The National Peanut Board will award Jamie Ayers, a graduate student at Texas Tech University, the 2007 Dr. George Washington Carver Award and $1000. The award, honoring the "father of the peanut industry," recognizes excellence in peanut-related research and community involvement. Ayer's achievements also earned Texas Tech University a matching $1,000 award.

"I was particularly impressed with Jamie's long lasting dedication to peanut research. The fact that he started a family and worked as a peanut breeding research technician for seven years, all while helping to develop varieties which have disease resistance, early maturity, drought tolerance and high oleic fatty acid content, is truly impressive," National Peanut Board Research Chairman and North Carolina delegate, Jack Brinkley said of the achievement.

Ayer's thesis for his Master's degree is entitled: Determining optimal conditions for maximum peanut profitability under reduced irrigation in West Texas. The focus for his research is spurred from the decrease in availability of water for irrigation and how it is affecting producers in West Texas each year.

His outstanding record of community involvement has included taking part in numerous community service activities through his memberships in FFA and 4-H, such as Adopt-A-Highway, and Ayers is also an active Eagle Scout.

Competition for the Sixth Annual Dr. George Washington Carver Award was open to both undergraduate and graduate students actively engaged in research related to the USA-grown peanut industry. Entries were judged on their measurable impact on the American peanut industry in the categories of peanut cultivation and new peanut- product development. Judgment criteria were also based upon volunteerism and community involvement.

The award will be presented on July 11, 2007 at the American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES) Annual Meeting being held in Birmingham, AL.

About National Peanut Board

The National Peanut Board represents all U.S.A. peanut farmers and their families. Through research and marketing initiatives, the board is finding new ways to enhance production for farmers and increase consumer demand by promoting the great taste, nutrition and culinary versatility of U.S.A.-grown peanuts.

Website: http://www.nationalpeanutboard.org