Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Seminole Co. Farmer Appreciation Breakfast

Posted by romeethredge on February 5, 2014

The 15th Annual Farmer Appreciation Breakfast, held on Friday, January 31st, was a great success with more than 75 people in attendance. Chamber of Commerce Vice-Chairman Mark Hanna welcomed everyone to the breakfast, and following the invocation by Wade Spooner a delicious buffet meal was enjoyed by all.

We had a good illustrated talk by Jenni Harris of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.

Gene Cook presented the 2013 Agriculture Person of the Year award to Mark Hanna. In making the presentation, Cook made the following remarks, “This year’s recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Ag Person of the Year Award did not grow up on a working farm; not to say his family was not involved in agriculture, needless to say his father was a well respected agri-businessman and a local banker; his grandfather on his mother’s side was one of the best old-time farm bankers from whom I learned much. His grandfather on his father’s side was the local pioneer for farmer agri-business, and farmer owned coop. With this info, most of you will have guessed our winner as none other than Mark Hanna.


 Mark graduated in 1980 from Troy State University with a degree in marketing, and went to work as a grain merchandiser for Gold Kist in Valdosta. But from his agri-business background, our recipient seemed determined to actually farm, till the dirt. So in 1983 he came home and began to get his hands dirty, Mark farms one of the most difficult farms in Seminole County, having endured the 1994 and 1998 floods, both of which proved to be disasters on part of his farm land located on the Chattahoochee River. But Mark persevered and now owns approximately 1,300 acres and farms over 3,500 acres, with a mixture of corn, cotton, peanuts, wheat and soybeans, plus a small cattle herd.

Mark, representing growers of the Miller County Gin, contacted a previous winner of this award, Willard Mims, who represented the growers of Clover Leaf Gin. Together  they solicited a ten member steering committee which ultimately resulted in the forming of American Peanut Growers Group LLC.

Mark was named the Soil & Water Conservation Man of the Year for Seminole County. He currently is on the board of the American Peanut Growers Group, the Miller County Gin, and serves as chairman of the board of the newest farm related entity in Donalsonville, AFG Feed.

He is currently president of the Donalsonville Lions Club and is vice chairman of  Donalsonville / Seminole County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Seminole County Young Farmers, and an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church, where he also teaches Sunday School.

Mark is married to the former Deanne Willis of Bainbridge and they have two sons, John and Hudson, both students at Valdosta State University.

In presenting the award, Cook said, “As landlord of one of the farms he leases, I have found Mark to be an honest, hardworking individual with excellent farming skills and worthy of our recognition.”


 Most of the above post are David Maxwell’s words from the Donalsonville News.





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