Two days of thought-provoking educational sessions, a sold-out trade show floor, and a variety of networking opportunities await attendees of next week’s fifth annual Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, CA. Presented by Western Growers and Organic Produce Network, OGS 2022 will bring together organic growers and supply chain and service companies, providing them with information and education related to the continued growth, opportunities, and challenges in the production of organic fresh food.
OGS 2022 will be held November 30–December 1 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, CA and among the educational sessions planned for OGS are:
- Get Ahead of the Curve and Avoid Regulatory Speedbumps. Organic leaders will provide operational and administrative details of the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) initiative as it becomes closer to being finalized.
- The Growth, Opportunities, and Future of CEA Production. Leadership from three progressive companies actively involved in CEA will share their insight on the current state of indoor and vertical growing, its impact on the organic fresh produce industry, and what the future of this burgeoning industry may look like.
- Exploring Organic Research: A Discussion of Organic Grower Challenges and Solutions. Hosted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), this session will feature the results of two recently released reports on organic farming and an in-depth workshop discussing how organic farmers can address current challenges.
- The Latest in Ag Tech Equipment and Innovation. Explore the latest innovations from five of the most progressive ag tech and equipment companies and learn how new technologies are changing the face of organic growing.
- The Future of Ag Tech—Expanding On-Farm Profitability. As input costs continue to rise, balancing sustainability and profitability can be enhanced by technology that can strategically apply fertilizer, pesticides, and water for maximum value. Attendees will hear about technologies currently available for growers, the cost implications, and what the future of ag tech may look like.
- Meet The AgSharks. The three ag tech startup finalists from the Western Growers/S2G Ventures 2022 AgSharks competition will engage attendees with the systems and technologies they have developed to promote healthy and sustainable food and agricultural systems.
Other ed sessions will feature an overview of how organic fresh produce sales at retail are changing in an era of inflation and the increasing role of biological tools in organic crop production.
The sold-out OGS trade show floor will feature nearly 70 exhibitors, including soil amendment, ag tech, food safety, packaging, and equipment manufacturers, who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.
As part of this year’s event, OGS will honor longtime organic grower Jeff Huckaby, President and CEO of Grimmway Farms, as the recipient of the fifth annual Grower of the Year award. Sponsored by AGCO, the Grower of the Year award will be presented to Huckaby based on his ongoing commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation.
Jeff Huckaby, President and CEO, Grimmway Farms
In addition to the annual Grower of the Year award, the other keynote presentation at OGS 2022 will be Grower Roundtable: The State of Organic Growing, moderated by Dave Puglia, President and CEO of Western Growers. Panelists for the keynote roundtable include Brie Reiter Smith, VP of Product Leadership for Driscoll’s; Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Coordinator for Divine Flavor; and Tom Nunes V, President of The Nunes Company. Featuring candid commentary, the thought-provoking keynote presentation will explore the perspectives of these three organic produce industry leaders on hot-button topics such as supply chain issues, inflation, labor, new innovations, and technologies.
"In partnership with Western Growers, this year’s OGS 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," said Matt Seeley, co-founder and CEO of Organic Produce Network. "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."