Meet Bob Parker & Ryan Lepicier
Bob and Ryan run The National Peanut Board, a research, marketing and promotion organization for U.S. peanut farmers across the U.S. Together, they have worked for more than a dozen years to turn the commitment of peanut producers across the United States into something really, really important to the interests of consumers everywhere.
Because of our ever-evolving food system, we get better, more nutritious food and innovative new uses that meet real market needs, and we get smarter consumers to boot. It takes work by thousands of researchers all pointed toward finding answers to some of the toughest issues we continue to wrestle with every day. And it takes a concerted effort to get the word out to people.
But who’s in charge of this endeavor? Not the government, not fancy think tanks, not big business or big universities. All those folks play important roles, but we often overlook what hardworking, financially challenged farmers who drive the demand to improve consumer understanding of our food.
In this episode of Digging In, we’re turning to the peanut industry to provide a stellar example of organizations that work behind the scenes for its farmers. The National Peanut Board, a research, marketing and promotion organization (“RMP”) for U.S. peanut farmers, is headed up by Bob Parker, current CEO; and Ryan Lepicier, current Chief Marketing Officer and next CEO. RMPs like this organization help improve our food system to provide a steady stream of information so we can all make better, smarter food decisions.
Click here for a transcript of this podcast.
Here are our guests in this episode:
Bob Parker joined the National Peanut Board, a farmer-funded research, marketing and promotion organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, as its president and CEO in 2012. At the National Peanut Board, he has focused on the mission of improving the economic condition of America’s peanut farmers and their families. Those efforts have centered around promoting the increased consumption of U.S.-grown peanuts domestically and internationally, addressing barriers to consumption such as peanut allergy and supporting production research to make peanut farmers more productive, efficient and sustainable.
The 2023 peanut crop is the 47th of Parker’s professional career, although he has been around peanuts his entire life. He has a broad range of experience in peanuts and agriculture, both domestically and internationally, from growing, processing, public policy and marketing. Parker is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in agricultural economics.
Ryan Lepicier serves as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the National Peanut Board with a passion for fueling peanut demand and consumption. He will begin his role as NPB president and CEO on January 1, 2024. He and his team are working to make peanuts the most relevant nut among millennial consumers by ensuring people are thinking about peanuts differently, talking about peanuts positively, engaging with peanuts more often, and buying more peanuts.
Lepicier has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Auburn University. He likes his peanut butter straight from the jar on a spoon. Crunchy, please.