1,000 miles and countless memories

This past week I had the opportunity to travel around Georgia and see different areas of the agriculture industry. Although, I enjoyed many stops my favorite would have to be Premium Peanut in Douglas, Georgia. Premium Peanut is the worlds largest peanut shelling facility. One of the goals of the business is to see that growers retain more of the profit from their peanut crop. They work towards this goal by essentially vertically integrating the business. The growers buy shares into the company and then are responsible for producing a certain amount of peanuts per share.

This cooperative structure allows for growers to plan ahead for future crops and make better purchasing decisions. Growers receive the profits from the company based on shares owned and the quality of the peanuts produced. The benefits for the company are equally as valuable. These benefits are so valuable that the company is expanding the facility to be able to process 220,000 tons of peanuts per year. Premium Peanuts is also looking into more options in order to maintain ownership of the peanuts and the profit from the hulls. These options include a peanut oil processing plant, blanching facility, and processing hulls to be used in cattle feed.

I enjoyed learning about the company and how it related to Georgia agriculture. The company looks to continued growth in the future. This growth will have a tremendous impact on both the state and local economy. Premium Peanut currently hires 115 people year around and even more during harvest season. They compete with a shelling plant in Tifton for growers but believes that competition is healthy and keeps the business as productive as possible.

This bag holds 2,200 pounds of shelled peanuts. The plant processes 500 of these bags in a 24 hour period.

-Ashley Smith