Mark your calendars for the 2005 Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 17-19, at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about legislation and trade issues, peanut research, and promotions.

In addition to the conference sessions, the event also focuses on the family by offering a children’s program and a spouses’ program. These programs will be similar to previous conferences. There will also be a golf tournament on Tuesday afternoon.

Registration for the meeting will begin on Sunday, July 17, at 1 p.m., lasting until 7:30 p.m. During registration, the National Peanut Buying Points Association will provide grilled peanut, butter and jelly sandwiches. A welcoming reception hosted by Bayer Corporation will be held from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

On Monday, July 18, Valent, beginning at 7 a.m, will host a prayer breakfast and presenting of the Valor Award.

The first general session, Peanuts & Politics, begins at 8 a.m. on Monday. General Session II — The Peanut Market — will begin at 10:15 a.m. Presentations and speakers include Peanuts and the Health Message: Kathy McManus, Harvard University; The International Market: Jeff Johnson, Birdsong; and Producers’ Role in Meeting the Demands of the Consumer: Tom Beaty, Universal Blanchers.

Following a lunch buffet at noon will be three research breakout sessions presented at 1:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Topics include Remote Sensing of Water Use and the Implications to Irrigation and Stress Management; The Economics of Irrigation; and Tillage and High Residue Management.

The evening schedule on Monday is free so conference participants can spend time with their families and friends.

The Southern Peanut Growers Conference continues on Tuesday, July 19, with the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards Breakfast and Grower Panel, set for 7 a.m. The awards will be presented this year to Fenn Farms, Southeast Region; Rex Carr, Southwest Region; and Robbie Umphlett, Virginia-Carolina Region. Sponsors of this year’s awards include the American Peanut Shellers Association, U.S. Borax, Inc., Bayer CropScience, John Deere, SIPCAM AGRO USA, INC., The Seam, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and the Texas Peanut Producers Board.

This will be followed at 8:30 a.m. with the third general session, The Future of Research. Presentations and speakers include The Future of Land Grant Universities: Ed Richardson, president of Auburn University; The Direction of USDA and ARS: Rick Wilson, national program leader for oilseeds; and Aflatoxin: Joe Dorner, USDA-ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory.

The fourth and final general session — Consumer Education — will begin at 10:30 a.m. Presentations and speakers include Trends of the Opinion Makers: Jeanne Bauer, Peanut Advisory Board; and Southern Peanut Farmers Promotions: Teresa Wilson, Alabama Peanut Producers Association, and Joy Carter, Georgia Peanut Commission.

Lunch will be on your own on Tuesday, with the afternoon free. A golf tournament will be held from 12:30 until 6 p.m. at the Hombre Golf Course. A reception will be held at 7 p.m. with dinner and entertainment hosted by Syngenta beginning at 7:30 p.m. Entertainment will feature the cast of “Smoke on the Mountain.”

A special feature of this year’s conference will be a live remote radio broadcast of the “Rick & Bubba Show.” Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey host a daily morning radio show, and they’ll be broadcasting live from the Southern Peanut Growers Conference on Monday, July 18. The television portion will air live on Turner South.

For more information about the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229-386-3470, the Alabama Peanut Producers Association at 334-792-6482 or the Florida Peanut Producers Association at 850-526-2590.

e-mail: phollis@primediabusiness.com