Faith, Family, Fatherhood, and Farming – Alabama Peanut Producers Association

Each generation is tasked with the privilege of bringing up the next. A farmer is often responsible for the next generation of humans and crops in more ways than one. Much like raising a child, tending the land requires patience and dedication. With a significant investment of time and effort, raising children and crops involves a sense of responsibility and hope for a fruitful yield in the future.

 

Garrett Dixon is not just a sixth-generation farmer but also a soon-to-be father to two. His love for farming was instilled in him by his grandfather, Bob Ed Gullatte, who passed on the torch to him. However, with each passing year, new challenges emerge. As a member of the 2024-2025 Peanut Leadership Academy, Dixon hopes that he will be able to meet these challenges head-on to preserve his land and this country for posterity. 

 

Dixon and his family reside in Lee County, AL. He returned to the family farm after graduating from Auburn University in 2014. Over the last ten years, he’s brought more and more land into production, growing primarily peanuts and cotton. He has quickly learned that you must be resourceful to make a career out of farming. Like most farmers in today’s age, he struggles with input costs. “While yield has increased substantially to help combat this, the amount of capital required to grow a crop causes the current generation, and young or beginning farmers especially, to have much more financial exposure that can be precarious at times,” he says. Dixon also mentioned a struggle with finding labor. However, he remains optimistic. “Despite these challenges, I believe that there is an opportunity for farming to continue to thrive; we just have to be innovative and resilient,” he added.

 

The work doesn’t stop when he steps off the farm. As a peanut producer, Dixon must also dabble in politics. Dixon hosts the Lee County legislative delegation each fall prior to harvest to recap the growing season and discuss issues Alabama farmers face. He also plans to travel to D.C. next year as a part of the PLA program. The Peanut Leadership Academy participants concentrate on government affairs, policy development, and international markets throughout the year. This results in ag professionals who are able to observe a change that needs to be made and then set plans for change in motion. Igniting change in the world of agriculture requires some elbow grease, both literally and figuratively.

 

There are many ways that Garrett Dixon and his generation are investing in the next. Through new innovations and practices, changes in how agriculture is governed, and leading by example, young peanut farmers such as Dixon directly impact their children and their children’s children. Faith, family, fatherhood, and farming go hand-in-hand. Preserving the way of life for future generations will be imperative to agriculture’s success.