Robert Alford is a 3rd generation farmer, who grew up farming peanuts near Two Egg. As a young man, he decided to leave the farm life and get a “real job” in the oil fields in Louisiana. It was there Robert met his wife, Carol. After nine years of working in the oil fields, with two children, and as Alford said, “one in the oven”, they decided to move back to Two Egg.
Alford returned to farming in 1989 with his father, beginning with a quota to grow 150 acres of peanuts. He also raised hogs, and corn to feed the hogs. He worked to increase his crop acreage and began growing soybeans, cotton, and some watermelons in the late 90s.
Without cutting back on his farming, Alford began working at the Malone Peanut, Dellwood Plant in 2005. A year later, Carol also started working there. He worked his way up and became the buying point manager.
Alford now farms with his son, Cody, and currently grows around 900 acres of crops including peanuts, cotton and corn. This year, his peanut acreage was down due to market concerns, but he still grew 292 acres of peanuts with an average yield of 4,968 pounds per acre, and average grade of 78% total sound mature kernels (TSMK).
Alford recognizes the use of twin row planting, irrigation and GPS guidance for equipment as important innovations that have helped improve his peanut operation. He is also using strip tillage for some of his peanut crop and believes it helps improve his yields on sandy soils.
Alford is grateful for his family and their support and looks forward to the opportunity to hand over his farming operation over to his children one day. The Alfords are proud parents of Caz, Casey, and Cody. Caz married Cassey, and added two grandchildren, Haley and Jaxson to the family.
The Peanut Farmer of the Year is selected each year by the Jackson County Extension Service with assistance from the Florida Peanut Producer’s Association.