Incoming House Agriculture Chairman  G.T. Thompson(R-Pa.) laid out some of his top policy priorities for the farm bill recently and says he is a dealmaker.  His top priority is to get the nearly half-trillion-dollar legislation out on time and avoid extending the existing farm bill if possible, despite a packed oversight schedule planned.

                Other priorities range from boosting agricultural production to nearly double its current rate to pumping the brakes on the Biden administration’s spending on climate-smart agriculture.

                Thompson will have a packed schedule and a potentially tough path to getting a farm bill done on time as he tries to thread a needle between the Democrats on his left and the House Freedom Caucus on his right.

                “The best legislation you can do is where you bring everybody to the table and we find out what we can agree upon,” Thompson said. “And that's just my style.”

                A major issue is climate and production.  Thompson said the farm bill and American agriculture already have climate benefits, but that he’s open to making tweaks in the legislation that would strengthen those practices. He said those would be “innovative, outside the box” solutions.  He is sponsoring a bill that would allow the Agriculture Department to accept or match private funds to support climate and conservation programs.

                Thompson told the media that American agriculture can be defined in three words: Science, technology and innovation. He said his goal is to boost production to be 400 percent higher by 2035 than it was in the 1940s, up from 279 percent now. Some climate advocates have been pushing for fewer synthetics and inputs in agriculture like fertilizer and pesticides used to increase production, citing environmental and health harms.


At the Farm Bureau Convention, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp acknowledged the importance of Georgia farmers saying, “Agriculture is our No. 1 industry. I know that and won’t forget it.”

Kemp thanked outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black for his 12 years of service in leading the Georgia Department of Agriculture and building the Georgia Grown brand for products made in the Peach State. “Gary Black has served our state well and we thank him,” Kemp said.  Kemp said he looks forward to working with incoming ag commissioner Tyler Harper.

The governor reviewed legislative wins Georgia agriculture had in the 2022 General Assembly.

These included passing the Right to Farm Act, expanding the ag education program for elementary schools from a pilot program to permanent statewide status, and passing Senate Bill 396, which establishes the framework for Georgia food banks to purchase fresh produce directly from Georgia farmers, Kemp said.

“The Right to Farm Act gives Georgia’s farmers protection from being sued out of business by neighbors for normal farming practices. Expanding the ag elementary education program will ensure the next generation of Georgians will know how their food is grown,” Kemp said. “Senate Bill 396 empowers us to fully utilize the Georgia Farm to Food Bank Program. In a time when Georgians are facing record high inflation, more Georgians are facing food insecurity. Some Georgia farmers have trouble getting all their crop to market. Senate Bill 396 connects food banks directly with farmers to give more Georgians access to fresh food and vegetables.”

Other ag achievements Kemp referenced included the creation of the Agricultural Trust Fund to use fees farmers pay to acquire a GATE card to fund marketing and promotion of GA products and state Farmers Markets.

Kemp said he and the 2022 general assembly made significant investments in UGA Cooperative Extension and research, ag education, and soil and water conservation programs.

“My commitment in 2018 to make Georgia’s College of Agricultural and environmental Sciences the best agriculture college in the country is something we will work on in the next four years, Kemp said.

In the last fiscal year, Georgia saw 51,132 new jobs created in the private sector, which led to $21.2 billion in investments coming into communities statewide with 85% of the communities outside of Metro Atlanta, Kemp said.

“Farming means business and here in the Peach state – the best place to do business – I want to keep it that way. I still have that chain saw that Gerald Long gave me here at the 2018 Georgia Farm Bureau convention, and I plan on using it because we have more wood to chop.” 


                  Agricultural producers can now change election and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2023 crop year, two key safety net programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Producers have until March 15, 2023, to enroll in these two programs. Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has issued payments totaling more than $255 million to producers with 2021 crops that have triggered payments through ARC or PLC.  

                “It’s that time of year for produces to consider all of their risk management options, including safety-net coverage elections through Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We recognize that market prices have generally been very good, but if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, frequent catastrophic weather events and the Ukraine war have taught us anything, it’s that we must prepare for the unexpected. It’s through programs like ARC and PLC that FSA can provide producers the economic support and security they need to manage market volatility and disasters.” 


                   A project review meeting was held recently at the Plains Community Center in Plains, Georgia, to discuss progress and plans on aflatoxin research. The event was attended by peanut industry members representing all segments of the industry. Updates were provided by the University of Florida, Ft. Valley State University, University of Georgia, and the National Peanut Research Lab, including presentations from Dr. Nirmal Joshee (FVSU), Dr. Ron Sorensen (NPRL), Dr. Marshall Lamb (NPRL), Dr. Chris Butts (NPRL), Dr. Renee Arias (NPRL), Dr. Victor Sobolev (NPRL), Dr. Alicia Massa (NPRL), Dr. Phat Dang (NPRL), Dr. Corley Holbrook (USDA ARS), Dr. Jake Fountain (UGA), Dr. Baozhu Guo (UGA), Dr. George Vellidis (UGA), and Dr. Barry Tillman (UF). In total, 18 projects were presented.

                   The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2023.   Included in the bill were peanut research provisions proposed by Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and supported by the peanut industry. 

                These U.S. Peanut Federation supported research initiatives, aflatoxin and nutrition, are currently in their second year of funding.  Total funding for Fiscal Year 2023 is $4 million for aflatoxin research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia and $1.5 million for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to work on nutrition priorities.  

                  The research update, attended by 48 industry representatives, was moderated by Dr. Darlene Cowart, Chair of the APSA Committee on Regulatory Compliance and Research Coordination, who led a collaborative discussion with the group prior to adjourning.   Rep. Sanford Bishop (R) GA has confirmed that a $4 million appropriation has been confirmed in the House Ag Appropriations committee.

                      The meeting was hosted by the American Peanut Shellers Association, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, and the United States Peanut Federation.


            The Georgia Peanut Commission hosted a photo contest throughout 2022 to fill the pages of the 2023 Georgia Peanut Calendar, “The Farm – Best Home of the Family.” Peanut farmers from across Georgia were encouraged to submit their best, high-resolution photo of families on the farm for a chance to feature the photo in the 2023 calendar.

More than 30 entries were submitted from across the peanut belt and only 12 were selected as a monthly feature. Photos were selected based on quality, originality and diversity in the field. Winners are as follows:

January: Kendra Vickers, Irwin County
 Kaitlyn Lawrence, Baker County
March: Terri Johnson, Emanuel County
 Sarah Tanner, Marion County
 Kendra Vickers, Berrien County
 Allie Randell, Coffee County
July: Melanie Dugger, Screven County
 Casey Jones, Stewart County
 Justin Pope, Irwin County
October: Dawn Irvin, Turner County
 Sherrill Napier, Cook County
 Allie Randell, Coffee County

                Photo submissions will also be used in promotional materials produced by GPC throughout the year. To obtain a copy of the 2023 Georgia Peanut Calendar, stop by the GPC office located at 445 Fulwood Blvd. Tifton, Georgia, 31794. For more information on GPC programs and to view the winning photos, visit


                     State Senator and 7th generation South Georgia Farmer Tyler Harper secured a resounding victory to be the state's next Agriculture Commissioner. Tyler has been crisscrossing the state for the past year and a half, visiting every corner of the state, and sharing his positive message and vision to fight for our farmers, producers, consumers and families.

                     Tyler lives in Ocilla, GA and is a lifelong resident of South Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and has an associate degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  His family has been in the peanut industry. When he isn't serving the state at the Gold Dome or working on his farm, you can find Tyler enjoying the outdoors or at Satilla Baptist Church, where he plays in the band every Sunday.  Congratulations from the peanut industry.


                   Texas Roasting Company, Seminole, Texas, offers salted and flavored packaged peanuts as well as in-shell and brined peanut products. What began as ideas jotted down on a diner napkin has developed into a peanut buying point, a shelling facility, and the latest venture, a peanut roasting plant that produces and markets a variety of peanut products.

                “Texas Roasting Company is the only farm-to-fork company in Texas,” said founding partner Jake Teichroeb, who, along with Ben Dyck and Eddie Bergen, created Trico Peanut Company in 2015, and now adds Texas Roasting Company in the mix.  Teichroeb said sustainability is the driving force behind both the shelling facility and the roasting company.

                In 2015 the Trico partners started talking about creating a buying point. “We could not work out a deal with larger companies, so we decided to become independent and started building storage spaces and from there added shelling facilities,” said Trico President Bergen.(Source –RS)


              The frequency of semi-drying trailers has dramatically increased since their introduction in the southwest peanut production area. Many buying point owners/operators state that more than 75% of their tonnage is dried on semi-drying trailers. According to current instructions for sampling loads of farmers’ stock peanuts more than 10 tons must be probed 15 times using approved probe patterns. One of bottlenecks in the farmers’ stock grading process is the acquisition of a representative sample from the conveyance.

               The increased use of high-capacity dump carts during harvest has resulted in thoroughly mixed farmers’ stock peanuts when dumped into the semi-drying trailers in the field. Therefore, variability of official farmers’ stock grade factors is reduced, and the number of probes required to obtain a representative sample can be reduced from 15. The study is for Flat Bottom Trailers exceeding 10 Tons.         

                 Teresa Cox, GA FSIS, is serving as the primary point of contact and constantly checking with the other states on progress. The research study is headed by Chris Butts, Quentin Read, Joseph McIntyre, Marshall Lamb, Research Agricultural Engineer, Southeast Area Statistician, Research Agricultural Engineer. The project is in collaboration with USDA, AMS and the State Federal-State Inspection Services.  Joe Boddiford, Chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission is chairing the meetings as the protocol is determined.


            Make plans to attend the 46th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend.

                Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with nearly 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicator certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar.

                Farm Show chairman Rodney Dawson is looking forward to the 2023 show.“I encourage farmers to attend this one-day show in Tifton,” Dawson says. “The knowledge they will gain from industry representatives and seminars is an investment in the future of their farm.”

              The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19.

              At the close of Thursday, there will be nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a Grand Door Prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment.  For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229-386-3470 or visit


The National Peanut Buying Points Winter Conference is set for February 17-20, 2023, at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in Point Clear, Alabama.

The 2023 conference theme is “Striving to be the Best and Survive." All buying points, shellers and industry associates are invited to attend.

The program will kick off on Friday night with a President's Welcome Reception. Educational sessions will be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There will be a Prayer Breakfast on Sunday morning. The Great Cash Giveaway Reception and Auction will be held Sunday evening.

                Registration is available on the NPBP website at For more information or to obtain a registration form, email Angela Elder at  [email protected].