Proud to be a Farmer: The Brannen family

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 9:40 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - March is National Peanut Month, a crop many families in the Coastal Empire rely on to make a living.

One family that has been doing that for decades is the Brannen family.

Ryne Brannen and his two brothers are fifth-generation farmers in Bulloch County.

“Everything kind of works around peanuts. We grow cotton and we obviously try to make money on everything we grow, but everything is done around the peanut rotation,” said Brannen.

This season, the Brannen family plans on having around 900 acres of peanuts to tend to, with the goal of having them planted by the middle of April.

“Economically it’s really important to us because they, our peanuts, pay our bills a lot of times. They bring a whole lot more to the table than cotton does a lot of the time. I mean it is something to be proud of,” said Brannen.

A job that isn’t always easy but was always the only clear choice for Ryne.

“My family, for obvious reasons, encouraged me to go to college, to learn how to do something. In some cases, to not come back here, you can’t make enough money doing this and it’s hard, but you can make a living,” said Brannen.

That way of making a living isn’t just supporting the Brannen family, but by farming, they’re putting money back into the local economy.

“It is incredible how much it costs to grow an acre of something. All of that money goes through a business here. Whether it is the fertilizer dealer, the chemical dealer or the tractor dealership,”

An operation the Brannen family has been contributing to for years.

“My great-granddaddy, my granddaddy, my dad, my uncle. Everybody who came before us worked so hard to build this and we are trying to build it and not make it worse,”

After building such a strong foundation over the years, Ryne hopes that a sixth generation of farmers will be able to continue their family tradition.

“I have two little boys and there is nothing they love better than riding on a tractor, Just like I did when I was their age. That’s really what all of us do this for,” said Brannen.

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