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Going 'nuts' during Peanut Bank Week
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Banks and other lending institutions all across Georgia are going “nuts” during Georgia Peanut Bank Week this week. Financial institutions in communities across the state are saluting peanut farmers’ contributions to the state and local economy during this week-long 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 “Georgia Peanuts: Prime Value from Georgia’s Fields.” 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 31st 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 300 banks are participating and we are distributing through the banks 220,000 packs of Georgia peanuts and 50,000 recipe brochures.”

In 2006 Mitchell and Decatur counties lead the way as the top producing counties in the state, producing more than 171 million pounds of peanuts. These counties, along with the other 70 peanut producing counties, help Georgia produce 46 percent of the nation’s peanuts.

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.

In fact, recent studies indicate that frequent consumption of peanuts and nuts, as part of a healthy diet; can decrease the risk of heart disease by as much as 50 percent.

The Georgia Peanut Commission urges everyone to stop by their local bank and find out how peanuts add to a healthy diet. Recipes, peanuts and other promotional items will be available this week at participating institutions.