Texas olive oil growers conference set for June 16 in San Antonio

Writer: Kathleen Phillips, 979-845-2872, ka-phillips@tamu.edu

Contact: Monte Nesbitt, 979-862-1218, MLNesbitt@tamu.edu

SAN ANTONIO — The annual conference of the Texas Association of Olive Oil will be June 16 at Freeman Coliseum, 3201 E. Houston St., San Antonio.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. The program, which includes lunch, will be from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Members may register for $50, and non-members for $150 at http://bit.ly/Texasoliveoilmeet.

The conference is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Department of Agriculture.

“We are excited to be unified, not only by a name, but united in our efforts to learn and grow this new and exciting industry,” said Michael Paz of Cotulla, president of the association and general manager of Texana Henrichson Ranch, which has a 136-acre olive orchard.

“The association exists to support, promote and defend the growing, harvesting, processing, marketing and sale of Texas olive oil. The conference is a must-attend event for anyone growing olives or interested in growing olives in Texas.”

Olive orchards are increasingly popular in Texas, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is helping growers determine the best management practices. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Monte Nesbitt).

The session will open with a review of climate constraints on olive growing in Texas by Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension horticulturist, College Station. Adam Englehardt, president of U.S. operations for Boundary Bend Olives, Woodward, California, will talk about orchard establishment considerations regarding varieties, tree density and training.

Jim Kamas, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist, Fredericksburg, will talk about present and future control of cotton root rot in olive orchards. Brian Mori, grower relations manager for California Olive Ranch, will present “Super High Density Olives—Management Keys to Success.” Joshua Swafford of Central Texas Olive Ranch in Williamson County will close the morning session with an update on olive milling options for Texas growers.

Following lunch, the topic for David Garci-Aguirre, vice president of operations and  master miller, Corto Olive Co., California, will be pre- and post-harvest keys to producing extra virgin olive oil in Texas. Also on the agenda for the afternoon are presentations on development of a sound olive orchard nutrition program by Dr. Jake Mowrer, AgriLife Extension soil and crop specialist, College Station; prevention and control of olive knot disease by Sheila McBride, diagnostician, Texas A&M AgriLife Plant Disease Clinic, College Station; olive orchard floor management strategies by Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde; and what Texas producers should know about olive marketing regulations by Mary Bolton, director of technical services, California Olive Ranch.

An association business meeting will conclude the day’s events. For more information, see https://txaoo.org/.

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