Working for peanuts: The Lasley family does everything from growing them to marketing and selling

Great State

EAKLY, Okla. (KFOR) — Early October, that’s when these fields of green are ready to harvest just north of town.

It’s peanut harvest time, which means it’s Dale Lasley’s turn to plow a straight row on the digger.

“This tractor has GPS,” he smiles, “But I’m not smart enough to set it up so we just have to eyeball it the old timey way.”

If you were to dig back in time a full generation, Caddo County had close to 40,000 acres of peanut plants growing.

The 2020 harvest had about 3,500 acres in cultivation.

What started with a federal seed program in the 1930s brought steady prices until the program and the party ended around 2001.

Loyd Lasley recalls, “The price the farmer got per ton went from around $620 to around $355.”

Dale’s little brother, Loyd, could have been like most of his neighbors and moved on to some other crop, but he already had a sheller, and he’d already done a lot of thinking about all those heavy sacks of his peanuts that were fattening the wallets of some other company.

Loyd says, “It always intrigued me that I might be eating my own peanuts.”

They call it ‘value added’.

Oklahoma peanut lovers call it a tasty idea.

The whole Lasley family didn’t abandon peanuts.

They doubled down.

They bought a converted coffee roaster.

Loyd’s mom dusted off a good recipe for peanut brittle, and, pretty soon, the Lasleys weren’t just growing nuts, they were selling them.

Velma Lasley told us, “It takes adding soda to make it fluff up and get tender.”

“I always wondered about selling my own peanuts direct to the public,” adds Loyd.

Over the past 20 years, the name has cropped up on all kinds of different flavors โ€“ ‘Sweet Crunchy’, ‘Cinnamon Crunchy’ and ‘After 5’, which has the skins removed.

Loyd continues, “They kind of market themselves once people taste them.”

Loyd turned his grandparents’ old rock house into a certified peanut kitchen and company headquarters.

From the field, to the cookie sheet, to the package, to the store, they made it pay.

Talk about working for peanuts, that’s what the Lasleys do, every ‘Lasley’ one of them.

For more information about Lasley Peanuts and their story or their products, go to
https://www.lasleypeanuts.com/.

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