Jan 11, 2021Virtual format planned for Western Food Safety Summit in May
The Western Food Safety Summit at Hartnell College will go virtual on May 5-6, inviting attendees from across California and the entire country to view live presentations from industry-leading scientists, managers and executives.
The two-day event will use the online Zoom platform to explore strategic field-to-fork innovations in soil and water management, equipment and technology, while assuring the safety of presenters and attendees amid the ongoing pandemic.
The registration deadline is April 15, and a discounted early-bird price of $250 is available through Feb. 28. Space is limited. Opportunities also remain for sponsors and virtual exhibitors.
Raúl Rodríguez, interim superintendent/president of the Hartnell Community College District, will open the summit on May 5 with a greeting and overview at 9 a.m.
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 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.
To take advantage of the $250 early registration fee, a savings of $45 per individual, visit the summit website at the thewesternfoodsafetysummit.com. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the summit.
Information is also available on the website about $1,000 event sponsorships, which offer significant exposure to produce industry audiences throughout the event, including opportunities to share information as virtual exhibitors via social media and a one-minute video to be played throughout the conference. Each sponsorship includes one complimentary registration and a complimentary sponsor’s booth in the virtual exhibitor area online.
For more information, please contact Clint Cowden at (831) 755-6702 or [email protected]