OPN Connect Newsletter 347 · November 23, 2023

Sixth Annual Organic Grower Summit Kicks Off Next Week

Thought-provoking educational sessions, a sold-out trade show floor, and a variety of networking opportunities await attendees of next week’s sixth annual Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California. 

Presented by Western Growers and OPN, OGS 2023 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.

As part of this year’s event, OGS will honor longtime organic grower Rod Braga, President and CEO of Braga Fresh, as the recipient of the sixth annual Grower of the Year award. Sponsored by AGCO, the Grower of the Year award will be presented to Braga based on his ongoing commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation.

OPS 2024 Retailer Reg square

Rod Braga, President and CEO, Braga Fresh

In addition to the annual Grower of the Year award, the other keynote presentation at OGS 2023 will be Grower Roundtable: The State of Organic GrowingPanelists for the roundtable include Nishan Moutafian, Vice President of Production, Driscoll’s; Joe Pezzini, Senior Director of Ag Operations, Taylor Farms; and Briana Giampaoli, Organic Category Manager, Live Oak Farms.   

The Grower Roundtable will be moderated by Walt Duflock, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Western Growers and featuring candid commentary, the thought-provoking keynote presentation will explore hot-button topics such as supply chain issues, inflation, new innovations, and ag technologies.

Vitalis April 2024

OGS 2023 will be held November 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California. Among the educational sessions planned for OGS are:

  • SOE Deadline Looms—Are You Ready? Organic leaders will provide operational and administrative details of the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) rule as its March 2024 compliance deadline approaches.
  • Understanding Evolving Production Challenges for Organic Growers. Organic farmers and researchers will share the value of farmer knowledge networks and the power of researcher-producer collaborations that can help guide organic growers into a sustainable and prosperous future.
  • Understanding the Value of AI on the Digital Farming Journey. The explosive interest in AI in agriculture continues to impact all facets of the growing process. See and hear how AI and machine learning are providing data-driven insights and forecasts for specialty crop markets. 
  • Regenerative—What does it mean for Organic? As regenerative agriculture continues to evolve, questions related to how it will impact organic production are front and center. This panel will discuss what this buzzword means for organic and how companies are defining the relationship between regenerative and organic.
  • How Organic Growers are Using Ag Tech: Obstacles and Opportunities. Explore how new technologies are changing the face of organic growing and what this may mean for the future of organic production.
  • Challenges of Organic Seed Production. As organic seed production has declined over the past few years, growers are navigating how this is impacting the production of various specialty crops.
  • Roadmap to a Sustainable Pest Management Future for Organics. Focusing on a comprehensive approach to managing pests in agricultural systems, this session will explore the new SPM roadmap and its impact on organic production.
  • Meet The AgSharks. The three agtech startup finalists from the Western Growers/S2G Ventures 2023 AgSharks competition will engage attendees with the systems and technologies they have developed to promote healthy and sustainable food and agricultural systems.

The sold-out OGS trade show floor will feature over 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.

"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."

Homegrown Organic Farms April 2024
Creekside Organics April 2024
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