Author Archives: Abby Himburg

Peanut Butter Donation to Kick off Dream Big Food Drive

Peanut Butter Donation to Kick off Dream Big Food Drive

The Alabama Peanut Producers (APPA) and the National Peanut Festival (NPF) are kicking off the Wiregrass Area Food Bank’s “Dream Big Food Drive” by donating 2,880 jars of Peanut Proud peanut butter.


The Wiregrass Area Food Bank is hosting the “Dream Big Food Drive” Wednesday, November 10 at the National Peanut Festival. On this night participants can bring a minimum of three cans of food or one jar of peanut butter and receive $3 off gate admission and $5 off ride armband.


APPA and NPF teamed up to donate 1,440 jars each to the “Dream Big Food Drive.” Peanut butter is an ideal way to get safe, nutritious food to those suddenly affected by food insecurity because it is shelf stable and requires no refrigeration.


David Hanks, executive director of the Wiregrass Area Food Bank says, “We are so thankful for this donation of peanut butter because it is one of the most requested items. It is a shelf stable protein that is hard to come by in food banking. This donation will go a long way to spread joy to families in the Wiregrass. There are approximately 47,720 people in the Wiregrass who are food insecure. Food insecure means that they do not know where their next meal will come from.”


“On behalf of the over 900 peanut farm families, we are proud to be able to support those who are food insecure in this area,” says Jacob Davis, executive director of APPA. “Recent figures from the National Peanut Board states annual peanut product consumption is at an all time high of 7.9 pounds per capita. The perfectly, powerful peanut is delicious and nutritious plant protein for society.”


APPA represents the peanut producers in Alabama through research, education, advocacy and promotion.  In 2010, Peanut Proud, Inc. was established as a non-profit organization with the main goal of “uniting the peanut community by celebrating its pride through humanitarian efforts and the recognition of excellence.”

Southern Peanut Shortcut Recipe Booklet

Southern Peanut Shortcut Recipe Booklet

The Alabama Peanut Producers Association is proud to have partnered with Kathleen Phillips of Grits and Gouda to produce a “Southern Peanut Shortcut Recipes” booklet. Kathleen, an Alabama native, is known for her southern shortcut recipes.


This booklet features 6 delicious and easy recipes packed with our favorite snack- peanuts. Packed with protein, peanuts are the perfect addition to any recipe- whether sweet or savory. We hope that you enjoy these recipes and would love to see your final product. Post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram and be sure to tag us!


Southern Shortcut Peanut Recipes

2021 Wiregrass Weed Tour

2021 Wiregrass Weed Tour

The Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland, Alabama hosted its annual summer weed tour on July 12, 2021.


Attendees gathered that morning and boarded covered wagons pulled by tractors. Attendees viewed several different fields, each with different crops, weeds and spraying techniques. Presentations were given that covered weed control in cotton and peanuts, grass control research, pest management, and cover crops management for grazing.

Adam Temple, peanut farmer from Ashford, was in attendance. Temple says, “I have some deficiencies on my farm, weed control specifically, and was looking to improve for next year and for this year how to better control the weeds I currently have. It’s nice to have this opportunity to meet with the researchers and get that face-to-face interaction. Especially to be able to ask more specific questions that aren’t always covered in their writings.”


The Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA) would like to give special thanks to Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System for their continued hard work and dedication to agriculture research. Several of the research projects presented were made possible through APPA and the National Peanut Board because of check-off dollars contributed by Alabama peanut farmers.

Coastal Growers Shelling Facility in Atmore

Coastal Growers Shelling Facility in Atmore

UPDATED 3/10/21


ATMORE, ALA. – Today, Wednesday March 10th , Coastal Growers LLC held their official groundbreaking ceremony. The city welcomed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to Atmore as part of the groundbreaking ceremony.


“I’m thrilled to be a part of the groundbreaking for Coastal Growers, which will be a first-class peanut production facility,” Gov. Ivey said. “Coastal Growers is proving that Alabama’s economy remains strong and is bouncing back from what has been a hard year. This partnership is a win-win for Atmore, the surrounding communities and the state of Alabama.”



Written December 8, 2020


ATMORE, ALA. – Coastal Growers LLC plans to build an $87 million peanut shelling and storage plant in Atmore, AL. The plant, targeted to open up in December of 2021, will bring at least 100 jobs to the area with more temporary workers being needed during peak shelling times.


The idea of the cooperative shelling plant for Southwest Alabama began two years ago when several grower leaders approached a group of buying points from east and west Alabama and made it clear that this is something they wanted to pursue. The “why” behind the company was very simple, growers want to maximize farm profits.


“With commodity prices at such depressing levels, we as growers have been open to consider anything that might give us a better opportunity to financially survive,” says Joe Parker, owner and general manager of Summerdale Peanut in Baldwin County and a member of Coastal Growers.


The cooperative shelling plant model gives growers the opportunity to collectively sell on the shelled goods market rather than the traditional farmers stock market.


“This, our investors believe, will give them the best chance to enhance earnings and have a sustainable family farm,” Parker says. “Independent buying points go where their customers want to go in order to not lose tonnage. Therefore, this is a win-win for the growers and the buying points.”


The company was able to receive over $20 million in grants and incentives through Federal, State and local governments.  In addition, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, recently approved a USDA loan guarantee for a substantial part of the project funding. Economic Development agencies from the State of Alabama and Escambia County, Alabama, also provided support.


Parker commented that the support from Governor Kay Ivey, Senator Richard Shelby, Senator- Elect Tommy Tuberville, Atmore Mayor Jim Staff, as well as the Alabama Farmers Federation have all been incredibly helpful.


Baldwin County farmer Mark Kaiser said the new plant will allow local farmers to capture more of the profit off of their crops by becoming vertically integrated.


“This facility will be owned by the farmers who use it, and they’ll keep those profits themselves,” says Kaiser who serves as the Alabama Peanut Producers Association vice president. “That’s good for both the farmers and for the immediate area, because the money will just keep turning over locally.”



Directed by a board, Coastal Growers is owned by a cooperative of 90 farm families and will work with 6 buying points. Most of the farmers reside in Alabama but there are members from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee River. The company is still accepting new members, however will be limiting it soon due to capacity constraints.


Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope

Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope

Henry County parents, Caleb and Freda Bristow were heartbroken, yet determined after finding out their youngest son Sam, suffered from a peanut allergy. For some parents this information may seem frustrating and inconvenient but for the Bristow family it was very problematic.


Caleb Bristow grew up on a peanut farm, manages a peanut buying point and also sells peanut trailers. Peanuts are an essential part of his everyday life. “I even had people joke- with me growing up in the peanut industry- and say oh wouldn’t it be funny if your kid has a peanut allergy,” said Caleb.


About a year ago, when Sam was around six months old, Caleb and Freda started introducing Sam to peanut products. He had a few minor reactions to it, but Caleb wasn’t convinced his child could be allergic to peanuts. Having already been diagnosed with some food allergies, and after a trip to a pediatric allergist, the Bristow’s worst nightmare was confirmed. Sam was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at around nine months old. “I literally work for peanuts and now I have a kid who is allergic to peanuts,” says Caleb.


Fortunately for the Bristow family, they knew that just living with the allergy wasn’t the only option like their allergist had suggested. Caleb, having also been the former executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, had previously had the opportunity to meet with a doctor in Birmingham who was working on a groundbreaking treatment that essentially eliminates the peanut allergy from a person’s body.


Dr. Joseph LaRussa, M.D. is a Board-Certified Allergy and Immunology Specialist in Birmingham. With 22 years of pediatric allergy experience and having a child with peanut and tree nut allergies, Dr. LaRussa knows what it is like to be a parent of a food allergy child. He has discovered that children with a peanut allergy can actually be desensitized to the allergy through oral immunotherapy.


In January of 2015 a group of researchers from both London and the U.S. released a groundbreaking study which is now known as the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. The results of the study found that the introduction of peanuts into an infant’s diet, prior to 11-months old, reduced the prevalence of peanut allergy by approximately 70-80 percent ( This study motivated Dr. LaRussa to conduct further research on how to help patients with peanut allergy.


During the Bristow’s first appointment the doctor said something that Freda says she’ll never forget. Dr. LaRussa said “we want to dictate food allergies, not food allergies dictate the way we live.” “I almost cried… that was just like a sigh of relief. We can help him (Sam) with this, so he doesn’t have to live in fear,” says mother, Freda.


Sam is far enough along in his treatments that the Bristow family no longer has to worry about having peanut products in the house. “After 16 weeks we have finally worked our way up to half a teaspoon of peanut butter,” says Caleb. By springtime, Sam should be able to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.



While this immunotherapy is not FDA approved, it has proven to be a safe and viable option for infants and children trying to overcome peanut allergies. For more information on how to safely introduce peanuts to your infant to help prevent peanut allergy, visit


Alabama peanut farmers care deeply about their product and the consumers who are affected by it. Since 2001, through the National Peanut Board, peanut farmers across the nation have earmarked more than $32 million of their own dollars into research and education about food and peanut allergies.



United States Peanut Federation Addresses EU Tariffs

United States Peanut Federation Addresses EU Tariffs

November 11, 2020


On Monday, the European Union slapped new tariffs on in-shell peanuts, peanut kernels, and peanut oil at a level of 25%. The tariffs went into effect on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.


The tariffs are authorized by the World Trade Organization. This is in retaliation by the European Union against the U.S. over government subsidies of Boeing and Airbus.


Export markets are of tremendous importance to the U.S. Peanut Industry. Unfortunately, we continue to lose market access due to non-tariff trade barriers including inconsistent sampling and testing methods and procedures at destination ports for aflatoxin and pesticide residues. This direct tariff barrier is another example of the EU taking steps to limit the ability of US peanuts and agriculture to compete fairly in this key market. While we firmly believe US peanuts can compete in open, fair, and competitive markets, this action by the EU will make US peanuts 25% more expensive than other origins such as Argentina and Brazil.


On behalf of the U.S. Peanut Industry, the United States Peanut Federation(USPF) has been actively working on trade issues with Capitol Hill as well as key leadership at USDA and USTR. The USPF will continue working to protect European market access for US peanuts against this latest round of tariffs.