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Texas Growers Get Opportunity to Set Priorities

Texas Pecan Growers Association and Texas A&M AgriLife collaborate on Pecan Listening Sessions.

Texas Pecan Growers Association received a 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant to critically assess the Texas pecan industry’s economic development and sustainability through a series of survey-based projects. According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, pecan acreage in Texas declined 17.5% from 1997 to 2017, when acreage increased 7% nationally. Uncovering the factors behind this trend will be helpful in setting new research, education, and outreach goals for the Texas pecan industry, which is important to the state’s economy, sociology, and historical legacy.

TPGA has partnered with Dr. Monte Nesbitt, Dr. Larry Stein, and Dr. Amit Dhingra with Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences to engage the pecan growing community with three fact-finding assessments: 1) in-person listening sessions that will uncover grower attitudes, perceptions, and needs, 2) a crop cycle survey focused on crop management and production problems, and 3) a mixed mode quantitative survey of Texas pecan growers that will define its demographic and geographic influences on scope and health. These outcomes will raise awareness of the current condition of pecans as a specialty crop industry in Texas, identify research and Extension priorities, and define critical needs for sustainability and growth of pecan production in Texas.

Pecan growers across Texas are invited to participate in all of these survey efforts, including one of twelve town-hall-style listening sessions hosted in various cities across the pecan-growing areas this spring.

“We simply want to meet with pecan growers in or near their home communities, talk with them about what they’re facing, and hear about their successes, challenges, and needs,” says Dr. Monte Nesbitt, Extension Program Specialist and lead contributor to the project for Texas A&M AgriLife. “These will not be typical Extension pecan meetings. Yes, we will attempt to answer questions about pecan growing if folks have them, but this is about us listening carefully and critically to grower opinions on where the legacy of pecan growing stands right now. I think we all want to keep it standing.”

Pecan growers in Texas of any size orchard and any businesses aligned with the pecan industry are invited to attend one of 11 regional meetings, beginning March 28 in Bastrop County and concluding June 8 in El Paso County. A twelfth listening session is planned to coincide with the TPGA Annual Conference in Denton, Texas, on July 30.

The specific meeting time and location for each of the eleven regional sessions can be found at or by contacting the TPGA office at (979) 846-3285 or

Author Photo

Monte Nesbitt

Dr. Nesbitt is an Extension Program Specialist – Pecan/Fruit/Citrus at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, College Station.