Georgia Peanut Farm Show awards 9 recipients for outstanding work in the peanut industry

Georgia Peanut Farm Show awards 9 recipients for outstanding work in the peanut industry
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:34 PM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia Peanut Farm Show presented awards to nine recipients for their hard work and dedication to the peanut industry on Thursday.

The categories of the awards were, Special Award, Media Award, Research and Education Award, Innovator Award, Promotion Award, Outstanding Young Peanut Farmer Award, Distinguished Service Award, Hall of Fame Award and Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award.

One Tifton woman took home the Georgia Peanut Special Award for her contributions towards peanut quality. She was also recognized for her efforts in promoting the health and nutritional benefits of peanuts across the region.

Darlene Cowart is a Tifton native who spent her entire professional career in the peanut industry, focusing on food safety and quality.

She is currently the vice president of Food Safety and Quality with Birdsong Peanuts in Virginia. Birdsong Peanuts operates multiple facilities including one in Sylvester. To be a recipient of the award, you must have years of experience and be able to show your love and dedication to the peanut industry.

Cowart’s primary responsibility is the implementation and management of the food safety and quality systems within her company. She does this by ensuring all the facilities in the region meet the proper safety standards required in the peanut industry.

She is currently serving as chairman of the American Peanut Shellers Association Regulatory Compliance and Research Committee, Chairman of the Research Committee of the Peanut Institute, board member for the Peanut Research Foundation of the American Peanut Council, and a board member of the Peanut Standards Board appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

She says she didn’t know she would be receiving an award for something she just loves doing.

“It means so much to me being from Tifton and they’re based here and being a part of the Georgia agriculture community. It’s been very humbling but quite exciting,” Cowart said.

Cowart says she’s honored and looks forward to continuing her work to better the community.