The first of three keynote presentations during the 2018 Organic Grower Summit will offer an international overview of the organic produce industry – exploring the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the growing organic fresh fruit and vegetable marketplace. The Grower Roundtable, featuring three organic growers from North America, will provide OGS attendees an insightful exchange of ideas and information on topics ranging from labor, regulations and supply chain issues.
Featured panelists of the Grower Roundtable include:
- Esteban Macias, crop protection manager/independent grower, Grupo U
- Robin Graham, assistant general manager, Stemilt Ag Services
- John France, founder, Homegrown Organic Farms
- Moderated by: Scott LaRue, managing director, global head of investment banking and capital markets, Piper Jaffrey
Pictured from L to R: Esteban Macias, crop protection manager/independent grower, Grupo U; Robin Graham, assistant general manager, Stemilt Ag Services; John France, founder, Homegrown Organic Farms; Moderated by: Scott LaRue, managing director, global head of investment banking and capital markets, Piper Jaffrey
“Growing organics requires a full view from beneath the soil all the way to the consumer who buys and eats your product. Information to do that properly is still limited compared to growing conventionally. As it was in the late 80’s when I started, so it is now; knowledge from those that have gone before, will always be the foundation of a good organic program,” said John France, founder of Homegrown Organic Farms. “Gathering that knowledge usually comes from the source which is the growers themselves, and that is why the Organic Grower Summit is one great source of that needed information.
Robin Graham, assistant general manager at Stemilt Growers, added “It’s an honor to be part of the Grower Roundtable and exciting to share my thoughts about the many challenges and opportunities that surround organic farming today.”
The second annual OGS, a joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Organic Produce Network (OPN), brings together organic growers, producers and processors for two days of education, information and networking opportunities with organic production supply chain and service providers.
Additional educational components of OGS provide a series of inspiring and engaging sessions with leading industry experts focused on the production side of organic fresh produce and cover an array of subjects from organic integrity to soil optimization will feature some of the industry’s leading experts.
Among the scheduled educational sessions are:
- Scaling Up Healthy Soil Practices
- Sustainable Investing in Your Organic Farming Future
- Technology is Not Just for Big Ag
- Candid Conversation with NOSB Board Members
- Managing Organic Production Systems to Promote Plant Health
- Giving Organic Beverages a Shot
- Safeguarding the Organic Brand
OGS will be held December 12-13, at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California. Attendee registration is $499, with discounts available for CCOF members and government and educational members. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the 2018 CannaBus Tour from 8 am – 12 pm on Wednesday, December 12th and the CCOF Foundation Dinner on Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm. Registration to OGS includes admittance to the opening reception, educational sessions, keynote presentations, breakfast, lunch and trade show floor.
Also, participating grower attendees have an opportunity to meet with a team of Costco buyers as part of a special "Meet the Grower" opportunity. This unique session provides certified organic farmers and grower representatives the opportunity to meet face to face with Costco organic produce, dairy, meat and wine buyers to discuss their operations and products.
Over 50 sponsors have confirmed their support of OGS. The tradeshow floor is nearly sold-out, with only a few exhibitor spaces remaining. Exhibitors include soil amendment, bio-pesticide, seed, packaging, food safety, ag technology, and equipment manufacturers who will be connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.
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