Free peanuts for Georgia tourists - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Free peanuts for Georgia tourists

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March 30, 2004

Lake Park - Tourists stopping at Georgia welcome centers are getting more than just directions. "We're distributing packs of Georgia peanuts, recipe brochures, as well as nutrition facts on peanuts," said Joy Carter of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The Georgia Peanut Commission is wrapping up its month long peanut promotion at all Georgia welcome centers. "We expect to reach about 1 million people coming through the state," said Carter.

You may be surprised to find out how little most tourists know about the crop. "I know they grow in the ground, and Jimmy Carter had a lot of them, but that's about it," said Virginia Stohler, Tourist. "We get asked a lot, 'Do peanuts grow on trees' and they want to go see a peanut tree," said Cathy Sasnett, Welcome Center Manager.

Since March is one of the busiest traveling times of the year, it's the perfect time for the peanut promotion. Just over the past week, thousands of people have stopped at the welcome center and learned a lesson in Georgia peanuts.

"Friday our traffic count through here was nearly 11,000 people and almost that much Saturday, so we've gone through a lot of peanuts and a lot of Georgia maps," said Sasnett.

And as more people learn about peanuts, more money will be brought into Georgia. "In Georgia alone, peanuts are a 2 billion dollar industry, and there are 50,000 jobs in Georgia related to peanuts," said Carter.

So when tourists leave the welcome centers, they'll have Georgia and peanuts on their mind.

posted at 2:55 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com