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Operation Boiled Peanut

August 15, 2005

Wilcox County-- What started as a request from one 48th Brigade soldier is now a statewide project. What did that soldier want? A little taste of South Georgia in Iraq.

Peanut farmer Rex Bullock has years of experience working the peanut fields. "About 34 or 35 years," says Bullock. After three decades of farming, he's used to filling the demand for the homegrown snack. "Well, it's getting tougher," says Bullock. Recently, he got a tough but unique request from Clark Rountree, a soldier with Georgia's National Guard.

"He wanted some boiled peanuts from Hardy Farms for the the 48th Brigade," says Bullock. Good old Hardy Farms Boiled Peanuts, a somewhat simple request from a soldier. But how could one farmer fill that request for more than 4,000 national guardsmen? "He was positive that we could get it done," says Bullock.

So Rex set out on his peanut mission. "He came into the office last Wednesday and was just telling us his idea about sending these peanuts to the 48th Brigade," says Wilcox County 4-H program assistant Suzanne Keene. The Wilcox County 4-H club is helping to raise the $6,000 needed to bring a Georgia favorite to the soldiers in Iraq.

"I made a phone call to the state office and this has turned into a statewide 4-H project," says Keene. For this special mission here at home, there's an official name. "The whole operation is called Operation Boiled Peanut," says Keene. It's an operation that began with one soldier's request for the taste of home.

"We're hoping for the peanut deployment date to be the first part of September," says Keene.

Whether it's one peanut or one million, one South Georgia farmer is glad to take on the mission. "Anything they want far as I'm concerned is reasonable," says Bullock. Fulfilling that reasonable need makes him certain that Operation Boiled Peanut will become a mission accomplished.

"It's a little piece of home," says Bullock.

They hope to have 5,000 bags of boiled peanuts deployed to Iraq by September and hopefully every month after that. Hardy Farms has also made a significant contribution to the project.

To contribute to the mission, make checks payable to the Georgia 4H Foundation, Operation Boiled Peanut. You can mail them or drop them off at any local 4H agency.

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