Oct 4, 2023
Organic Grower Summit adds research, pest sessions
An education session on pests in organic agricultural systems and an interactive workshop offering insights into research have been added to the Organic Grower Summit.
The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) is presented by Western Growers and the Organic Produce Network, and will be Nov. 39-30 in Monterey, California.
“Roadmap to an Organic Sustainable Pest Management Future” will feature three industry experts discussing the ins and outs of organic pest management. Moderated by Gina Colfer, sustainable solutions PCA/CCA at Wilbur Ellis, the session features panelists Kim Horton, agronomy manager at Taylor Farms; Mathew Grieshop, director for the Cal Poly Center for Organic Production and Research; and Jo Ann Baumgartner, executive director at Wild Farm Alliance.
“A working group of 33 agricultural and urban industry members have been working to pave the way for California to develop the Roadmap for a Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) future,” Colfer said in a news release. “The SPM Roadmap builds on the concept of integrated pest management (IPM) but with a broader consideration for environmental protection, human health, social equity and economic vitality.
“The organic industry is poised to be industry leaders in this next phase for a SPM future,” she said in the release. “We need to train and offer solutions for the present and next generation of PCAs, farm managers, and industry leaders.”
A 90-minute education session, “Understanding Evolving Production Challenges for Organic Growers,” will showcase findings from the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s (OFRF) California Organic Research Agenda report as well as ongoing research at the University of California’s Organic Agriculture Institute (OAI).
The session will be moderated by Brise Tencer, executive director at OFRF. Panelists for the session are Dr. Shriya Rangarajan, postdoctoral scholar with the OAI; Darryl Wong, executive director of the Center for Agroecology; and Larry Jacobs, president of Jacobs Farm del Cabo.
“Both OFRF and OAI regularly connect with organic growers to better understand their evolving needs and the tools and practices that best support organic growers,” Tencer said in the release. “As part of this intensive ed session, attendees will hear from a panel of organic farmers and researchers about the immense value of farmer knowledge networks and the transformative power of researcher-producer collaborations.”
The research session will feature Q&A and interactive breakout sessions to encourage growers to share insights that can “catapult their farm into a sustainable and prosperous future,” according to Tencer.
The sixth annual Organic Grower Summit is designed to provide information vital to organic growers and producers as well as an overview of the opportunities and challenges in the production of organic fresh food.
Highlighting the two-day event is a sold-out trade show floor featuring soil amendment, AgTech, food safety, packaging and equipment exhibitors who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.
“OGS 2023 will provide up-to-date resources and information to support the continued success of organic producers, with an emphasis on the changing organic production landscape as well as the role of ag technology,” Matt Seeley, CEO of Organic Produce Network, said in the release. “From seed to soil to harvest, our goal is to present the most relevant and timely information on the most important subjects and issues facing organic production.”
OGS 2023 will be Nov. 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey. Further details on the educational program, including session topics and speakers, will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, visit www.organicgrowersummit.com.