Peanut farmers and manufacturers from across the state come to Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association held its 9th Annual Meeting and Trade Show on Wednesday at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.

Our focus today is education for our producers," said Mississippi Peanut Growers Association Executive Director Malcolm Broome. "We have speakers from all over the nation and experts in growing peanuts and our peanut program that we have nation-wide."

Dozens of manufactures and farmers participated in the event. Those who attended the meeting learned more on a big emerging threat we have in agriculture.

"Wild hogs believe it or not in the U.S. are now 1.5 billion dollar cost and in Mississippi we don't really know at this point in time how much they're costing, but it's certainly significant," said MSU Extension Service Assistant Professor Bronson Strickland. 

Not only does the association focus on educating those involved in the peanut industry, but also the general public. Overall the association's top priority is to increase the economic impact peanuts have on the State of Mississippi and to also promote the health benefits of it.

It's an industry that we hope keeps growing," said Broome. "We have three companies now that buy peanuts in Mississippi that have buying points where they're delivered and so if we can keep that infrastructure growing we can maybe even get a peanut shelling plant in the state, that's our dream on out in the future."

In 2013, 33,450 acres of peanuts were grown. According to the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, the economic impact of peanut farming in Mississippi is $38 - $40 million.

The annual meeting and trade show is scheduled to end Thursday afternoon.

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