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Grady County’s Harrell Grady County Farm Bureau vice president John Harrell is serving as chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Peanut Committee.
Harrell, whose family has farmed in Grady County for six generations, farms with his brother, Tommy, and his son, Douglas, growing peanuts, cotton, pecans and timber on more than 1,000 acres.
John Harrell is in his ninth year as chairman of the peanut committee, on which he has served for more than 10 years.
He leads the committee in shaping Georgia Farm Bureau’s policy relating to peanut production in Georgia. The committee, made up of peanut producers from each of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 10 districts, gathered during the G.F.B. spring commodity meetings. The committee is one of G.F.B.’s 20 commodity advisory committees, which are scheduled to meet again at the G.F.B. Commodity Conference in August.
Georgia is the top peanut-producing state, accounting for 53 percent of U.S.-grown peanuts in 2020, according to the Georgia Peanut Commission. Georgia farmers harvested 1.64 million tons of peanuts on 800,000 acres over 76 counties.
According to the U.G.A. Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development’s Farm Gate Value Report, Georgia peanut growers produced more than $663 million worth of peanuts in 2019, when Grady County farmers produced $8.4 million worth of peanuts.
Harrell is a former chairman of the National Peanut Board, on which he served for six years as a member and six years as an alternate. He has also served on the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District for 31 years, including a stint as chairman.
Harrell and his wife, Deena, live in Whigham and attend Bainbridge First Presbyterian Church.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB offers its members a variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.