SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Two billion pounds of peanuts are grown in 70 Georgia counties each year. A family has been farming two of those counties, Screven and Effingham, for nearly 100 years.
“God has allowed me to take care of this little piece of land we’ve got and he lets me grow peanuts on it. Man, I feel like I am one of the chosen few,” said Ben Boyd, farmer.
Ben Boyd doesn’t grow these peanuts alone. He is joined in the field by his father, brother, nephew and even his kids.
A small operation that started with Ben’s grandfather, has turned into a family operation of growing about 1,000 acres of peanuts a season.
“When I grow peanuts, I take it personally and I want to do the best job I can. I’ve got a three-year-old little girl. When I am growing peanuts I like to think, each one of those little peanuts might get eaten by my three-year-old little girl. So, I want to take the best care I can.”
The groundwork for a successful season is already underway, as the Boyd family works to turn soil and spread fertilizer across their land.
Land that, for now, looks like a blank canvas, but will soon provide more than just another year’s worth of crops.
“We are glad to be able to come out here and do something that helps everybody, because there are a lot of people in the world that need food and they need affordable food. It’s got to be good and it needs to be cheap, we can do both of those with peanuts.”
Thankfully Georgia peanut farmers know what they’re doing. Georgia grows nearly half of all of the United States peanut crop each year, valued at over $600 million.
We are good at peanuts around here, you know that is one of the few things around here we are really good at. We are not great at growing corn, we can grow corn and get by at it and we are alright. We can grow cotton and it not get us anywhere else in the world. But, I feel like Georgia is the best place in the world to grow peanuts. If you want to be a peanut farmer, you need to move to Georgia.”
A place, the Boyds have planted their roots and look to continue to do so for years to come.
“Everyone wants to be good at something they do and you want to feel like you have a meaningful job. I feel like growing peanuts for the world is about as good as it is going to get.”