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Sunland Peanut, Inc. Agriculture Marketer of the Year

New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Agriculture has selected Sunland Peanut, Inc., of Portales, New Mexico, as the 2008 New Mexico Agriculture Marketer of the Year.

"The selection is based on innovative and creative marketing as well as success in the market place," says Edward Avalos, marketing director at NMDA. Sunland Peanut, Inc., in operation since 1988, is the largest peanut processor in New Mexico and operates the only peanut butter plant in the state. In addition, Sunland Peanut, Inc., is the largest producer of organic peanut butter in the country.

"This award is a tribute to the growers, production staff, and sales team at Sunland Peanut, Inc.," says Jimmie Shearer, president and CEO. "Since Sunland Peanut, Inc., was formed by a group of dedicated peanut farmers in eastern New Mexico, our mission to grow and market the naturally sweet Valencia peanut has not changed," added Shearer.

Valencia peanuts are smaller, sweeter, and have more intense flavor than other peanut varieties. They have three to five kernels in each shell and are grown almost exclusively in eastern New Mexico. In fact, "Ninety percent of the Valencia peanuts produced in the United States are grown within 120 miles of Portales," states Stacy Gerk, marketing specialist and director of the peanut grading facility in Portales. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Dr. I. Miley Gonzalez extends congratulations on the award from NMDA to Sunland Peanut, Inc.

All peanuts grown in New Mexico are grown in Roosevelt and Lea counties. Annual production was over 35 million pounds in 2007.

For further information, please contact Doug Rains, NMDA Public Relations, at 575-646-2804.

12/22/08
5 Star OK\3-B

Date: 12/17/08


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