a late fee.