Feb 8, 2022
Texas Pecan Short Course set Feb. 22-25 in Sommerville

The Texas Pecan Short Course will be held Feb. 22-25 at the Texas A&M University Horticulture Teaching, Research and Extension Center, 3199 County Road 269 E., Sommerville, 9 miles from the main Texas A&M University campus in Bryan-College Station.

The cost is $300, and participants must preregister at https://tx.ag/TXPecanSC22Reg. Each day’s events will start at 8 a.m. and conclude around 5:30 p.m. Lunch will be served each day.

Participants will get to make a pecan variety board on day three and will also receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course.

Comprehensive course, expert speakers

The course is a comprehensive educational class for commercial pecan orchard management and designed for people with little or no previous experience growing pecans. All facets of pecan orchard management will be covered, from basic tree anatomy and physiology to annual budget planning.

“Our short course is not just about the comprehensive pecan business information we provide over four full days, it’s also about participants getting to know us and getting to know their fellow pecan growers,” said Monte Nesbitt, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in horticulture, Bryan-College Station.

Nesbitt will be joined by other experts from the Department of Horticultural Sciences to speak at the event, including Larry Stein, Ph.D., associate department head and program leader, Uvalde, and George Ray McEachern, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Bryan-College Station. Other facility and pecan industry leaders will also present.

A complete agenda of the Pecan Short Course schedule for all four days is available online.

Orchard access, learning

A man holds a pecan branch with several nuts on it. The pecans are close up; the man in a blue shirt and sunglasses. The tree is at the Texas A&M Pecan Orchard.
Pecan harvest at Texas A&M’s Pecan Orchard. Photo: Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife

Participants will have easy access to the Texas A&M University Pecan Orchard, a research and teaching pecan orchard covering 56 acres with over 1,500 pecan trees ranging in age from 4 to 70 years.

Portions of the short course will be taught in the orchard covering subjects like tree planting, pruning and soil evaluation. Participants also will be able to see commercial pecan equipment in operation.

COVID-19 guidelines

Traditionally taught in January, event organizers pushed the short course date to February due to the Omicron-driven spike in COVID activity that manifested at the start of the new year.

“In each class, we see participants make new acquaintances, share their collective experiences and learn from one another’s unique situations,” said Nesbitt. “That ‘bonus learning’ gets lost if we move this to an online environment.”

The Texas Pecan Short Course will be taught in an indoor facility as well as the orchard. Due to COVID-19, prevention measures as outlined by the CDC are recommended.  As a state of Texas agency, policies for hosting indoor educational programs will follow the guidelines outlined by the Governor of Texas.

Susan Himes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Photo at top: The Texas Pecan Short Course will visit the Texas A&M Pecan Orchard. Shown is last year’s harvest. Photo: Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife

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