The Williamson-Bell County Pecan Show and Food Show will be held Dec. 17, and pecan entries from both commercial and home growers of Williamson and Bell counties are welcome.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices of Williamson and Bell counties will host the annual event at the AgriLife Extension office in Williamson County, 100 Wilco Way, Suite AG201, Georgetown.
Pecan judging will begin at 10 a.m. after the nuts have been cracked, weighed and classified. At noon Bob Whitney, AgriLife Extension organic crop specialist, Stephenville, will provide a presentation on pecans.
Pecan entries, food show categories
Pecans must be dropped off by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, and food show entries dropped off between 8 a.m.-noon on Dec. 17 at the AgriLife Extension office.
Pecans must be from the 2021 crop, and nuts should be free of dust, dirt and shuck remnants. Judging is based on the size of the pecans, appearance and kernel quality, which includes color, percent kernel and percent edible kernel. Pecans must have been grown in Williamson or Bell counties.
The Food Show has a junior category for youth in grades K-12 and an adult division for those 18 and older. There are seven categories: pies, bread and rolls, candy, cakes, cookies, bars and fancy nuts. Entries must be picked up by 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 or they become property of the AgriLife Extension office.
The cost is $5 per food show entry and limited to one entry per category. A recipe must be attached to the entry. Visit the AgriLife Extension website for Williamson County for additional rules and guidelines.
Improving, advancing pecans
Shows and contests like this originally started in the 1950s as a way to improve the quality of the pecan crop in Texas. The show helps provide feedback to local growers on how their trees and orchards are performing year to year. Pecan shows around the state have contributed to management practices that improved yields and nut quality.
“Local growers use this event as a benchmark for how their pecans are improving, compared to past years, as well as providing a gauge as to how well their pecans compare to other growers,” said Kate Whitney, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Williamson County. “For example, one producer bought an old orchard 20 years ago and uses this show each year to measure his pecans’ progress.”
Pecan winners will advance to the Texas Central Region Pecan Show. Williamson and Bell counties have historically done very well with regional show winners going on to claim first place at the Texas Pecan Show.
The Pecan Grading Handbook, written by Monte Nesbit, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension nut specialist, Bryan-College Station, can be referenced to learn more about the grading process, judging, shows and awards.
According to the handbook, the pecan show program has played a key role for the pecan industry by teaching growers how to grade their pecans for better prices. It also helps identify the most outstanding varieties for each region of the state. The shows also help recognize and reward the most successful pecan management programs on county, regional and state levels, while advertising and promoting Texas premium quality pecans.
For additional information, contact Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-943-3300.