Virtually There

Industry groups adjust to meeting online, hope for added participation.

• By Amanda Huber •

apres laptop‘‘The show must go on!” This was the cry of the circus ringmaster in his fancy coat and top hat to the crowd of spectators. Performing with live animals or carrying out daring acrobatics high above the big top often led to mishaps briefly stopping the action. That is when the ringmaster stepped in to say the show would continue.

COVID-19 is more than a mishap, but the peanut industry has adapted by announcing some summer meetings, USA Peanut Congress and the American Peanut Education and Society Meeting, will be held virtually.

Presentations And Panel Discussions

American Peanut Council executive director Patrick Archer says, “We are happy that all of our planned presenters will be available to do their presentations via webinar. These presentations will include panel discussions on how the industry is addressing the issue of aflatoxin and how marketers are adapting under the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Registration with an email address is required for Peanut Congress. Participants will receive log-in credentials prior to the event start date.

“The virtual congress is free to all American Peanut Council and American Peanut Sheller Association members and provides an opportunity for those members who have not attended lately to see what they’ve been missing,” Archer says.

The virtual meeting will be held June 15-16, 2020, with general session webinars I and II on Monday, June 15, and general session webinars III and IV scheduled on Tuesday.

For information or to register, visit and click on the “Events” tab and then on “Peanut Congress.”

Zoom And YouTube

Another meeting going virtual this summer is the annual gathering of peanut researchers.

APRES President Barry Tillman says, “For the first time in our 51-year history, the annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society will not be held face to face.”

However, peanut researchers will not be defeated by COVID-19 for their 52nd yearly convention.

“Instead of canceling the meeting, the program committee and board of directors decided to conduct a virtual meeting. Part of the meeting will be webinars through Zoom and others will be prerecorded scientific presentations hosted on our YouTube channel.

“While this is new territory for APRES, I am confident in the leadership of the local arrangements and technical program committees, and I believe we will have a great meeting,” he says.

The first general session — production, challenges and strategies — and a symposium on aflatoxin and drought tolerance will be as webinars, July 14.

The Joe Sugg Graduate Student Competition and graduate student seminar webinars will be held July 15. All other presentations, research and education breakout sessions and posters will be prerecorded and hosted on the APRES YouTube channel. Year-end awards will be announced July 16, and a recognition ceremony will be held at the 2021 annual meeting.

“Special thanks to Gary Schwarzlose, program chair and president-elect, and John Cason, local arrangements committee, and their team for the leadership and flexibility to make the 2020 APRES virtual meeting possible. This is a great opportunity for colleagues who have not been able to attend recently to tune in to APRES 2020,” Tillman says.

For more information, visit

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