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Planters kills off Mr. Peanut character

Planters, the Virginia-based snack food company known for peanuts, is getting a lot of media attention after killing off its iconic mascot, Mr. Peanut.

The company released a commercial last week depicting the top hat-wearing character driving the Nutmobile (a peanut-shaped mini-bus) over a cliff. As Mr. Peanut and two passengers – actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh – cling to a branch on the side of the cliff, the 104-year-old character voluntarily lets go to save his friends.

The video sets up his funeral, an advertisement which will air during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the most-watched broadcast on television in the U.S.

A child, Antonio Gentile, created Mr. Peanut in 1916, when 10-year-old Planters held a contest to design a character for the company.




Webinar to explore impact, potential of digital tech in ag sector

Agrilinks is hosting a webinar on digital technologies and their potential in the ag sector on Dec. 11 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Digital technologies have demonstrated the potential to redefine economic growth models, empower poor people with new communications tools, and facilitate more productive interactions and financial transactions across agricultural market systems and value chains. In many places, tech is enabling agricultural and financial service provision at a scale never before seen. An estimated 85 percent of farmers’ households will have a mobile phone by 2025, only further enabling growth in the agtech space. (more…)

Expert sought to improve peanut processing safety, quality in Senegal

The Farmer-to-Farmer program is looking for a volunteer for three weeks to train peanut processors in Senegal about proper post-harvest and processing techniques. Through Farmer-to-Farmer, U.S. volunteers provide technical assistance on practical interventions that increase food production and income, improve farm and agribusiness operations, help farmers gain access to markets, build local capacity, and conserve natural resources.

Over the 21-day trip, the volunteer will travel to Kaffrine and Touba in Senegal where he or she will train peanut processors in good practices and improved techniques and technologies, as well as develop a syllabus and training module focusing on this topic.

The volunteer will help build the capacity of two hosts, ANAMO (Touba House of Tools) and Birkelane Associations Agreement (EGABI), in peanut processing. (more…)

Peanut IL, USAID featured in food summit at UGA

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently brought together faculty and policy-makers from a variety of disciplines to explore how research can be part of feeding the world’s growing population.

The panel of food security experts at this inaugural Global Food Security Summit included Peanut Innovation Lab Director Dave Hoisington and Maura Barry Boyle, senior deputy assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security.

Read more about the event.


AAGB holds meeting in China

The 2019 Advances in Arachis through Genomics and Biotechnology conference was held last week in Jinan, China, where the Peanut Innovation Lab Director, Dave Hoisington, and PIs, Peggy Ozias-Akins, Daniel Fonceka, Josh Clevenger, David Bertioli and Soraya Leal-Bertioli attended and presented some of their work through the Peanut Innovation Lab.

Prior to conference, a short award ceremony and dinner was held to recognize several people for their contribution to the recent peanut genome sequencing success. (more…)

Report: US ag benefits from overseas research

A new report commissioned by the International Food Policy Research Institute details how international agriculture research benefits U.S. interests, both in direct and indirect ways.

The federal government spends far less than some taxpayers believe on aid to developing countries, according to “How the United States Benefits from Agricultural and Food Security Investments in Developing Countries.” Total nonmilitary assistance to developing countries was $33.3 billion in 2017, less than 1% of the budget. Foreign agricultural aid is a small bit of that, just 0.04 % of the budget.

But for that investment, U.S. agriculture reaps diverse benefits, the report finds. (more…)

Cornell, Clemson, Kansas State will run new Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement

The new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement (ILCI) will be run through a collaboration between Kansas State University, Cornell University and Clemson and will be based in Cornell’s International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, according to an announcement made Wednesday at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

The program focuses on advancing plant breeding tools, technologies and methods aimed at delivering staple crops that can increase yields, enhance nutrition and show greater resistance to pests and diseases.

Based in International Programs in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the project will support national breeding programs in East and West Africa, South Asia and Latin America and serve as a model for introducing advanced agricultural technologies at scale to countries around the world.

The five-year, $25 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative. (more…)