SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The 39th President of the United States of America, Jimmy Carter will be turning 98 years old on Saturday.
President Carter was born Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia where peanut farming was one of the foundations of his upbringing.
After seven years of service as a naval officer, Carter returned to Plains and continued as a peanut farmer where he cultivated crops with mules and horses, plowing peanuts and pulling each peanut vine out of the dirt.
Speaking about peanuts, the president said, “Peanuts were in my blood and they still are in my blood, and so my whole life has been saved by my acquaintance with the hard work in producing peanuts and also in the gratifying growth in the peanut culture, much higher yields now, much better quality.”
From being a peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter went on to serve as president from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for work to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights, and promoting economic and social development.
“I think that it’s awesome Jimmy Carter went from being a peanut farmer to becoming president because majority of the people have a misconception that farmers or people that work on a farm aren’t educated and that’s just not true. I like to say that Southern Grace has some of the most educated people working for them,” said Brandi Bowen, manager of Southern Grace Farms.
She continued, “Just to name a few on our farm: Jennifer with a degree in Literature, myself with a degree in Radiology, Stephen graduated from ABAC with a degree in Agriculture, and Daniel graduated from UGA with a degree in agriculture as well. Owners Mr. Steve and Mr. Tim both have went to Washington to Advocate and speak on the behalf of peanut farmers. So, I think it’s fascinating that Jimmy Carter made it all the way to becoming one of the most memorable Presidents in US History.”
Southern Grace Farms is owned by the McMillan Family, which are now 8th generation Berrien County farmers located in Enigma, Georgia.
They have been traditional row crop farmers since 1774 and continue to grow traditional south Georgia crops such as corn, cotton, wheat, rye, and of course, peanuts.
“It’s very important for Georgia to keep the tradition of growing peanuts alive. Georgia supplies most of the peanuts and without our farmers doing so the supply of demand wouldn’t be able to keep up,” said Bowen.