Our History

 










A Way of Life

Pecan culture made its way into Alabama in the early 1900's.  The pecan industry grew steadily along the Gulf Coast in Alabama in Mobile and Baldwin County, where pecan orchards began to appear from 1908 to 1920.  By the early 1940's the pecan production became a sizable industry.   

A New Beginning

In the summer of 1960, a small group of pecan growers from Baldwin and Mobile Counties met and formed the Southwest Alabama Pecan Association. This group of growers wanted to share and improve their knowledge of pecan growing. The Alabama grower's first educational field day was held in September 1960 at Scenic View Ranch, between Barnwell and Magnolia Springs, owned by the Larkin Harris family. Some of the founding members of the association present at the first meeting were Larkin Harris, Alton Schermer, Charles Barnhill, Louis Boni Sr., and Dick Higbee of Baldwin County; and Laverne Deakle, H.G. McClinton, and Abe Robinson of Mobile County. Mr. J.E. 'Abe' Robinson from Irvington, Ala., was the organization's first president. 

Fast Growth

In 1963, the annual meeting date was set for the third Thursday in September, and a large crowd of at least 100 growers came from around the Southeast. Most of the annual meetings over the years, with a few exceptions, have been held on the grounds of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope, Ala., because of the pecan research that was and is presently conducted there by scientists at Auburn University. In 1980, the association changed its name to Alabama Pecan Growers Association, to be recognized as a state association. The association was incorporated in 1985.  

Position of Prominence

The influence of the association led to pecan being named the state nut of Alabama in 1982. In 1983, a second, half-day program was added to the convention to allow more time for Auburn University pecan scientists to talk about their research and extension activities. In 1997, the meeting returned to the one-day format, because of hurricane damage to trees and a reduction in the number of scientists engaged in pecan research.

Into the Future

The Association plays a vital role in promoting uses for pecans and ensures that its members have access to the most up-to-date methods of producing the best pecans in the world.