APRES Turns 50

Society meetings continue to foster collaborative efforts and creative solutions to industry challenges.

• By Amanda Huber, Editor •

ARPES loso The American Peanut Research Education Society celebrates 50 years of work, study, research, learning and accomplishments around one of the most important and beloved crops: the peanut. To mark the Golden Anniversary, a program highlighting the past accomplishments in the industry and looking ahead to future “game changing” discoveries has been planned for the APRES annual meeting in July, says APRES President Pete Dotray, Texas A&M University Extension weed specialist.

“The annual APRES meeting gives members a chance to discuss research findings and future collaborative projects,” Dotray says. “At this meeting, we can celebrate with retired, current and new members of
APRES to celebrate where we have been, what we are doing and where we are going.”

Working Toward A Common Goal

The goal of APRES is to provide consumers with wholesome peanuts and peanut products at reasonable prices.

To achieve this goal, a comprehensive and effective research and educational program designed to improve the inherent qualities of peanuts is essential. Research is continually focused on improved varieties, production, harvesting, curing, storing and processing methodology promoting peanut quality.

Rick Brandenburg, North Carolina State University Extension specialist, who is also the program chairman this year, says that APRES has been the one place where all members of the peanut domain — academia, government and industry — can come together and see the whole process from seed to consumption in one place.

Bringing Together The Big Picture

“The society helps create more dialogue from top to bottom of the pressing issues and encourages new and creative solutions.” he says. “As new challenges continue to emerge and support for agriculture and agriculture research slowly erodes, it helps members address those challenges and continue the strong support of a sound peanut industry.”

Over the course of its 50 years, Brandenburg says APRES has helped keep members focused on the tasks at hand.

Each researcher may view a small segment or portion from their own experience and work, but APRES gives everyone a sense of the bigger picture and helps everyone bring their part together wherein the result is everyone pulling in the same direction for the betterment of the peanut industry.

“It has helped foster a collaborative project that otherwise would not have happened,” he says.

Looking Ahead To New Discoveries

Besides the university and Extension researchers, APRES has also been a place where graduate students listen, learn and even present their own research. Dotray says at this 50-year celebration a new graduate student organization will be formed.

“APRES is a family friendly meeting that I look forward to as much as any of my annual professional organizations,” he says.

“The society has encouraged life-long friendships among many of its members, which has provided benefits to many of us,” Brandenburg says.

The annual meeting will be held July 10-12, 2018, in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The theme for the meeting — APRES… Celebrating our Past; Inspiring our Future — will offer a look back at 50  ears of APRES and industry accomplishments matched with a futuristic symposium on what to expect in the next 50 years.