Monday, April 19, 2010

TPPB Swears in Recently Elected Directors and Elects New Officers

The Texas Peanut Producers Board (TPPB) swore in five board directors and elected new officers at its meeting April 7 in Lubbock, Texas.

TPPB held statewide elections in January for three seats in voting Region One and one At Large seat. The voting regions are designed for 10 of the 12 TPPB board seats to represent a percentage of peanut production in Texas as reported by the Texas Crop Reporting Service, with the remaining two seats being at large and representing the entire state.

Otis Lee Johnson of Seminole and Haldon Messamore of Sudan were re-elected to their seats in voting Region One, while Jeff Roper of Plains was elected to serve his first term as TPPB director for this region. Winning the at large seat was Luther Don Keith of Dublin. Each person will serve a six year term, or until the year 2016.

Additionally, Ted Higginbottom of Seminole was elected by the board to fill the unexpired term of Chuck Rowland who stepped down from TPPB earlier this year. Higginbottom previously served on the board for 31 years.

“We are glad to have these producers on the board,” TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said. “The research and programs sponsored by the Texas Peanut Producers Board are vital to ensuring the future success of the peanut industry in our state.”

The five board directors were sworn in by Lance Williams with the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Following the initiation of these positions, new officers were named by TPPB. Larry Don Womack of De Leon is the new chairman, Haldon Messamore of Sudan will serve as vice chairman, and Otis Lee Johnson was selected as the secretary/treasurer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TPPB helps raise peanut butter for South Plains Food Bank

The Texas Peanut Producers Board, along with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, raised more than $1,200 to purchase peanut butter to benefit Lubbock and South Plains families through the South Plains Food Bank in their first-ever Lubbock Peanut Butter Drive. 

Sixty-two cases of peanut butter were delivered on a pallet to the South Plains Food Bank. David Weaver, general manager of the South Plains Food Bank, said the donation is vital to the food bank’s ability to respond to the needs of the hungry.

“Peanut butter is one of the basic staple items we want to provide to those who come to the food bank,” said David Weaver, general manager of the South Plains Food Bank. “We are having a difficult time keeping our staple items, including peanut butter, on our shelves.”

Businesses and individuals from across the area donated $20 to purchase a case of peanut butter.

Shelly Nutt, executive director of the Texas Peanut Producers Board, said projects like this directly benefit the producers, the community and the food bank, all at the same time.

“Because 70 percent of Texas peanut production is in this area, Lubbock is directly benefiting financially from the peanut farmers in this area who come here to see doctors, to buy clothes, to eat out and so many other things,” Nutt said. “When we purchase the peanut butter for this drive, we’re helping the peanut farmers who are helping the community financially, and we’re helping the food bank and those in need of nutritious food products.”
“Many people don’t realize that peanuts are grown in this area,” said Eddie McBride, Chamber President and CEO. “Those agricultural dollars translate into business for Lubbock and the region. This is a great way to encourage our members to purchase a product that very well could include West Texas peanuts, and, in turn, helps feed families.”

The connection between the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce extends beyond the peanut butter drive. Mary Jane Buerkle, Chamber Vice President of Communications, grew up in the peanut industry. Her father, Larry Short from Rochester, Texas, is a long time peanut farmer and former Texas Peanut Producers Board director.

TPPB and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce plan to hold another peanut butter drive at the end of 2010.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Texas Tech Government Internship Program a valuable investment

Educating others about the peanut industry is a major priority when it comes to using state peanut check-off dollars. Teaching our students about government and agricultural policy is one way the Texas Peanut Producers Board can invest in the industry’s future.

Each year, the Texas Peanut Producers Board (TPPB) helps fund the Government Internship Program within Texas Tech University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program was established to help students learn how the U.S. government operates and to give them valuable experience in Washington, DC.

Since the program began in 1999, over 180 Tech students have interned at our nation’s capitol.

Texas Tech 2009 graduate, Laramie Adams, is currently interning this spring with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln.

"Working for the Senate Agriculture Committee with Sen. Lincoln has been very beneficial to me and my future career,” Adams said. “The Committee does a great job of representing the people in our country and, more specifically, in rural areas. Working for the committee has taught me so much about the federal government and the direct impact it has on the agricultural industry."

TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said the program’s value far exceeds the one semester students spend on Capitol Hill.

“This program is important because we can’t assume agriculture will be in good hands in the future,” Nutt said. “These young adults who have agriculture’s best interest in mind could be leading our country someday, and spending a semester in Washington allows them to learn the ropes, and get a foot in the door.”

Many of the program’s participants have made an impact on Washington and agricultural policy. Scott Graves, legislative director to Rep. Mike Conaway, Drew DeBerry, the Texas deputy commissioner of agriculture, and Tom Sell of Combest, Sell & Associates are among the notable alumni who participated in Tech’s Government Internship Program.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March is National Peanut Month

March is National Peanut Month and the Texas Peanut Producers Board (TPPB) is encouraging everyone to celebrate by indulging in one of America’s favorite foods.

TPPB and the Western Peanut Growers Association are teaming up to promote the peanut holiday by sending one pound bags of peanuts to Texas legislators. Texas is the second leading peanut producing state in the country. The peanut industry is worth approximately $1 billion to the Texas economy.

“This is a great month for everyone to implement peanuts into their everyday diets,” said TPPB Executive Director, Shelly Nutt. “Peanuts and peanut products are healthy and easy snacks for kids and adults alike, and they are packed with protein.”

National Peanut Month first began as National Peanut Week in 1941. It was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1974. On average, Americans eat about 6 pounds of peanuts per person per year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Peanuts have a flavor as big as Texas, but they have more than just great taste going for them. They are packed with 29 essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. They also have more protein than any tree nut and contain monounsaturated fat, the “good fat”, which has been linked to good heart health.

Naturally high in fiber, peanuts are also a good for people with dietary issues like gluten intolerance or diabetes. Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.

Peanut oil is also a healthy choice for everyday use because of the high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content. With its distinctive but not overpowering taste, peanut oil has a high heat tolerance. It can be heated to a high temperature without smoking, which makes peanut oil a good choice for deep-fat frying and sauteing.

To celebrate National Peanut Month, try out some great tasting new peanut dishes from the Texas Peanut Producers Board.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Texans account for 10% of Haiti Peanut Butter Donation

Texans have donated over $13,000 to the "Peanut Butter for Haiti" effort, accounting for 10 percent of the total cash donations of $126,000 used to buy peanut butter. 

The following information came to us from Early County 2055, which is coordinating the peanut industry's effort to donate peanut butter to Haitian earthquake victims:

In addition to the peanut butter and in-kind donations and discounts by J.M. Smucker, J.B. Sanfilippo, Ralcorp, ConAgra, Kroger, Unilever has donated a load of Skippy peanut butter so we will be shipping our seventh load early next week. (We are also shipping the peanut product boxes this week). Once Again Nut Butter has also announced a donation of product as well. That makes a total of seven semi loads of peanut butter and peanut products as outlined here:

Total peanut butter: 233,362 lbs
MFKH paste: 9,000 lbs
Peanut product boxes: 4,000 lbs

Total All Shipments: 246,362 lbs
Servings Shipped: 3,449,068
A total of $126,000 in cash donations has been collected,  all of which has been used to buy peanut butter. Peanut butter donations and discounts totaled $260,000. Donated transportation costs totaled $6,000

Total donations: cash, product, transportation, - $392,000

Early County 2055 will continue to take contributions through March 2010, which is National Peanut Month

Organizations can participate by sending tax deductible contributions to:

 EC 2055 - PB for Haiti, P.O. Box 725, Blakely, Ga 39823  

You can also mail your checks to the Texas Peanut Producers Board at 4205 N. I-27, Lubbock, Texas 79403. Be sure to put "PB for Haiti" in the memo line of your checks. Checks must be made out to Early County 2055. TPPB will pass along all checks we receive for the peanut butter donations to Early County 2055.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Haiti Peanut Butter Update: Dublin Middle School Makes Donation

DUBLIN, Texas - Students at Dublin Middle School held a small change fundraiser to benefit the Peanut Butter For Haiti project.

The school's sixth, seventh, and the eighth grade had a contest to see who could raise the most money. The three classes combined raised $863.00 for peanut butter. A local peanut farmer also promised to match the class who raised the most change.

With the matching check of $357 and the $863 raised by the Dublin Middle School, a total of $1220 was raised for the purchase of peanut butter to ship to the Haiti earthquake victims.

"Peanut Butter for Haiti" Recap and Update
The U.S. peanut industry is responding quickly to the crisis in Haiti resulting from the January 12th earthquake. The industry, as well as individuals and agricultural partners, have formed a coalition to show their concern and to offer their support by sending truckloads of peanut butter to the people of Haiti. Peanut butter is the perfect food since it does not have to be refrigerated, does not require cooking, and delivers a nutritional punch that is life-sustaining.

The project, Peanut Butter for Haiti, was initiated by Barton Rice, executive director of Early County 2055, a Blakely, Ga., non-profit organization, who stepped forward with the first financial pledge to deliver peanut butter to Haiti. The project expanded when Lisa Collins of Early County 2055, contacted several peanut organization leaders to obtain advice on the best way to purchase the peanut butter and have it shipped to Haiti. Golden Peanut Company, Birdsong Peanuts (who both have locations in Texas), the Texas Peanut Producers Board, and the Georgia Peanut Commission immediately met the pledge from Early County and the project took off.

Early Trucking and Southern Ag Carriers immediately offered to donate the transportation for the peanut butter. In less than three weeks, the project has raised $107,000 in cash donations, including over $13,000 in cash raised in Texas alone. The cash has been used to purchase peanut butter at cost, in addition to the approximately $200,000 worth of donated peanut butter. (The coalition has purchased peanut butter at cost from Kroger, ConAgra, and Ralcorp and has received peanut butter donated by The J.M. Smucker Company and John B Sanfilippo & Sons.)

Seven days after the earthquake, two truckloads of peanut butter (almost 75,000 lbs) were delivered to Norfolk, Va., and loaded on a military ship, the USS Sacagawea, bound for Haiti, and are being distributed on the ground by “Operation Blessing”, a charity based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Four days later, two more truckloads were delivered to Miami for transfer to Haiti by airfreight and barge through “Catholic Relief Services” and “Food for the Poor”.

A fifth load of peanut butter is now in Miami awaiting shipment aboard a Carnival Cruise ship for “Operation Blessing”. The sixth truckload was purchased when the coalition was contacted by “Feed the Children,” who urgently need peanut butter to distribute since their warehouse in Haiti was destroyed in the earthquake and all their supplies were lost. That load was shipped on February 8, 2010.

We will continue to raise funds for this project through the end of National Peanut Month (March 2010). Organizations can participate by sending tax deductible contributions to:

EC 2055 - PNB for Haiti

P.O. Box 725, Blakely, GA 39823

Make checks payable to: "Early County 2055" and note "PB for Haiti."

For more information, contact TPPB at (806) 687-6363.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Peanut Butter for Haiti article in Lubbock Avalance Journal

The Texas Peanut Producers Board is in the news again. The peanut industry came together following the earthquake in Haiti to raise money to purchase peanut butter to send to those in need.

So far, $94,000 has been raised and 170,000 pounds of peanut butter has been shipped to Haiti - that's nearly 2.5 million servings of yummy, high protein, high energy peanut butter. This morning's Lubbock Avalanche-Journal ran a story about how TPPB has been involved with the effort. Through our office, we've been able to raise $12,000 to purchase peanut butter for the earthquake victims.

Read the article here. (It also mentions how you can help and lists my contact information.) Also, contrary to what the article says, this effort has nothing to do with the salmonella issue last year. The peanut butter donation effort stemmed out of Blakely, Ga., which happens to be the largest peanut producing area in the country...and also where the infamous salmonella factory was located. But, the factory is long gone, and the peanut industry in Blakely is trudging along and helping people in Haiti.

Meanwhile, charitable organizations like Operation Blessing, Food for the Poor, and Catholic Relief Services have helped get the peanut butter from the United States to Haiti. Because the port in Haiti was destroyed by the earthquake, the logistics of delivering products into the country became an issue. However, the peanut butter was able to arrive in the hands of the earthquake victims thanks to the Military Sealift Command vessel, which is equipped with a helicopter to hoist the peanut butter from the ship to the ground in Haiti.

To learn how you can help give peanut butter to earthquake victims in Haiti, send an email to