Approximately half the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan, Alabama. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association, a division of Alabama Farmers Federation, is composed of peanut producers throughout the state. The Alabama Peanut Producers has an office located at 1810 Reeves St., in Dothan, Alabama.
Peanuts are an excellent source of folic acid, which has been shown to reduce birth defects when taken by mothers prior to conception and during the early stages of pregnancy. Recent research studies also have included peanuts and peanut butter as part of healthy diets that may help prevent adult-onset diabetes and lower blood pressure. Peanuts and peanut butter also are naturally cholesterol-free. In fact, researchers from some of the most prominent schools in the country have recently stated that regularly eating nuts and legumes as part of a low-fat diet decreases the risks of heart disease.
About half of U.S. peanuts consumed domestically are in the form of peanut butter. Peanuts are the main ingredient in peanut butter. By law, peanut butter must contain 90% peanuts. The other 10% is for stabilizers and sweeteners. Americans consume approximately 800 million pounds, or 3.3 pounds per person, of peanut butter per year — that's enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon.
Last year, Alabama farmers harvested 189,000 acres of peanuts, producing 400 million pounds valued at $118 million. For more details about peanut statistics in Alabama, visit the Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service website.
Goals and Issues
Goals of Alabama Peanut Producers are determined by producers throughout the state.
Members of the state association are: President Carl Sanders, Coffee; Vice President Charles Turner, Geneva; Treasurer Jerry Byrd, Dale; Bert Driskell, Mobile; Jeffery Dykes, Barbour; Fred Helms, Houston; Jimmy Royce Helms, Geneva; George Jeffcoat, Houston; Mark Kaiser, Baldwin; Thomas Murphy, Henry; Harold Raley, Jr., Houston; Larry Richardson, Pike; Joel Sirmon, Baldwin; Glen Walters, Covington; Ed White, Henry; and David Womack, Escambia County.
Issues and challenges facing producers are evaluated each year, and priority is placed on each to determine the focus for the division's efforts. Goals include:
- Develop acceptable provision for peanuts for the farm bill debate.
- Monitor regulatory issues pertaining to peanuts.
- Continue grower education on marketing options and peanut program issues.
- Continue regional cooperation through the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
- Establish peanut seed breeding program to address needs of Alabama.
Helping farmers address everyday problems is a key part of our mission. As new challenges appear, Alabama Peanut Producers is poised to address those for the good of its producer members.
Activities and programs planned for the year include:
- Work with and finalize plans with Auburn & USDA/ARS to establish new peanut breeding program.
- Conduct outreach program for grower input on farm bill issues.
- Continue regional activities through the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation such as the Peanut Grower Leadership Program and the Southern Peanut Growers Conference.
- Continue utilization of the Peanut Advisory Board to promote Southeastern peanuts.
- Promote health benefits of peanuts.
- Coordinate regional grower production/education meetings.
- Host an Alabama/Florida Peanut Trade Show for producers in cooperation with the Florida Peanut Producers Association.
The Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Peanut Producers Association are constantly and aggressively pursuing production methods and marketing avenues for Alabama farmers.
We are working closely with Auburn University, as well as the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to improve peanut production and consumption.
Alabama Farmers Federation at Work for Alabama Producers
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As a part of Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Peanut Producers Association is represented at the state and national levels through departments of Governmental Affairs and National Affairs. The Department of Public Relations provides communications about important issues and notices through its monthly magazine, Neighbors, and biweekly newsletter, Cultivator, and through the Southeastern Peanut Farmer Magazine.
The Local Connection
Needs and requests from producers in your county are the beginning of policy development and the direction of Alabama Peanut Producers. You may contact the Alabama Peanut Producers or the Area Organization Director in your region or your County President for more information.
Why Should I Be a Member of Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Peanut Producers?
The Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alabama Peanut Producers brings farmers of all commodities together for a common cause. Together, we can accomplish more for everyone's benefit. The more producers actively participating in Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Peanut Producers, the more effective the organization can be on issues affecting them. With membership in the Alabama Farmers Federation come many benefits.
Did You Know?
- Alabama ranks third in peanut production. The top producing counties are Houston, Baldwin, Henry and Geneva.
- Peanut butter, at 20 cents per sandwich, is the most inexpensive source of protein in the American diet.
- The combination of peanuts and chocolate is America's favorite candy. For several years candies containing peanuts have topped the best-seller list.
- One of the many great advantages to peanuts and peanut butter is long shelf life. If held at average ambient temperatures without great changes in heat or humidity, peanuts and peanut butter can be safely stored for several months.
For more information visit the Alabama Peanut Producers Website or e-mail
Alabama Peanut Producers Association, P.O. Box 8805, Dothan, AL
36304. Phone: (334) 792-6482 Fax (334)792-5876.