PARTICIPATE IN OKALOOSA COUNTY PEANUT BUTTER CHALLENGE, by Larry Williams UF/IFAS Extension Agent

A-Little-Goes-a-Long-Way-580x1024Join Okaloosa County Extension along with University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Peanut Producers Association to help take a bite out of hunger by participating in a local peanut butter drive.

We are competing against other peanut producing counties in the Panhandle for the most jars of peanut butter donated. Participate and help make Okaloosa a winner.

Bring unopened jars of peanut butter to one of the below drop-off locations now through November 21. All peanut butter collected will be donated to local food pantries during Farm-City Week.

In 2014, peanuts were grown on an estimated 163,000 acres in Florida with Okaloosa County growing almost 3000 acres. The two largest peanut producing counties in Northwest Florida are Jackson County with almost 35,000 acres and Santa Rosa County with more than 22,000 acres. Ten states grow 99% of the U.S. peanut crop: Georgia (which grows about 42% of all U.S. peanuts), followed by Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The southeast is the largest peanut production region, with Florida producing approximately 9% of the total national crop.

The majority of peanuts grown in Florida are dried, shelled, and processed into peanut butter, roasted nuts, candy or other products. But for those that enjoy boiled peanuts, we do have some fresh market peanuts, also referred to as “green” or “boiling” peanuts sold this time of year as peanuts are being harvested.

It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school. Keep children eating locally grown peanuts in healthy, nutritious and yummy peanut butter by donating jars of peanut butter.

Drop-off locations include:

Okaloosa County Extension Office
3098 Airport Road in Crestview
Open Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

Okaloosa County Farm Bureau Office
921 West James Lee Blvd. (Hwy. 90) in Crestview
Open Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

Natural Resources Conservation Service
938 N. Ferdon Blvd. (Hwy. 85) in Crestview
Open Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm

Okaloosa County Extension Annex
127 NW Hollywood Blvd. in Fort Walton Beach
Note: This location is only available for drop-off of peanut butter each Friday from 9:30 am to 12 noon

Some locations will be closed November 11 for Veteran’s Day

Visit http://peanutbutterlovers.com for peanut butter recipes, health and nutrition information and to view a video of an Okaloosa County 3rd generation peanut farmer.

For more information about the Peanut Butter Challenge, contact Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850.

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