APC awards Lifetime Achievement to Dr. Stanley Fletcher, posthumously to AMADAS Industries’ James C. Adams II; APSA’s John Powell honored with Hall of Fame Award

June 13, 2024 (Amelia Island, Fla.)—The American Peanut Council today presented its prestigious Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame awards at a ceremony during the annual USA Peanut Congress in Amelia Island, Fla. The awards were bestowed on three leaders who have demonstrated significant commitment to the peanut industry and APC. 

The Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Dr. Stanley Fletcher, professor of policy at the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and posthumously to James C. Adams II, past chairman of AMADAS Industries. 

Dr. Stanley Fletcher is a nationally recognized economist whose service to the peanut industry and APC has been invaluable. Since the 1990s, he has served on many APC committees to develop research, education and information. Some of Dr. Fletcher's key contributions to the peanut industry include: economic analysis of the GATT Dunkel’s impact on the peanut industry; economic impact analysis of NAFTA, which led farm groups to make a major change in the peanut parameters to benefit peanut growers and the industry, and was eventually approved by the NAFTA trading partners; and economic analysis of the impact of the Free Trade of Americas Agreement negotiations, along with the WTO (formed from the GATT) negotiations, on the peanut industry. This economic analysis was the foundation for the 2002 Farm Bill.

The second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is the late James C. Adams II, who passed away in 2023. In 1963, Adams helped found Hobbs-Adams Engineering with his father and uncle, later establishing the company as the leader in the peanut digger market. Adams pioneered and/or introduced many innovations that helped the industry grow while becoming more efficient, including the digger/inverter, which allowed peanuts to dry much quicker in the field; disc separator technology, which allowed peanuts to be harvested in a far wider range of moisture conditions; and, in a joint venture with John Deere, the world’s largest self-propelled peanut combine. He was a major player in the change from stationary peanut combines to two-row towed combines, and then in the transition from two- to four- and then six-row machines. Adams grew Hobbs-Adams to become AMADAS Industries. Currently, more than half of all the peanuts harvested in the America’s are harvested with AMADAS systems.

“The peanut industry owes Dr. Stanley Fletcher and James C. Adams II a debt of gratitude,” said APC President and CEO Richard Owen. “Whether it was through economic insight and analysis or technological innovation, their significant strides will have lasting impacts on the peanut industry for many years to come.” 

APC’s Hall of Fame Award was given to American Peanut Shellers Association Executive Director John Powell, who is retiring this year. For nearly 40 years, Powell has served APSA and its members. In this role, he helped found The Peanut Institute, The Peanut Institute Foundation, and the U.S. Peanut Federation. During his career Powell worked on eight Farm Bills, has been a member of APC for more than five decades and has been actively involved in the peanut community, including serving as vice chair and board member of the Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

“John Powell’s service to the peanut industry, APSA and its members is a significant achievement,” continued Owen. “We wish John the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

APC’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their careers in the peanut industry. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to the peanut industry over a lifetime, including a history of involvement and impact on the industry and their communities.

The APC Hall of Fame Award recognizes individual contributions to the peanut industry and, specifically, service to the American Peanut Council, which have been significant, substantial and long-standing. Members of the Hall of Fame have a demonstrated history of career achievement, sustained commitment to the advancement of the industry, personal service to benefit the industry, and significant contributions to APC through dedicated service and leadership. 

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