FEBRUARY 4, 2015--ATLANTA – United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed Lonnie Fortner of Port Gibson, Miss. as the alternate member for Mississippi on the National Peanut Board. Fortner’s term will begin immediately and end on Dec. 31, 2016.
Fortner operates Rock Lake Planting Company and grows runner peanuts in addition to cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans and sesame. Fortner is a third generation farmer earned an Ag Economics degree from Mississippi State University. After working for the USDA Farm Service Agency, Fortner had the opportunity in Claiborne and Warren counties to help manage a farm and has worked up to a farming partnership.
Fortner is a 2012 graduate of the Peanut Leadership Academy. He is a board member of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Farmers Coop. Fortner is also vice president of the Claiborne County Farm Bureau, chairman of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Peanut Advisory Board and chairman of the Mississippi Peanut Promotion Board. Additionally, he served as a member Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation State Committee and current member of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Crop Insurance and Transportation Committees. Fortner and his wife Karen have two children, Beth and Lee. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting.
Fortner is glad to join the National Peanut Board. “It’s good to be involved on the frontline to ensure that the grower’s investment is going to the right place,” he said.