The American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES) signed off on its second annual virtual conference by recognizing excellence and planning on an in-person meeting next July.
The Society’s 53rd annual conference recognized six graduate students for research presentations made during the week-long conference. APRES also named two poster presentation winners, a distinguished service award, an agriscience education award and an APRES Fellow at the closing business meeting.
The 34th Annual Joe Sugg Graduate Student Competition expanded to two divisions, Ph.D. and MS, and added a sponsor for the 2021 conference. The North Carolina Peanut Growers Association, sole sponsor from year one, brought in the National Peanut Board as co-sponsor to ensure both divisions receive the same cash award.
That change, in addition to the virtual format, resulted in an exponential growth in the number of competitors — a record 41 papers (22 PhD and 19 Masters students) from 11 universities (also a record) and 5 countries. Student competitors presented papers live over two days (July 12 and 14).
Cassandra Newman, North Carolina State University, received first place ($500) in the PhD competition. Second place ($300) went to Alan Peper, University of Georgia. Third place ($200) went to Marco Goyzueta, University of Florida.
Jessica Bell, University of Georgia, took top honors in the MS division. Second place ($300) went to Kenyanna Taylor, Valdosta State University. Raegan Holt, University of Georgia, took third place ($200.)
The 4th Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the National Peanut Board, attracted 16 participants from 7 universities and 3 countries. April Skipper, University of Georgia, received first place; second place went to Benjamin Aigner, University of Georgia.
Bob Kemerait, who has overseen the Joe Sugg Student Competition for many years, received the Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award, which “recognizes an individual who has contributed two or more years of distinguished service to the American Peanut Research and Education Society.” The annual award honors Dr. Coyt T. Wilson for his support during the early years of APRES.
Bob Kemerait, Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award recipient. (Photo by Shelley E. Huguley)
A Corteva Agriscience Education Award team award went to Bob Sutter, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association; Thomas “Dell” Cotton, Virginia Peanut Growers Association, and Marianne Catalano, South Carolina Peanut Board.
Corteva Agriscience Award for Excellence in Education team recipients Tomas Cotton, Virginia Peanut Growers Association; Marianne Catalano, South Carolina Peanut Board; and Bob Sutter, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association, are shown accepting the award before the APRES Annual conference. (Photo by David Jordan)
Sutter was also named an APRES Fellow, an honor nominated by an active APRES member, recommended by the Fellows Committee, and approved by the APRES Board of Directors.
At the conclusion of the 2020/2021 APRES meeting, members elected new officers and directors.
The 2021/2022 slate of officers include: President, David Jordan, North Carolina State University; President-Elect, Mark Burow, Texas A&M University; Past President, Gary Schwarzlose, Bayer.
Directors are Kira Bowen, Auburn University, and William Pearce, Golden Peanut & Treenuts. Cassie Newman, North Carolina State University, is the APRES Graduate Student Organization representative.
Newly elected President David Jordan recognized outgoing President Gary Schwarzlose for his service to the Society. “Gary didn’t foresee COVID-19 when he took on the task of Program Chair and then President,” Jordan said. “But no matter the pressure, Gary remained calm. That shows great leadership.”
Outgoing APRES President Gary Schwarzlose (Photo by Shelley E. Huguley)
Jordan said his top goal for the 2021/2022 year is to “meet in person but recognize the value of the virtual meetings.”
He also noted establishment of an ad hoc committee to review and respond to an American Peanut Council proposal to create synergies between the two organizations. “We want to look for synergies to expand what we do,” he said.
The 2022 APRES Annual Conferences is scheduled July 12-14 at the Omni Las Colinas Resort in Dallas, Texas.