Hancock Peanut Company

North Carolina’s Peanut History

Hancock Peanut Company

North Carolina has a rich history of peanut production, dating back to the early 1800s. The state is now the fifth-largest producer of peanuts in the United States, with an annual crop value of over $100 million.

Peanuts were first introduced to North Carolina by European settlers in the early 1800s. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that peanut production really took off in the state. This was due in part to the development of new varieties of peanuts that were better suited to North Carolina’s climate.

In the early 1900s, North Carolina became a major center for peanut processing. The state’s first peanut butter factory was opened in 1904, and by the 1920s, North Carolina was producing over half of the peanut butter in the United States.

Today, peanuts are still an important crop in North Carolina. The state’s peanut farmers produce a variety of peanuts, including runner peanuts, Spanish peanuts, and Valencia peanuts. Peanuts are grown in all 100 counties in North Carolina, but the largest peanut-producing counties are Martin, Bertie, Halifax, Edgecombe, Chowan, Gates, Hertford, Bladen, and Northampton.

Peanuts are a major economic driver in North Carolina. The peanut industry generates over $1 billion in economic activity in the state each year, and it supports over 10,000 jobs. Peanuts are also a major source of tax revenue for the state.

In addition to their economic importance, peanuts are also an important part of North Carolina’s culture. Peanuts are featured in many of the state’s festivals and events, and they are a popular ingredient in North Carolina cuisine.

Here are some of the ways that peanuts are celebrated in North Carolina:

  • The North Carolina Peanut Festival is held each year in October in the town of Lexington. The festival features a variety of peanut-related events, such as a peanut cook-off, a peanut-eating contest, and a peanut-themed parade.
  • The Peanut Capital of the World is a designation given to the town of Smithfield, North Carolina. Smithfield is home to the world’s largest peanut butter factory, and it is also the site of the North Carolina Peanut Hall of Fame.
  • Peanuts are also featured in the state’s official seal. The seal features a farmer holding a stalk of corn in one hand and a peanut in the other.

Peanuts are a delicious and nutritious crop that has been an important part of North Carolina’s history and culture for centuries. They are a major economic driver in the state, and they are enjoyed by people all over the world.

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