M&M Farms wins record-setting auction
The 2018 Peach Auction set a record by surpassing $20,000 for the third consecutive year.
The Clanton Lions Club raised $22,325 that will benefit a variety of charitable causes throughout Chilton County.
“That shows you the type of people we’ve got in this community,” said Glenn McGriff with the Clanton Lions Club.
Mark and Melissa Knight of M&M Farms won first place for their peaches that were of the PF 24-007 variety.
M&M Farms had its winning streak of nine-straight years snapped in 2017. However, a year later they are back on top and hoping to start another streak.
“I knew my peaches had a good chance,” Knight said. “I feel vindicated for all our hard work.”
According to Knight, his run of success has a lot to do with the presentation of a basket, which he believes can play a major role and help separate certain peaches in the eyes of the judges.
“It also helps if you’ve got the biggest peaches, but that doesn’t always mean that you’ll win,” Knight said.
The top basket sold for $3,100 and was bought by the Chilton County Farmers Federation.
“We’re proud of our peach farmers,” Chilton County Farmers Federation President Wendell Kelley said. “We think that Chilton County grows the best peaches in the world, and this is a way to celebrate and honor them.”
Jerry Harrison’s Bounty peaches finished second, and rounding out the top three were peaches grown by Jimmy Harrison. Five of the top 10 peaches were of the Bounty variety.
It was not until the fifth-place basket that the purchase price dropped less than $1,000.
It was a bounce back year for the peach crop after a harmful lack of chill hours a year ago. Thirty-four baskets were presented and sold at this year’s auction compared to 28 a year ago.
“That’s the most I’ve seen in a long time,” McGriff said.
Several politicians and local businesses were on hand for the auction and showed their support by buying a basket.
“To me, it’s the kickoff to our independence week,” Congressman Gary Palmer said.
Final results from the 2018 Peach Auction. Included is the grower, the purchase price and the buyer for all 34 baskets of peaches.
M&M Farms: $3,100 by Chilton County Farmers Federation
Jerry Harrison: $2,300 by Marion Bank & Trust
Jimmy Harrison: $2,100 by Clanton Tractor
Keith Wise Farms: $1,500 by Peoples Southern
J.J.’s Produce: $850 by Ellison Funeral Home
M&M Farms: $750 by The Clanton Advertiser
M&M Farms: $700 by Heedy Hayes, Bridge Builders
Knight Farm: $700 by Wadsworth Oil
Knight Farm: $650 by Senator Cam Ward
Todd’s Produce: $500 by Representative Jimmy Martin
Chilton Research and Extension Center: $550 by Clanton Tractor
Chilton Research and Extension Center: $500 by Chilton Contractors
Chilton Research and Extension Center: $500 by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill
Jerry Harrison: $525 by SunSouth Tractor
Todd’s Produce: $500 by Chilton Contractors
Ken and Judy Patterson: $425 by Martin Funeral Home
Ken and Judy Patterson: $300 by Stokes
Jimmy Harrison: $450 by Chilton County Republican Party
Patterson Farms: $500 by Chilton County Republican Party
Patterson Farms: $250 by Congressman Gary Palmer
Kenneth Easterling: $350 by Angie Mayfield
Kenneth Easterling: $350 by Sheriff John Shearon
Henry and Suzanne Williams: $325 by Garrison Farms
Henry and Suzanne Williams: $350 by Circuit Judge Bill Lewis
Henry and Suzanne Williams: $325 by Congressman Gary Palmer
Henry and Suzanne Williams: $300 by Rick Pate, candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture
Henry and Suzanne Williams: $300 by Curtis Smith
C&J Farms: $375 by Senator Gerald Dial
Burnette Farms: $400 by SunSouth Tractor
Burnette Farms: $350 by Coroner Aaron Ellison
Burnette Farms: $325 by Congressman Gary Palmer
Keith Wise Farms: $300 by Shane Ogle
Mountain View Orchards: $275 by Sports Shop
Mountain View Orchards: $350 by J&J Print Shop