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- American 'giant'
Dec. 20—SAVANNAH — Georgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler participated in a roundtable discussion Monday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Port Envoy John Porcari and the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah. During the meeting, Koehler provided comments regarding infrastructure issues, rising costs of inputs and the need for education regarding career opportunities in the trucking industry.
"I applaud the efforts of the Georgia Ports Authority and the U.S. Department of Transportation for working together on infrastructure and transportation issues," Koehler says. "Additionally, I applaud Secretary Buttigieg for traveling to Georgia in order to seek input from various grassroots organizations."
During the roundtable discussion, Koehler provided examples of supply chain issues farmers have had and the rising costs of inputs. As an example, Koehler mentioned one farmer who could not replace a tire on his peanut combine in the middle of harvest, which is a critical time for picking a crop. Additionally, Koehler mentioned the rising cost of inputs, fertilizer, chemicals, seed, parts and equipment, which will continue to impact profitability on the farm for 2022.
Koehler joined growers, shellers and buying points in Washington, D.C., recently, as part of a U.S. Peanut Federation fly-in to meet with members of Congress on the rising costs of peanut growers' inputs.
Another issue within the peanut industry centers on finding trained drivers for tractors and trucks to haul peanuts from the field to the peanut buying point. Koehler recommended the establishment of programs to help educate school systems regarding the job opportunities within the trucking industry and agriculture.