SALINAS, Calif. — Tickets are still available on sale for the Western Food Safety Summit on May 5-6, which will feature live online presentations from industry-leading scientists, managers and executives on current safety issues and concerns for fresh fruits and vegetables.
The two-day event will use the Zoom platform to explore strategic field-to-fork innovations in equipment, technology and soil and water management, while assuring the safety of all involved amid the ongoing pandemic.
The schedule of speakers and panels is aimed at people working in all aspects of the agricultural workforce. Individual registration is available for $295 on the event website, thewesternfoodsafetysummit.com. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the summit.
The 16th annual summit will open at 9 a.m. on May 5 with a greeting from Dr. Raúl Rodríguez, interim superintendent/president of the Hartnell Community College District, which is hosting the virtual 2021 program as it has the live event in years past.
Morning keynotes will be delivered on May 5 by Tim York, chief executive officer for the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, and on May 6 by Dennis Donohue, director of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology in Salinas, which is presenting the summit in partnership with the Hartnell College Agricultural Business & Technology Institute.
“We are excited to present the 16th annual Western Food Safety Summit from our new virtual platform,” said event Co-Chair Jess Hogg, quality assurance manager for Scheid Family Wines. “It is our goal to bring you information on the most relevant food safety issues of the day through our outstanding line up of industry experts.”
As in years past, the summit’s information sessions are aimed at a cross-section of players in the fresh fruits and vegetables industry, from executives such as growers, processors, coolers, shippers and suppliers to food safety directors and supervisors and quality-assurance foremen and crew leaders. Students and faculty in Hartnell’s agricultural career programs will also participate.
Co-Chair Clint Cowden, Hartnell’s dean of career technical education and workforce development, said the summit is one way the college continues to give back to the industry that helped it build some of the nation’s best ag education programs over the past 15 years.
“In 2006, Monterey County’s agriculture industry came together to help rebuild the agriculture programs at Hartnell College,” Cowden said. “The main focus of this rebuild was maintaining the safest food system in the world.
“The Western Food Safety Summit conference is made by and for working food safety professionals, and we have some of the best experts on the planet presenting at this summit.”
The following are examples of presenters and their topics:
- “Lessons Learned From Field-Based Research Following the 2018 (E. coli) Outbreak,” by Dr. Channah Rock, professor of environmental sciences and water quality specialist with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
- “Steps in Developing a Comprehensive Irrigation Water Treatment Program,” by Bob Mills, director of food safety/technical services at The Harbinger Group, LLC Misionero.
- “Data Sharing – a Different Industry-FDA Approach to Conduct Product Testing,” by Sonia Salas, assistant vice president for food safety, Western Growers.
For further information, contact the Ag Tech Summit Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Western Food Safety Summit