People travel thousands of miles for GA Peanut Tour

People travel thousands of miles for GA Peanut Tour
Some folks even traveled thousands of miles to be here for the event. (Source: WALB)
Some folks even traveled thousands of miles to be here for the event. (Source: WALB)

(WALB) - People from all over the world are spending time in South Georgia this week, learning about the peanut industry.

It's part of the annual Georgia Peanut Tour.

Some of the people visiting traveled thousands of miles to be at the event.

"Coming to Georgia, it's the place you want to go if you want to learn about peanuts," said Jaime Hagelstein, who recently became the director of operations at Peanut Butter and Company.

Wednesday was the first day she'd ever stepped foot on a peanut farm.

"Actually being able to come and see and touch and feel, you can never replicate that sitting at a computer in an office," explained Hagelstein.

She's one of several dozen people in South Georgia this week on the Georgia Peanut Tour, learning everything they can, from growing to shelling from the experts.

"It's really clean and I love the process of inversion," said Hagelstein when describing her initial thoughts about the farm.

All the way from the big apple, she said the success of the crop in Georgia has a big impact across the entire industry.

"We're going to have a bumper crop," said Hagelstein. "It's going to help our costs per unit, it's going to help our sales and market team really get out there. This is going to help I think everybody in the industry."

But New York City is rather close in comparison to how far some people traveled. Cuan Opperman came all the way from East Africa.

He is the Malawai Oil Seed Sector Transformation Program Team Leader.

"I've been bringing people over for the last four years so people can see what is possible in terms of growing and production," said Opperman.

Opperman said Malawi farmers will never come close to growing the crop as well as Georgia farmers, mostly because of the technology.

But Opperman said that farmers here have been able to teach Malawi farmers a thing or two over the past several years.

"In essence, we've managed from what we've learned here to double or triple the yield in a Malawi context," explained Opperman.

Because of that, farmers who were once earning $90 a year have now almost tripled their income.

"It's about improving people's livelihoods and giving them that opportunity to grow," said Opperman.

The Peanut Tour began Tuesday night and goes on for three days.

Many of those attending said they will be staying in South Georgia for the week.

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