This year Texas Pecan Growers Association (TPGA) celebrates its 100th anniversary! Join us as we head to the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center & Spa in San Marcos, Texas, for our 100th conference. 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 1001 E McCarty Ln, San Marcos, Texas 78666.
In this letter, we’ll give you a brief rundown of this year’s conference and then provide a more detailed listing on the following page. As conference approaches, we will email occasional notices to TPGA members. If you have not received an email from us recently, please email [email protected] with your current email address.
Our room block at the Embassy Suites has sold out. TPGA has secured an overflow hotel at the Holiday Inn Express. You can reserve a room now by going online or calling the hotel directly. You must secure your reservation before the room block runs out to receive the discounted group rate. If you go online, go to this link and use your group code TPG. Or you may call Holiday Inn at 512-392-6355 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $149 for a single or double. Our guaranteed block includes Saturday through Wednesday nights only.
At the 2021 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. 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 members, Jaclyn Uzcategui, Office Manager, and Bailey Gruber, intern.
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. We encourage you to check in and get your registration materials on Sunday afternoon. Following the Pecan Pairing Program, the Grand Opening Reception will open at 5 p.m. in the exhibit hall and will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and a bar, sponsored by Bissett Specialty Equipment, Weiss McNair, Flory Industries, Air-O-Fan, and Gillison’s Variety Fabrication, Inc. Dinner will be on your own. During the reception, we will draw for the annual Fundraising Raffle—raffle tickets are $20 each this year. The grand prize is a commemorative Henry Golden Boy 22LR, engraved with the TPGA 100 year logo and donated by Jake Montz and Larry Don Womack. All proceeds from the raffle go to Texas pecan research.
In another effort to raise money for research and extension, a silent auction will open during the reception.
You can donate items to the auction as a way to contribute to these efforts and promote your business.
The Mini Pecan Short Course, sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will kick off Monday morning. The Short Course will feature a Q&A 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 your orchard and business, including talks on irrigation, management techniques, and pests. Tuesday will include the TPGA business meeting, updates and grower awards, and a crop estimate.
During refreshment breaks, you can head over to the exhibit hall to meet with vendors and attend break out sessions. These short sessions are another educational opportunity. Exhibitors will present 15-minute educational presentations at their booths.
On Wednesday, we’ll venture out to New Braunfels, Texas to Comal Pecan Farms for the orchard tour. The tour will include lunch.
As for special events, this year we have two outings planned that will surely enhance your conference experience. On Monday evening we convene at AquaBrew Brewery & Beer Garden in for a Casino Night. Casino Night will feature games and dinner, sponsored by Big Star Ag Source. Be sure to reserve your tickets for this spectacular Monday event.
We also have scheduled a Spouse’s Event on Tuesday—“A Day in Wimberley.” Participants will depart the hotel by bus and be dropped off in downtown Wimberley to enjoy the day however they wish. Unique by nature, this scenic town is the perfect place to dine and shop the afternoon away. The bus will bring participants back to the hotel in the afternoon.
In celebration of our 100th year, TPGA is offering special anniversary items and an archival photo gallery, A Walk Down Memory Lane, at the 2021 conference. Conference attendees can bring their own photos for staff to scan and add to the archive. TPGA members can request free copies of our 100 year recipe booklet. In addition, we are selling commemorative 100 year TPGA hats and metal membership signs. Learn more about these anniversary items on page 6 of this packet.
Another way to participate in our 100 year celebration is through the Pecan Pie Contest, held during the Welcome Reception. All attendees are invited to participate. Simply check the box on page 6, bake your pie, and show up to conference!
Another way to contribute to the conference and promote your company is through sponsorship. For our 100th year, we’re opening sponsorship to all conference participants. Everyone can help make TPGA’s 100th conference a special one. Don’t want to donate money? Think about donating a door prize! If any of our members would like to donate door prizes or learn more about sponsorship, please let us know. You can call our office, make a note on your registration form or email [email protected].
This packet provides information on the upcoming conference and a registration form. You can also register on the TPGA website: tpga.org/tpga-events/
Most TPGA memberships expire on June 30 (you can check in the TPGA membership area to confirm). If yours expires in June, please take this opportunity to renew your membership as you register for 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.
The Embassy Suites in San Marcos has sold out, but TPGA has secured an overflow hotel: the Holiday Inn Express. The discounted group rate is offered until the room block runs out. You can make your hotel reservations now by going online here. Once online, use your group code: TPG.
You may also call the hotel directly at 512-392-6355 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $149 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. Please check with Holiday Inn Express for the hotel’s latest safety guidelines and regulations.
The Holiday Inn Express address is 900 Barnes Dr, San Marcos, Texas, 78666.
We will host our annual 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.
As part of our 100 year celebration, Texas Pecan Growers Association is offering some special anniversary products, as well as a special Pecan Pie Contest and A Walk Down Memory Lane— a archival photo gallery.
TPGA will host a Pecan Pie Contest during the Grand Opening Reception. All conference attendees are welcome to participate in this 100th anniversary event. If you wish to bring a pie and participate, fill out the required section on the Conference Registration Form. A Walk Down Memory Lane will showcase archival photos from TPGA history; attendees are invited to bring photos to add to the gallery. Staff members will scan the photos to include them in the TPGA archives.
TPGA board member Troy Swift invites any interested attendees to take a walk through his orchard on Monday morning. Guests will meet at Swift River Pecans at 7 a.m. before the educational program starts, and can wander through the orchard and along the river. There will be a short walk for people who want to do a shorter distance or make sure they’re back in time for the 8:30 Mini Pecan Short Course, as well as a longer walk option of about 2.5 to 3 miles. Swift River Pecans is about 20 minutes from the hotel. Maps will be provided by the front desk. The Orchard Walk is a free, do-on-your-own event for any interested conference participant.
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. and embark on a 30-minute drive to New Braunfels, Texas. There, we will Comal Pecan Farms, a fifth-generation family farm owned by Mark Friesenhahn. This family business boasts a on-site retail store and cleaning plant. You can learn more about Comal Pecan Farm and its owner, Mark Friesenhahn, in a profile from Pecan South’s July 2020 issue. Aside from dealing with the usual pecan growing obstacles, the Friesenhahns face the challenge of residential and industrial growth around their farm. We will end the tour with lunch in the orchard and the conference will then conclude.
The cost for the tour is $25 per person. There will be no bus transportation. All attendees must drive their own car or carpool.
With exception of special events, all activities are at the Embassy Suites San Marcos.
|Saturday, July 17, 2021|
|3 p.m.||TPGA Board of Directors Meeting|
|Sunday, July 18, 2021|
|10 a.m. - 4 p.m.||Trade Show Setup (Not open for viewing until reception time)|
|12:30 p.m.||Texas Pecan Board meeting|
|1-5 p.m.||Conference Registration|
|2 p.m.||National Pecan Federation meeting|
|4 p.m.||TPGA Pecan Pairing Program Meetup, Registration Desk|
|5 p.m.||Trade Show Grand Opening/Reception in Exhibit Hall—reception bar, sponsored by Bissett Specialty Equipment, Weiss McNair, Flory Industries, Air-O-Fan, and Gillison's Variety Fabrication, Inc. Also, State Pecan Show on view, Fundraising Raffle drawing, and Silent Auction|
|Monday, July 19, 2021|
|7 a.m.||Orchard Walk at Swift River Pecans in San Marcos (optional; on your own)|
|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||Research & Extension Committee Lunch (invited guests only)|
|1:30 - 5 p.m.||Educational Program; the Silent Auction closes at 5 p.m.|
|6-10 p.m.||Casino Night at AquaBrew Brewery & Beer Garden in downtown San Marcos, dinner sponsored by Big Star Hardware (Ticketed event)|
|Tuesday, July 20, 2021|
|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 Wimberley (Ticketed event)|
|Noon||Lunch on your own|
|Noon||The Native Nut Book Nook and State Pecan Show close|
|1:30 - 4:45 p.m.||Educational Program|
|Evening On Your Own|
|Wednesday, July 21, 2021|
|8:30 a.m.||Orchard Tour in New Braunfels, Texas (Ticketed event)|
|Plan to depart from the hotel in San Marcos at 8:30 a.m. by car. Participants will tour Comal Pecan Farm in New Braunfels. Lunch will be included in the tour.|