Branch receives Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award
Released: Jan. 24, 2017
TIFTON, Ga. — Brandon Branch, Baxley, Georgia, was named the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award at the 41st annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, Jan. 19, 2017, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Georgia. The award is presented annually to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.
“This year’s winner demonstrates volunteerism and service to agriculture in his area,” says David Hinson, business representative with BASF.
Branch, a third-generation farmer, developed his passion for farming while growing up on a farm. He was active in the Appling County FFA and worked on the family farm during high school while focusing his FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience in Diversified Crop Production. After graduating from high school, he joined his father, Randy, in a farming partnership producing corn, soybeans and wheat on 3,000 acres. Together, they expanded the partnership to incorporate a custom farming, harvesting and hauling enterprise. During this time, Branch started planning his future farming enterprise and today farms 1,500 acres of peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat as well as his own custom harvesting enterprise. In order to secure a future in peanut production, Branch also became a stockholder with Premium Peanut LLC which allows him control of his peanut crop from field to finished product.
On the farm, Branch strives to keep up to date with ag technology which enables him to be more efficient. To remain sustainable, Branch has constructed terraces on land that is highly erodible and constructed grass waterways to manage water and prevent soil erosion. He is also in the process of establishing buffer strips in designated fields to assist with fertilizer and chemical control. He takes a proactive approach to educate the public regarding the practices he implements on the farm to preserve land, soil and water. Branch conducts farm tours to help educate and showcase land and soil management and water use management and protection on the farm.
Currently, twenty-five percent of his production is irrigated and he utilizes surface water ponds for the irrigation. In order to conserve water, Branch has equipped all of his center pivot irrigation systems with safety devices and flow meters and refitted with low volume water conservation devices.
“Brandon is very sincere in always improving his financial understanding of farm financial management. He has a sound business plan and looks to the future as to the sound financial management to his crop production enterprise,” says James Galvin, Appling County Young Farmer advisor. “Innovation and resource management best describe Brandon’s approach to production agriculture.”
Branch is also active in the agricultural industry and his community. He is president of the Appling County Young Farmers and serves as the South Region Junior Director for the Georgia Young Farmers Association. He is also active with the Appling County Farm Bureau and serves on the Appling County High School Agriculture Department Advisory Committee.
Branch is married to Jodie. Branch receives a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July.
For photos and additional information on the Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference visit the Georgia Peanut Commission website at gapeanuts.com.