TIFTON — Banks and other lending institutions all across Georgia are going “nuts” during Georgia Peanut Bank Week through Oct. 16. Financial institutions in communities across the state are saluting peanut farmers’ contributions to the state and local economy during this weeklong event.
The Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the Georgia Bankers Association promotes the state’s official crop by sponsoring Georgia Peanut Bank Week annually.
“The Georgia Bankers Association, through the efforts of our Agriculture Committee, is pleased to co-sponsor Peanut Bank Week,” said Joe Brannen, president of the Georgia Bankers Association. “We are pleased that our banks have the opportunity of joining in the promotion and celebrating the success of Georgia’s peanut producers.”
This year’s theme is “Peanut Proud and Spreading the Word.” The theme’s intent is to show the close tie between peanut farmers, financial institutions and Georgia’s economic growth. Georgia’s peanut farmers contribute approximately $2 billion annually to the state and local economy.
“This is the 33rd year we have held a special salute to farmers in cooperation with financial institutions,” said Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “This year more than 360 banks are participating and we are distributing through the banks nearly 200,000 packs of Georgia peanuts and 75,000 recipe brochures.”
Decatur and Worth counties lead the way as the top producing counties in the state, producing more than 204 million pounds of peanuts in 2008. These counties, along with the other 70 peanut producing counties, help Georgia produce 45 percent of the U.S.’ peanuts.
In addition to the contributions to Georgia’s economy, recent research shows peanuts and peanut products are rated high in nutritional quality. New research studies indicate and highlight regularly eating peanuts can reduce the risk of heart disease, several types of cancer, and because they contain folic acid, peanuts can help prevent birth defects.