This year, we’re headed back to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa in Frisco, Texas! With hotel and conference center under one roof, it is hard to beat this convenient venue. And with free breakfasts and free manager’s reception in the evenings, it is hard to beat the value! The hotel address is 7600 John Q. Hammons Dr., Frisco, Texas 75034.
In this letter, we’ll give you a brief rundown of this year’s conference and then give a more detailed listing on the following page. As conference approaches, we will also be emailing occasional notices and additional information to TPGA members. If you have not received an email from us recently, please email email@example.com and give us your current email address.
You can make your hotel reservations now by going online or calling the hotel directly. You must secure your reservation before June 22 or before the room block runs out in order to receive the discounted group rate. If you go online, go to this link—https://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/D/DALFSES-PGA-20190714/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG —and use your group code PGA. Or you may call the Embassy Suites at 972-712-7200 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $155 for a single or double. Triple and quad occupancy rates are slightly higher. Our guaranteed block includes Saturday through Wednesday nights only. Other nights may be reserved, based on availability. If the room block runs out, TPGA will do its best to secure an overflow hotel.
At the 2019 conference, we’re featuring a variety of new activities and speakers with the hopes of providing you with both an educational and entertaining experience. Before we get into the agenda though, we’d like to introduce our staff who will be handling conference. Conference attendees can go to any of our staff members for assistance: Blair Krebs, Executive Director; Erin Diserens, Associate Director of Membership; Catherine Clark, Managing Editor of Pecan South; and lastly our newest team member, Savannah Brady is our Office Manager.
Our agenda for Sunday activities includes registration from 1 to 5 p.m. and a TPGA Pecan Pairing Program meetup for growers at 4 p.m., followed by the Grand Opening Reception that will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar in the exhibit hall at 5 p.m. Dinner will be on your own. During the reception, we will draw for the eighth Fundraising Raffle. We encourage you to please check in and get your registration materials on Sunday afternoon.
The Mini Pecan Shortcourse, sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will kick off Monday morning. The Shortcourse will feature a question and answer session at the end. Have your questions ready for Texas AgriLife Specialists! They’re excited to answer them. Our educational program will continue Monday afternoon and through Tuesday. The educational program will feature topics to help you manage and run your orchard and business, such as: talks on irrigation, photosynthesis, long-term weed control, and pests; a weevil and Texas buyer licensing panel; and a presentation on how to communicate with consumers.
Throughout these sessions, you will receive updates from a number of pecan industry groups, including: the National Pecan Shellers Association, Bob Redding with the National Pecan Federation, U.S. Pecan Growers Council, and the Texas Pecan Board. The American Pecan Council will also give an update with information from the Council’s recent strategic planning and host handler workshops. Tuesday will include the TPGA business meeting, updates and grower awards, and a crop estimate.
On Wednesday, we’ll venture out to Granbury, Texas to Anthony Orchards and Leonard Bend Farm for the orchard tour. The tour will include lunch.
As for special events, this year we have three outings planned that will surely enhance your conference experience. On Saturday, we have a Family Night at the Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders. In addition to spending a fun evening at a ballgame, attendees will receive a premium meal basket and witness a fireworks show after the game. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Additionally, we will convene on Monday evening at the event1013 in downtown Plano for a Murder Mystery Dinner— “Murder on the Pecan Trail.” Be sure to reserve your tickets for this spectacular Monday event. Buses will be available (separate ticket purchase required) and we encourage you to choose this option if you plan to consume any alcohol. If not, event1013 is an easy 20-minute drive from the hotel. We also have scheduled a Spouse’s Event on Tuesday—“A Day in McKinney.” Participants will depart the hotel by bus and be dropped off in downtown McKinney square to enjoy the day however they wish. Unique by nature, this historic downtown is the perfect place to dine and shop the afternoon away. The bus will bring participants back to the hotel in the afternoon.
We will also have our eighth Fundraising Raffle this year! The grand prize is $5,000. As we have been doing, ticket sales will be limited to 200 tickets. Cost is $100 each, but if you buy four, you get the fifth free. The winner will be drawn at the Grand Opening Reception on Sunday. You do not have to be present to win. All funds generated from the raffle will go to support pecan research and extension.
In another effort to raise money for pecan research and extension, we will also open a silent auction during the reception. You can donate items to the auction as a way to contribute to these efforts and promote your business. Another way to contribute to the conference and promote your company is through door prizes! If any of our members would like to donate door prizes, please let us know. You can call our office, make a note on your registration form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep reading for more important details on each day’s activities.
Most TPGA memberships expire on June 30 (you can check your label on a recent Pecan South to confirm; 06/30/2019 means your expiration date is June 30, 2019). If so, please take this opportunity to renew your membership at the time you register for the conference. You will find a renewal form in this packet. If you are unable to attend the conference this year, you may still renew by filling out the attached membership form or going online to tpga.org. Through your membership, you not only fund TPGA benefits, but also support valuable pecan research and promotion. Pecan researchers and supporters and all of us here at TPGA greatly appreciate your support.
TPGA has a discounted group rate at the Embassy Suites in Frisco for the conference. You must secure your reservation before June 22 in order to receive the discounted group rate. You can make your hotel reservations now by going online: https://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/D/DALFSES-PGA-20190714/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG . Once online, use your group code: PGA.
You may also call the hotel directly at 972-712-7200 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $155 for a single or double. Triple and quad occupancy rates are slightly higher. Our guaranteed block includes Saturday through Wednesday nights, departing on Thursday morning. Other nights may be reserved, based on availability.
For the second year in a row, we will be hosting and improving last year’s Pecan Pairing Program on Sunday at 4 p.m. before the Grand Opening Reception. This program is designed to bring growers from the same region together so that they have someone to turn to when the going gets tough. As such a large state, Texas has a diverse range of growing conditions and practices. By participating in the Pecan Pairing Program, you’ll meet someone who is confronting the same challenges as you for a chance to talk, share ideas, and establish connections.
If you’re interested in connecting with another grower in your region, be sure to check the box on the following page. Once you’re signed up, you will be contacted via email before conference with more information and details. On the day of the meetup, please gather near the registration desk.
On Wednesday, we will have our annual orchard tour. A special ticketed event, the tour gives you an opportunity to visit and learn about another grower’s pecan operation and practices. The group will leave the hotel at 8:30 a.m. in either car or bus and embark on a 90-mile drive to Granbury, Texas. There, we will tour Anthony Orchards and Leonard Bend Farm, which is located inside the residential community of Pecan Plantation, surrounded by the Brazos River. The Anthony family continues to grow the legacy of this 50-year-old pecan orchard. Their business boasts retail operations, including their own line of custom products, which they ship across the country. We will end the tour with lunch in the orchard and the bus will return to the hotel once lunch concludes.
The cost for the tour is $25 per person with an additional $15 each for bus transportation. You may drive your own car to the tour.
|Saturday, July 13, 2019|
|3 p.m.||TPGA Board of Directors Meeting|
|7 p.m.||Family Night at the Ballpark — Frisco RoughRiders (Ticketed event)|
|Sunday, July 14, 2019|
|10 a.m. - 4 p.m.||Trade Show Setup (Not open for viewing until reception time)|
|10 a.m.||Texas Pecan Board Meeting|
|1-5 p.m.||Conference Registration|
|4 p.m.||TPGA Pecan Pairing Program Meetup, Registration Desk|
|5 p.m.||Trade Show Grand Opening/Reception in Exhibit Hall; State Pecan Show on view, Fundraising Raffle drawing and Silent Auction|
|Monday, July 15, 2019|
|8 a.m. - 5 p.m.||Registration and Trade Show; State Pecan Show open|
|8:30 a.m.||Mini Pecan Short Course, sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension|
|9 a.m.||The Native Nut Book Nook opens|
|Noon||Lunch on your own|
|Noon||TPGA Research & Extension Committee Lunch (invited guests only)|
|1:15 - 5 p.m.||Educational Program; the Silent Auction closes at 5 p.m.|
|6-10 p.m.||Murder Mystery Dinner, “Murder on the Pecan Trail” at event1013 in Plano (Ticketed event)|
|Tuesday, July 16, 2019|
|8 a.m. - 5 p.m.||Registration and Trade Show|
|8:30 a.m. - Noon||Educational Program|
|10 a.m. - 3 p.m.||Spouse’s Event: A Day in McKinney (Ticketed event)|
|Noon||Lunch on your own|
|Noon||The Native Nut Book Nook and State Pecan Show close|
|1:15 - 5 p.m.||Educational Program|
|Evening On Your Own|
|Wednesday, July 17, 2019|
|8 a.m.||Orchard Tour is Granbury, Texas (ticketed event)|
|Plan to depart from the hotel in Frisco at 8:30 a.m. either by car or by bus. The bus will take you to the orchard tour at Anthony Orchards and Leonard Bend Farm in Granbury and back to the conference hotel once the tour concludes. Lunch will be included in the tour.|
** If you have any questions at the conference, visit the registration desk for details**
While preparing for the 98th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Frisco, Texas, be sure to check out the conference’s educational program. Educational topics include pecan production, management and research topics from specialists across the country and growers in your own region. The Educational Program also features updates from industry groups and talks on the market, consumer relations, and the agriculture census. The American Pecan Council will present an update, and council members and staff will be on hand for questions and pecan handler workshops. Don’t miss out on your favorite topics and new events!
The full conference packet, registration form, and online registration are available on www.tpga.org.
|Monday, July 15, 2019|
|8:30 a.m.||Texas AgriLife Mini Pecan Shortcourse to be announced|
|Noon||Lunch on own/Visit the Trade Show Research and Extension Luncheon – By invitation only|
|1:30 p.m.||Welcome — Lalo Medina, President, Texas Pecan Growers Assn.|
|1:45 p.m.||Pecan Weevil and Texas Buyer Legislation|
|2:30 p.m.||National Pecan Federation & Washington D.C. Update — Robert Redding, Lobbyist, Redding Firm|
|3 p.m.||Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall/Trade Show|
|3:30 p.m.||An Update from the American Pecan Council, Alex Ott, Executive Director, American Pecan Council
Handler workshops will be available during the show at 10 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday
|4:00 p.m.||National Pecan Shellers Association Update|
|4:30 p.m.||U.S. Pecan Growers Council Update — Janice Dees, Executive Director, U.S. Pecan Growers Council|
|Tuesday, July 16, 2019|
|8:30 a.m.||Texas Pecan Management Practices: Rainfall, Irrigation, and More — Monte Nesbitt, Extension Program Specialist, Texas A&M University|
|9:30 a.m.||Evaluation of Alion herbicide for long-term weed control in pecans — Joe Masabni, Texas AgriLife|
|10 a.m.||Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall/Visit the Trade Show|
|10:30 a.m.||Texas Pecan Board Update & Activities — Bob Whitney, Executive Director, Texas Pecan Board|
|11 a.m.||TPGA Business Meeting and Awards
Door Prize Drawing—visit at least 10 exhibitors in the trade show and fill out the TPGA questionnaire to have two tickets placed into the drawing. Get exhibitors’ signatures on the form included in your packet and return it with your TPGA questionnaire to the registration desk to be entered in the drawing
|Noon||Lunch on own/Visit the Trade Show|
|1:30 p.m.||Photosynthesis: Turning Light, Air, and Water into Pecans — Richard Heerema, Extension Pecan Specialist, New Mexico State University|
|2 p.m.||USDA-NASS pecan program and 2017 Census of Ag release — Will Hundl, Director of Southern Plains Region, USDA/NASS|
|2:30 p.m.||How to break down Ag Talk for consumers — Dr. Holli Leggette, Texas A&M University|
|3 p.m.||Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall/Visit the Trade Show|
|3:30 p.m.||To be announced|
|4 p.m.||Pecan Consumers and the Pecan Market — Marco Palma, Associate Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M University|
|4:30 p.m.||The Texas Crop and U.S. Production Estimate|
|*Presentations are subject to change|