Organic Growers Converge in Monterey

Brian German Organic

Organic Growers at Summit

The Organic Grower Summit is expected to attract more than 700 organic growers and other industry members for two days of education, networking, and exhibition.  Presented by the Organic Produce Network (OPN) and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), the summit will feature more than 90 exhibitors on the trade show floor of the Monterey Conference Center.  The summit will begin with two informational seminars for organic producers.

“We have two, what we call ‘intensives;’ that means that they are two-and-a-half-hour deep dives into two big subjects.  The first subject is Strategies to Reduce Risk Through Organic Soil Health Practices,” said Tonya Antle, OPN Co-Founder and Executive Vice President.  “Soil health is always a really import subject matter.  Before you get to plant health, you need to make sure you’ve got the right soil.”

Organic Grower Summit

The other educational intensive will focus on agricultural technology and features several industry disrupters within the sector.  “They’re going to be talking about what is happening with ag tech right now and sharing their thoughts on precision, automated technology, supply chain efficiency, food waste management, and really how we can boost sustainability for growers and the planet,” said Antle.

After lunch, there will be a screening of the documentary The Last Harvest, which highlights issues related to agricultural labor in California.  Following the film, Antle will be moderating a panel of produce industry leaders who will discuss labor challenges, immigration reform, H-2A, and growing innovations.  The day will conclude with a certified organic, three-course dinner to benefit the CCOF Foundation.

The second day of the Organic Grower Summit will feature several educational sessions including a discussion on the growing hemp marketplace, moderated by April Crittenden, CCOF Chief Certification Officer.  Other sessions will feature information on sustainability reporting, organic sales data and analysis, and the challenges of organic production related to the Food Safety Modernization Act.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West