Nov 18, 2021
Organic Grower Summit cultivates a new generation of organic farmers

The Organic Grower Summit, which is presented by Western Growers and the Organic Produce Network, will take place Dec. 1-2 in Monterey California, with the goal of showing that “organic does mean good business,” according to OPN Co-founder and Executive Vice President Tonya Antle.

Tonya Antle photo
Tonya Antle

In the most recent episode of Voices of the Valley, the podcast hosted by Dennis Donohue, the Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, and Candace Wilson, VP of Business Development at GreenVenus, Antle discussed the fourth edition of OGS, and how the event has responded to grower feedback in developing its educational offerings.

“[Learning more about] soil health and plant health are always the biggest feedback we get from our show,” Antle said. “These are things that are immediate need that our farmers can take back and work on the ground.”

OGS will honor Vic Smith, CEO of JV Smith Cos., as Grower of the Year, and the keynote presentation is entitled “Net Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders,” and will be moderated by Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia and feature Keith Barnard, SVP of Sales and Sourcing at Mission Produce; Bianca Kaprielian, CEO and Co-owner of Fruit World and Mike Valpredo, President and Co-founder of Country Sweet Produce. Click here to register for OGS.

“We have never pitted organic against conventional farmers,” Antle said. “I am a granddaughter and daughter and wife of a farmer, and let me tell you, there is no better, honest, hardworking folks than those on the farm. And the tools they are given is what they were taught, and so I think it’s an educational process to get to organic.”

Voices of the Valley is produced by Western Growers and its Center for Innovation & Technology.

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