What is in this article?:
- Peanut Profitability Awards presented to 14th class of top producers
- Award winners optimistic about future of farming
- The 14th class of Peanut Profitability Award winners were recently honored in Panama City, Fla.
- This year's honorees exhibited high level management and exceptional yields.
WINNERS OF THE 2013 Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards recently were honored at the 15th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference held in Panama City, Fla. Shown are, left to right: Lower Southeast winner Tim McMillan of Southern Grace Farms in Enigma, Ga.; awards program advisor Marshall Lamb of the National Peanut Research Laboratory; and Upper Southeast winner Jart Hudson of Turkey, N.C. Not shown is Southwest region winner Murray Phillips.
Award winners optimistic about future of farming
Lower Southeast winner Tim McMillan said he was humbled to receive the award.
“I’m really just a representative of all farmers, because most farmers today are efficient in what they do and they realize they must keep down their costs. A family farm is part of your life, and your family goes through the ups and downs. My brother Steve is my partner, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. The majority what I learned on the farm was from my father, and we’ve been blessed to have good help. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut team has done a good job and given us good recommendations. My formula is that I just do what Extension tells me to do,” says McMillan.
Jart Hudson, winner of the award for the Upper Southeast region, said the success of his family farm was a team effort.
“I’m very blessed and humbled to receive this award. I would not be where I’m at today without my wife and my family. I could never do this by myself. Peanuts have always been at part of my life,” says Hudson.
Southwest Peanut Profitability Award winner Murray Phillips wasn’t able to be at the awards presentation because of obligations on the farm, said Ron Smith, editor of Southwest Farm Press.
“Murray Phillips is a busy man. In addition to 2,000 acres of peanuts, he grows 1,800 acres of corn, along with other crops. He is located about 50 miles below San Antonio, where farmers plant corn early and harvest it about now, which is where Murray is today. He’s particular about harvesting his crops, and when corn or peanuts are ready, he’s on a digger or combine making sure he gets every peanut or every kernel out of field. He typically averages close to 200 bushels of corn per acre and more than 5,000 pounds of peanuts,” said Smith.
Both McMillan and Hudson said they felt better about the next 10 years in farming and agriculture than they have about the past 10 years.
“I’m probably the most optimistic I’ve been since I’ve been farming,” says McMillan. “I started farming full-time in 1983, and basically we did not see a price increase until the past four or five years. We stayed at the same level with our inputs going up. We kept talking about a ‘golden age’ when we’d have to start feeding the world. I hope we may have reached that point — I’m not sure, but I feel more optimistic than I ever have. Our inputs have increased tremendously, but we could be in trouble if our prices go back to where they were for 25 or 30 years.”
Hudson agreed. “I’ve always been cautiously optimistic about the future. I think the future for agriculture right now is the brightest it has ever been,” he said.
Also at the awards presentation, Marshall Lamb was presented with the first Farm Press Peanut Profitability Partner Award. The Partner Award recognizes those individuals or organizations that, through their extraordinary contributions, have helped the Peanut Profitability Award program to grow and prosper.
“Farm Press has done a great job with this program, and it has been my honor to be a part of it,” said Lamb. “This is the type of work that I enjoy more than anything that I do.”
Sponsors of this year’s awards include AMVAC Chemical, Arysta LifeScience, BASF, DuPont Crop Protection, Golden Peanut Company, Helena Chemical Company, John Deere and Company, National Peanut Board, Rio Tinto Minerals, Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press.
For an in-depth look at Tim McMillan’s farming operation, see Tim McMillan: Peanut Profitability Award winner for Lower Southeast. Jart Hudson’s operation is featured at Jart Hudson: Peanut Profitability Award winner for Upper Southeast. You can read about Murray Phillips’ award winning peanut practices at Murray Phillips: Peanut Profitability Award winner for Southwest.