Source: Peanut Farm Market News; Tyron Spearman, Editor

An estimated 550 folks from the peanut nation, local, state and national leaders and the community convened on Barrington Road in Coffee county to celebrate the Grand Opening of Premium Peanut last Friday, April 22nd. Attendees enjoyed lunch, congratulatory remarks and tours of the plant.

Kent Fountain, Chairman of the Board of Premium Peanut, praised the 7 buying points willing to invest and 'help make things better for their growers.' The Peanut Buying Points investing in Premium Peanut includes: Dixon Farm Supply, Irwinville Peanut & Grain, Douglas Peanut and Grain, Southeastern Gin & Peanut, Jeff Davis Peanut and Grain, Dixie Peanut Producers and Deep South Peanut.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal "Congratulated" the farmers, the community and the leaders for 'coming together to create jobs'. He said the cooperation by all segments sets a pattern for other industries to consider. "You have made me proud," as he reported checking with the labor department about job creation in Georgia since he became Governor. He said, "Since 2011, 511,200 jobs have been created in Georgia, more than the Ohio Governor running for President." He adds, "Be assured that I am not running!"

U.S. Representative Rick Allen said, "This is a big deal for a farm boy from Evans County. You make the 12th District proud as I love serving the ag community. I'm glad I had a part in creating the largest peanut shelling plant in the world!"

Jody Redding, representing U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, presented a flag to World War II Veteran Rudolph Barrington, for which Barrington Road was named. Barrington accepted on behalf of Veterans that did not come home, a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol. Kent Fountain also announced that the expansion area will be named Rudolph Barrington Agribusiness Park.

Karl Zimmer, CEO, said, "In 15 months, Premium Peanut has grown from an idea to a world class operation with the latest technological advancement in the peanut shelling industry, thanks to LMC." He added, "Today we are shipping 14 containers to China plus shipments to Canada and Mexico. BRC Food Safety Certification was approved this week and the railroad shipments have started."

Kimmer  said that Premium Peanut is now operating 6 days a week and is 'sold out through July!" He further added, "Our 200 local farmer owners, who were willing to invest in marketing their product, will be proud to learn that after 2 months of full operation, we are in the black!" He said the plant investment is over $50 million with $20 million invested at the 7 buying points. Premium Peanuts is a member of ‘Georgia Grown.'

Introducing state legislators were Senator Tyler Harper and Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston.  It was one of the greatest celebrations ever staged in the U.S. peanut business.

For more information, visit National Peanut Buying Points Association