The Alabama Peanut Producers Association welcomes Jim Cravey as its new executive director. Cravey may be new to the position of executive director, but he is no stranger to the agriculture industry.
Cravey, a native of Covington County, grew up on his family’s cattle and row crop farm near Florala. Years of working on the farm persuaded Cravey in high school to begin the long adventure that eventually turned him into an agricultural leader known throughout the state of Alabama.
In 1970 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Auburn University, where he served as president of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He later joined the Alabama National Guard and was called to active duty shortly after graduating from college, while he was employed with Con-Agra Poultry in Dalton, Ga.
“When I returned from Fort Bragg, N.C., I got married and was hired as the first full-time Young Farmers director for the Alabama Farmers Federation,” Cravey said.
Four years after joining the staff at the Federation, Cravey was promoted to director of the Commodity Department as well as adding the responsibility of directing the Diary Division. After serving Alabama’s farmers for more than 30 years, Cravey retired in 2005 as the senior director of the Federation’s Commodity Department and director of its Dairy Division.
“I have been blessed during my career,” Cravey said. “I have formed several close working relationships with the producers within that industry. Now, I want to take that knowledge and form close working relationships through the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. A good, trusted relationship between the farmer and the buyer is a must. Basically, anything and everything that involves peanuts, we need to be involved in.”
Cravey stated the peanut industry and peanut history are tremendous in the Wiregrass area.
“We have a great program in peanuts,” Cravey said. “The peanut is an economic boost in the area, and we need to do what we can here at the association, when it comes to research. We want the peanut farmers to produce the best quality of peanut as well as help them make the most profit off the peanuts. That is what it is all about, helping every way we can.”
Trade show scheduled
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association and the Florida Peanut Producers Association have joined forces to once again host the annual Alabama/Florida Peanut Producers Association Trade Show.
“The trade show is just our way of getting the latest research information and product information out to our farmers,” Cravey said. “Both associations have done an outstanding job in promoting peanuts in the past, now, we are excited about this year’s event. We are looking at around 1,000 vendors providing products and information to our farmers across both states. Florida and Alabama are neighbors, and both associations have a goal to help all of our farmers continue to grow and succeed by offering the best peanuts.
“I encourage everyone to take a moment and just study where your food comes from. There is nothing that can compare to locally grown food items. That is one of the association’s goals as well, continuing to make everyone aware of where you food items are grown. The United States has the safest food available. So, I encourage everyone, next time you purchase meat, diary, nuts or anything basically, purchase items grown or made in the United States.”
The Alabama/Florida Peanut Producers Association Trade Show is scheduled for today at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds at 10 a.m.
“I encourage everyone to attend this year’s event,” Cravey said. “Both Ken Barton, the executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association and I believe all who attend will benefit tremendously from the information available during the event.”