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.