Clarence E. Tisdale San Saba, Texas
It has been my privilege to be associated with the Texas Pecan Growers Association for a good many years.
This Association was first organized in San Saba in 1920 and annual meetings have been held every year except 1942, a war year. The state is divided into four districts or pecan growing areas with two directors from each. Annual meetings are rotated from one district to another. This is the first time that the State Convention has been held in Austin.
I have requested that the Officers and Directors of the Association be given a seat of honor during the opening of this program so that everyone can become acquainted with them. I would like to introduce:
Vice President---Hugo Pape, Seguin
Secretary-Treasurer---Fred R. Brison, College Station
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer---J. B. Storey, College Station.
District 1---West Texas J. L. Rainey, Richland Springs; Elmo Cook, Austin
District 2---East Texas J. T. Orchard, Texarkana; Tom Bradley, Trinidad
District 3---North Texas J. M. Cooper, Eastland; Ted Brumbalow, Gatesville
District 4---South Texas J. H. Ross, League City; Everett Smith, Brazoria
These men meet two or three times a year to conduct the business of the Association and help plan the program. I would like to mention that at our spring meeting in College Station all officers and directors were present which represented over 3,000 miles of travel.
Another group that we want to recognize is the Arrangements Committee consisting of Elmo Cook, Chairman, E. W. Schumann, H. F. Green, F. R. Brison, and Bluefford Hancock. These men have really worked and the Texas Pecan Growers Association has never held a convention under such favorable conditions as have been arranged for us here in Austin.
The most important asset of any organization is its members. Dues in the Texas Pecan Growers Association have always been kept at a very low figure so that membership would be within the reach of everyone growing pecans. It is at present, and has been for many years, $3 per year for which the member receives a copy of the Proceedings of the state convention and the timely newsletters published every two months as well as a vote in business matters. We have had many favorable comments on this little Pecan Newsletter and want to tell Fred and his fine staff at A&M how much we appreciate their efforts. It does take quite a bit of time and work. Anyway, the dues just about pay the actual cost of stationery, printing, postage, and mailing. No one in the Association draws a salary or operates on an expense account. We have the largest attendance ever recorded at a state convention and have many new members. Along with the new members, we want to particularly notice some of the older members (I do not mean in age, but in membership in the Association.) We have members who have belonged for 30 years and more with whom I would like our visitors and new members to become acquainted. I want everyone to feel that he is a part of this fine organization.
We have assembled here for the state convention, a large, experienced group of experts and specialists. We have men, not only from Texas, but from adjoining states, and even some from several distant states. I am sure each of you recognizes the physical impossibility of covering all the problems of the pecan industry at a single meeting. These men are on the program and the Program Committee has arranged some panel discussions so that questions may be submitted from the floor. I think one of the most important things we get out of a meeting of this kind is becoming acquainted and talking with pecan growers from other states. If you have a problem that is not covered on the program, ask one of these specialists; you will find all of them more than willing to help in any way they can. We are very glad to have these out-of-state visitors.
Last fall I visited all six of the County Pecan Shows that were held in the state. Shows were held at Seguin, San Saba, Cisco, Gonzales, Austin, and Menard. These shows ranged from local to county-wide. I learned a lot of things, met and talked with a large number of fine growers. In addition to pecans, some counties had exhibits of food products in which pecans were used. The women attended these shows and exemplified an interest that was almost unbelievable. One county went so far as to elect a queen. I would like to recommend both of these features to any county contemplating a pecan show this fall. I am not going into the details of a pecan show since we have a well-qualified speaker on this subject to appear later on the program. Many of you will remember that at our meeting in San Antonio last year President Pape stressed the need of a county organization. After observing several of these county organizations in action, I am going on record with the statement that a lot of well-organized county organizations will assure us of a strong and active state organization. Winning exhibits at the county shows were carried to College Station to compete with all the other entries from over the state, with the result that we had a very excellent pecan show. We hope to see the number of county pecan shows doubled and even tripled this fall and a state show bigger and better than ever.
I am happy to report that cooperation with all State and Federal agencies has been the finest we have ever known. Last year and again this year Governor Price Daniel issued a Proclamation designating Pecan Week in Texas. The six county shows were judged by members of the extension, teaching, and research staffs at Texas A&M College. Members of these staffs which make up the Horticulture Department have given every assistance possible. The State Department of Agriculture has greatly helped in stabilization of pecan prices with crop estimates and the weekly market reports. It is my understanding that these market reports will be continued as long as we want them. We have had lots of favorable publicity from state and local newspapers, radio stations, and through meetings conducted by County Extension Agents. I particularly want to express appreciation to stations WBAP, WFAA, and WOAI. All of these media have helped keep pecans before the public and help create a demand for our product. It is up to us to supply a quality product to meet this demand. We have prepared a wonderful program. I know you are going to see and learn many things as well as become acquainted with many fine pecan growers.
As president of the Texas Pecan Growers Association, I want to personally welcome each and every one of you and tell you how glad we are to have you as a member of our organization. I also want to express my appreciation to the officers, directors, and to the many committees that have helped make this meeting possible.