OPN Connect Newsletter 241 · October 28, 2021

“SmartFarm: AgTech in the Field” and “Organics at Retail–Performance and Consumer Expectations” OGS Ed Sessions Announced

A pair of recently announced educational sessions will explore how technology is enhancing organic crop production and offer a look at the growth of organic fresh produce sales at grocery stores across the nation over the past two years as part of the 2021 Organic Grower Summit (OGS) Presented by Western Growers and OPN on December 1-2 in Monterey, CA.

The first session, “SmartFarm: AgTech in the Field,” will explore how new technologies—from robotics to equipment to data management—are making organic growers more efficient in crop production. As growers expand their toolkit by incorporating new technologies, the ed session will explore the impact of these technologies on production, costs, and the environment. Moderated by Bart Walker, President of Pacific Ag Rentals, panelists for the session include Josh Roberts, President and General Manager of Triangle Farms; Gabe Sibley, CEO and Co-Founder of Verdant Robotics; and Sebastien Boyer, Co-Founder and CEO of FarmWise.

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Panelists Josh Roberts, Triangle Farms; Gabe Sibley, Verdant Robotics; and Sebastien Boyer, FarmWise

“Technological advances and data management continue to evolve for organic growers, providing a wide array of new tools designed for greater efficiency in the production of crops. This session will highlight some of the newest technologies, equipment, and programs available for growers and how they can best be utilized in the ever-changing landscape of organic fresh produce production,” said Walker.

Moderator Bart Walker, President, Pacific Ag Rentals

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The second announced session, “Sales Trends and Consumer Attitudes on Organic Fresh Produce,” will feature an in-depth look at organic fresh produce sales at retail over the past two years and a discussion of consumer perspectives on organic produce compared to conventional. The session will feature an analysis of sales by Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners, while Ben Hartman, senior category manager of perishables at Good Eggs, will offer insight on how consumers view organic fresh produce and how e-commerce has been altering buying behavior over the past two years.

Ben Hartman, Good Eggs, and Tom Barnes, Category Partners

“Since the pandemic started nearly two years ago, sales of organic fresh produce have flourished as consumers look for healthy, nutritious products to feed their families. While that growth has slowed slightly, the prospect for organic sales continues to be bright. The session will explore the growth of organic produce over the past two years, and what the future may look like for consumers,” said Barnes.

The fourth annual OGS 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. The newly announced sessions are part of an extensive educational program designed to inform and engage organic producers, their service providers, and supply chain partners. OGS general registration is currently open. With a sold-out trade show floor, exhibitors include soil amendment, ag technology, food safety, packaging, and equipment manufacturers who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest control advisors, and food safety experts.

OGS 2021 will be held December 1-2 at the Monterey Hyatt Conference Center in Monterey, CA. More details on the educational program, including session topics and speakers, will be released in the coming weeks. For more information on the fourth annual Organic Grower Summit, please visit

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