Pecan Research

PUBLICITY FOR PECANS ------------ Mrs. Edgar T. Neal, San Saba, Texas Publicity for Pecans is an extensive subject, because it covers, or should cover a space limited only by the boundaries of the civilized world---and even beyond that---for a knowledge of the food values of this delectable nut should claim a place in the program of the best trained missionaries, sent cut to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. This assertion covers a large territory at the outset; so in order that a good reason may be produced for such a broadening of my subject, I will state it as a fact, that at the present time there are growing on the grounds of a string of Methodist Missions in Africa, pecan trees from San Saba County, Texas, set in different soils in order to make tests of their growth under various conditions, and with a view to growing the pecan there for the benefit of the people of that heathen land, where until recently the pecan was one of the many of God's good gifts of which the native knew nothing. So much for the pecans publicity in the foreign field. To get back home, the pecan has proved the exception to the "prophet" rule, in as much as nowhere is the pecan more honored than in its own country---the pecan belt of Texas, especially West Central Texas. Such men as E .E. Risien, D. F. Moore, J. C. Morris, W. J. Millican and many others in San Saba County alone, pioneers in the industry, have been such ardent devotees to the cause of the pecan, that it has come into all honor among its own people. And so it is throughout the pecan belt of the entire state. More publicity has been given Texas pecans in the past five years, perhaps, than in all previous time. The Extension Service of the A. & M. College, through its district and county agricultural agents, the state Department of Agriculture, agricultural magazines, The American Nut Journal of New York, The Pioneer Pecan Press published by Mrs. Amelia Cowan at San Saba, local newspapers, the daily press, boys' and girls' clubs, have all had their part in this publicity, and no small part has it been. One of the essential points of publicity, it will be readily agreed, is reliability. Numerous facts, almost too big to be readily accepted, have been published about the pecan, and yet the half has not been told. A close adherence to cold facts, with no effort at exaggeration, will supply all writers bountifully with material for pecan publicity. Every news story sent out by correspondents should be true as to figures and facts, and no misleading propaganda should find its way to the public. A man who represents an important branch of the Extension Service with reference to nut culture recently made a tour of a number of pecan-growing counties in Texas to ascertain facts first hand, concerning individual trees, etc., in order to be able to answer questions on the pecan subject that came up in his particular line of work. This man had the experience of a trip through the north, and found that wild stories of fabulous wealth to be made in pecans in Texas were in the air in that country, and that many thought that by the purchase of small tracts, of from five to twenty-five acres, one could, figuratively speaking, almost automatically become a millionaire. Nor did he find this imaginative condition entirely confined to the north and east. While the profits to be made in pecan growing are untold, with the proper observance, it is a detriment to the industry for its possibilities to become so inflated in the public mind. The truth, so far as we know it, and nothing but the truth should be given to the public about pecans, by news correspondents, and through other methods of publicity. "The truth is big enough." In the matter of marketing and marketing methods the highest standard of reliability should be maintained, and it should be the individual business of every man or woman interested to see that these standards are upheld. While the improved pecan industry is comparatively new in this state, it is growing rapidly into commercial importance of no small proportions and into greater publicity every day. It is not for me to go into a discussion of the many methods of publicity, being merely a news writer, but a suggestion I should like to place before this Association that will result in a permanent publicity for pecans, is the matter of designating a certain proposed State Highway from Eastland to San Antonio, passing through a large pecan growing area, The Pecan Belt Highway, and should this section of the state be fortunate in securing any of the proposed State Parks, that they also be properly designated with reference to the pecan. The demand for pecans in the every-day menu is becoming greater all the time. Such helpful women as Mrs. H. G. Lucas, of Brownwood, who has a part in the program for this convention, deserve great credit for this line of pecan publicity. Testing and creating new recipes wherein the pecan is used, giving out these helpful hints to housewives, creating a greater appreciation for pecan delicacies and helping to solve food problems for families. With all the improvement, propagation, budding, top-working, grafting, setting new acreage and enlarging the pecan industry, and with the publicity for pecans thus secured, there is little danger of the supply exceeding the demand for this the most delectable fruit of all nut trees of the world.

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