SC Commissioner Weathers: Premium Peanut
SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us about a new peanut sheller moving to Orangeburg County, creating new jobs and opportunities in rural SC.
- We’ve been working to attract a major sheller to South Carolina for a long time and Premium Peanut is on the way
- History of SC as a peanut producing state:
- Old system dating to 1938: state-by-state peanut quotas
- Congress scrapped quotas in 2002
- Since then, South Carolina has emerged as a major peanut producer
- 1997: 10,000 harvested acres
- 2017: 120,000 harvested acres (down from that peak, but still ~80K)
- This investment will raise SC’s profile as a peanut producing state:
- More acreage in the future
- Co-op model: farmers are shareholders in company, with profit opportunities
- SC farmers benefit from research, innovation
- Why “valued added” is so important in agriculture:
- To grow SC agribusiness, we need to do more of the processing here in the state – and hire SC workers to do it.
- Peanut processing creates opportunity for more Certified SC products
- Premium Peanut is a respected and innovative company, and we’re happy they chose SC for this facility.