Mullins Farmer Donates Peanut Butter To Latta School District

The SC Peanut Growers’ Association made up of mostly Pee Dee and I-95 corridor farmers have donated thousands of jars of peanut butter that was made with locally grown peanuts to local food banks, church pantries and schools just in time to “spread the peanut butter for Christmas spirit” this year.

The Latta School District in partnership with the association received a supply that was distributed to its students just before Christmas break to take home for their families. It was the second such donation as the association also donated several thousand jars during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that was sent home when the school district was delivering meals when schools were shut down.
One of the leading peanut farmers and dedicated association members, Dupree Atkinson from Mullins, was the lead contact with the Latta Schools in the distribution of the donated peanut butter. The association annually donates funds from the sale of their peanuts towards quality control engineering and marketing for their crop.
Part of the donated funds have been used this year for families in need of food due to the ongoing virus crisis.
Atkinson said that he and his fellow farmers are dedicated to provide top quality crops that feed our nation and the world. And they are proud to help out locally this way to give back to the communities that support farming.
Latta Superintendent John Kirby said that the relationship built with the association stems from Latta High School’s commitment to a quality agriculture and FFA program that is annually recognized statewide with its competitive programs and students with highly developed farm business and leadership skills. Latta High has one of the oldest continuous functioning agriculture programs and FFA chapters in the state for high school students. Many Latta FFA students have assumed leadership roles in FFA statewide.
Retired former Latta agriculture teachers and FFA advisors, Seba Stoudemire and Keith Cox, established and maintained a very high bar of achievement for this program which is still met today.
The Latta program has always had a committed relationship with all area row crop farmers and has grown in that service as local farmers have diversified in raising cows, chickens, hogs, turkeys and horses. Partnering with local peanut farmers is just one more adjustment the school made when tobacco farming subsided in the area.
Kirby went on to say that all of our local farmers need as much support as ever and he appreciates the farmers when they can support the school system.
While farming has certainly changed in the last 50 years, our commitment to their needs is stronger than ever.
Many people who shop for groceries do not stop to think that some farmer somewhere actually had to grow the food they are buying. Most just want the product to be on the shelf when they need it with very little regard or thanks to the person that grew it. He is very proud to support Dupree Atkinson, who is a leading example for and with his local farming colleagues that all work so tirelessly to feed and supply the world.