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Texas Pecan Growers Annual Conference
July 17 - July 21
This year Texas Pecan Growers Association (TPGA) celebrates its 100th anniversary! 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. 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.
You can make your hotel reservations now by going online or calling the hotel directly. You must secure your reservation before June 18 or before the room block runs out to receive the discounted group rate. If you go online, go to this link—https://www.hilton. com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?\&ctyhocn=SNMESES&groupCode=CESTPG&arrival=20210718&departure=20210721&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,en,DirectLink&fromId=HILTON LINKDIRECT —and use your group code CESTPG. Or you may call the Embassy Suites at 512-392-6450 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $159 for a single or double. Our guaranteed block includes Saturday through Wednesday nights only. If the room block runs out, TPGA will do its best to secure an overflow hotel.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
ROOM RESERVATION DETAILS
TPGA has a discounted group rate at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos for the conference, under the group name Texas Pecan Growers. Please book your hotel reservation as soon as possible. Many of our past conferences at this location have sold out of rooms at the Embassy Suites, so book early. The discounted group rate is offered until June 18 or until the room block runs out. You can make your hotel reservations now by going online: https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?\&ctyhocn=SNMESES&groupCode=CESTPG&arrival=20210718&departure=20210721&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,en,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT . Once online, use your group code: CESTPG.
You may also call the hotel directly at 512-392-6450 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Pecan Growers group. The TPGA rate is $159 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 Embassy Suites for the hotel’s latest safety guidelines and regulations.
PECAN PAIRING PROGRAM
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.
CELEBRATE 100 YEARS WITH US
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.
- 100th year special edition recipe booklets, free to TPGAmembers to use in their business.
- 100th anniversary TPGA hats in heather gray and black, only100 available, $25 each.
- Membership sign, only 200 available, $30 per sign.
- Sponsorship—help to sponsor the 100th TPGA conference.
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.
ORCHARD TOUR ON WEDNESDAY
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. 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.