( File photo )

Penick Produce Co. Inc., a sweet potato company in Vardaman, Miss., has posted a $75,000 cash surety bond with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The company posted the bond to obtain a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act license to operate in the produce industry, according to a USDA news release.

Penick Produce posted the bond per PACA rules after filing for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy last year.


Penick Produce’s new owners

In late May, Penick Produce Co. Inc. and its affiliates, Penick Business LP and Penick LP, sold Penick Produce and significant land assets in Penick Business and Penick LP to Alexander Farms, another sweet potato company in Vardaman, according to a news release from advisory firm Legacy Capital Investment Bankers.

Penick Produce has operated since 1956, buying process grade sweet potatoes from area farmers, and Alex Farms will continue that operation, according to the release.

“My father-in-law, J. R. Penick, was a pioneer in the sweet potato industry in North Mississippi and on the national level,” Rob Langston, president of Penick Produce, said in the release. “In addition to forming Penick Produce to serve the needs of the farmers, he also accumulated ownership of a substantial amount of sweet potato farming acreage. His leadership and vision helped create the ‘Sweet Potato Capital of the World’ in the Vardaman, Miss., area. We are pleased to be passing the business on to the trusted and experienced operations of Alexander Farms.”

“I had a long friendship with J. R. Penick, and I shared his vision for the sweet potato industry in Mississippi,” Kenneth Alexander of Alexander Farms said in the release. “It is a pleasure to have the ability to continue his legacy.”