Two Texas peanut producers recently completed the Peanut Leadership Academy, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and the American Peanut Shellers Association. The Academy is a cooperative effort between agricultural extension services and various grower organizations.

Jeramie Grissom and Brett Slomchinski graduated from The Academy alongside 13 other rising leaders in the peanut industry.

“We are proud to have two Texas producers graduate from the Peanut Leadership Academy this year,” TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt says. “I’ve enjoyed watching these producers expand their knowledge of the industry and gain skills that enable them to be ready spokesmen for peanuts in the state.”

Grissom of Seminole, Texas, farms more than 1,500 acres. He has been farming peanuts, wheat, grain sorghum and cotton in the Gaines County area for approximately three years. Slomchinski of Pleasanton, Texas, has been farming peanuts, green beans and cotton for approximately two years. Additionally, he works cattle on approximately 500 acres in Atascosa County.

The academy exposed Grissom and Slomchinski to all aspects of the peanut industry and engaged them in activities to develop their leadership skills. Participants traveled across the nation to learn more about the industry and the legislation affecting it. The growers stopped in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Washington D.C. to meet key legislators, tour various agricultural operations, and gain a well-rounded knowledge of the challenges facing peanut growers nationwide.

The academy armed these growers with the knowledge and ability to be advocates and spokespeople for the peanut industry and agriculture as a whole.

"The entire program helps prepare everyone involved in peanut production to meet the future and help create a better industry," said Lyle Stewart, a Syngenta Crop Protection representative. "The long term benefits will be evident as we see these young growers step into leadership positions."

Academy participants are nominated by agricultural leaders in their counties and then selected by a committee of state leaders. For more information about the Peanut Leadership Academy, visit www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.