Monday, February 18, 2018

7:30 am – 5:00 pm

FSMA Produce Safety Rule Training Option Feb 20:

Monday Feb 20 from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm, the day before the conference, CFVGA will be hosting a FSMA Produce Safety Rule training required for one person from each farm subject to compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. Registration closes February 16. Max seating is 40 people. Includes lunch and snacks.  Renaissance Hotel.

Register via conference registration page.

 6:00 – 8:00 pm

CFVGA reception in the Big Thompson Room.

Meet growers, board members, vendors and industry leaders.  Heavy appetizers and cash bar.

Register via the conference registration page.

Register via conference registration page.

Tuesday, February 19, 2018

7:30 – 8:30 am

Registration, breakfast, networking, visit exhibitors

8:30 – 9:00 am

Opening Remarks

Robert Sakata, CFVGA President, 

Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture

Jessica Davis, Horticulture Department Head, CSU


Robert is a Colorado native and now owns Sakata Farms which was started in 1945 by his father. The operation has grown to 2500 acres growing fresh market cabbage, dry bulb onions, sweet corn, pinto bean, field corn and winter wheat. Robert served for 15 years on the state of Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission appointed by 3 different Governors. He also served as the Adams County Farm Bureau President and on the Adams County Open Space Advisory Committee. Currently he is on two local ditch boards, serves as the agricultural representative on the metro roundtable, is a member of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance and on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Water Congress.

After graduating Brighton High School Robert attended the University of Colorado Boulder and worked for AmGen in their molecular biology research department. Returning to the farm in 1989 Robert has worked to encourage the shrinking farm community to become more involved in the many issues that they face.

D103612 Brown 092R 4-inch version.croppedDon Brown was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2015.

Brown, a third-generation farmer in Yuma County, has run several successful businesses while spending most of his career managing and growing his family’s extensive farm operations. He has also been active in water conservation, energy development and technology innovation issues within the industry.

Don and his wife, Peggy, have three children who continue to call Colorado home. The Brown family farm was homesteaded in 1911 and has been designated as a Centennial Farm. Don’s parents, Cleo and Jennie, were pioneers in pivot irrigation in Yuma County. Don continues that pioneering spirit today through his study of the Ogallala Aquifer and holds two U.S. patents for his fence post systems.


Jessica Davis came to CSU in 1995 as Extension Soil Specialist, but over the years, she frequently did research on fertilizer and soil management in vegetables and occasionally in fruit (apples, peaches). In 2016, she became the department head of CSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. If you have ideas for collaboration with CSU, please email her at


9:00 – 9:40 am

Keynote Address

Produce Fresh Trends Quiz Show:  Let’s crunch some data and see how trends shape retail and drive innovation and demand for growers

Pamela Riemenschneider kicks off the CFVGA conference with an interactive look at how consumer trends shape retail, with a special preview of the 2017 Fresh Trends survey results.

Pamela Riemenschneider, Editor
Produce Retailer magazine

pamela-1Produce Retailer magazine is the only trade publication focused solely on retail produce operations: the retailers, trends, innovation and people that make fresh produce the most sought-after category in grocery. Pamela Riemenschneider has been editor of the publication since 2009, and got her start in produce journalism in 2005 as a staff writer and photographer for sister publication The Packer Newspaper. Her coverage focuses on retail, consumer trends, packaging and new product innovations. A passionate advocate for the fresh produce industry, Pamela travels the world visiting retailers, seeking new merchandising strategies, products and packaging concepts. Chances are, you’ve seen her video series Pamela’s Kitchen, where she “puts produce to the test” with sons Ike and Uli in her Austin, Texas, home. Apples are her favorite fruit and her favorite vegetable is grandma’s pot roast carrots.

9:40 – 10:00 am

Break – visit with exhibitors

10:00 – 11:00 am

Center for Produce Safety:

The Latest in Food Safety Research Impacting the Produce Industry

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is a public / private partnership that funds food safety research on behalf of the fresh produce industry. Their unique approach to filling food safety knowledge gaps has become an industry resource throughout the United States and abroad. This session will highlight research learnings and share the process that CPS goes through to select priorities and fund projects.

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Executive Director
Center for Produce Safety

Ms. Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business Management at California Poly State University, San Luis Obispo and her Masters of Business Administration from Sacramento State University. After fifteen years as Executive Director at the California Wheat Commission, she joined the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) in 2008 as its Executive Director working to leverage public and private expertise and research dollars to address critical risk management issues in the growth, harvest, processing and distribution of fresh produce. As Executive Director she focuses the CPC’s attention on critical food safety issues affecting the fresh produce industry and establishes collaborations among public agencies and private industry to maximize the impact of research budgets.


Dr. Alan B. Franklin is a Supervisory Research Biologist and Project Leader for the Wildlife Pathogens and Food Security & Safety Project at the USDA-APHIS-WS National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Research Center, he was a Research Scientist at the Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Colorado State University. His current research interests in wildlife disease focus on the ecology of bacterial pathogens and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in wildlife and the potential for transmission of these pathogens from wildlife populations to agricultural operations and human populations.


Since joining the global fresh produce industry with L & M, John has been involved in the trade on a number of different levels including serving on the Produce Marketing Association’s Board of Directors since 2009 (currently as Chair). From 2012 – 2014, John served on the Center for Growing Talent by PMA’s Board of Directors. In addition, John been a member of the Produce Traceability Initiative’s Leadership Council since 2010 and has participated in several industry leadership programs including the United Fresh Produce Association’s Executive Development Program. In 2013, John was a recipient of The Packer 25 Award.

11:00 – 11:30 am

CFVGA Annual meeting

11:30 am – 12:40 pm

Lunch featuring Colorado produce!

12:40 – 2:30 pm

First Breakout sessions:

Time for more than one!

1- Roundtables in Ballrooms 

  • How Does the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Affect You? – (Steve Bornmann, CDA Inspection and Consumer Services) Learn the latest on the Produce Safety Rule and the educational opportunities coming soon for Colorado produce growers.
  • Resources to Help Your Business Succeed – (Wendy White, CDA Markets Division) Learn how the Colorado Department of Agriculture Markets Division can help you with business development, marketing and creating export opportunities.
  • Colorado Land Link Program- resources for beginning and transitioning farmers/ ranchers –  (Jennifer Visitacion, Exe Dir, Guidestone) Colorado Land Link is a program developed as a creative solution to overcome the crisis posed by an unprecedented number of farmers and ranchers with no next generation to take over their operations. Our referral and resource center connects land-seekers and landowners and provides access to a network of tools, resources, and technical services for the next generation of farmers. Colorado Land Link is a program of Guidestone Colorado whose mission is to grow a vibrant agricultural future through education, community building, and partnerships.
  • Make your Mark on the Colorado Blueprint for Food and Ag–
    (Dawn Thilmany, Professor, and Becca Jablonski, Assist. Prof., Colo State Univ) Give your input on key issues, priorities and opportunities for Colorado to guide its ag and food sector to enhance our communities, economies and quality of life. We will summarize highlights of our study and community engagement thus far.
  • CPS research – (Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Exe Dir, Center for Produce Safety)  Join Bonnie for more discussion on Center for Produce Safety work.  Bonnie will be joined by Dr. Ellis Owens (Birko) and Dr. Alan Franklin (USDA APHIS).
  • Can Farm to School Work for Your Farm –  (Lyn Kathlene, Director, Spark Policy Institute and Andrea Northup, Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food & Nutrition Service) We’re here to help you determine if selling your produce to schools and other institutions might make sense for you, your farm, and your bottom line.  We’ll review the many resources that can help, including the Colorado Farm to School Primer, “Invitation to Bid” examples from Colorado school districts, food safety guidelines and resources, as well as the USDA Farm to School (FTS) Program’s fact sheets, technical assistance and grants! In addition, we’ll provide an update on Colorado’s FTS producer mentoring program and the CoBank FTS regional grant program that has provided Western Slope F&V producers with funding to help offset the costs of becoming GAP certified and facilitated sales to schools.
  • Feeding Colorado: Distributing nutritious, wholesome food to those in need across our state –  (Karen McManus, Food Procurement Mgr, Community Food Share) A discussion of who we are and how we work with producers across the state to get the most nutritious food out to those struggling with hunger. We will answer questions on tax incentives, existing partnerships and opportunities available to producers no matter what the size of their operation.
  • Young Farmers & the Future of Colorado Agriculture –  (Kate Greenberg, Western Program Director, and Cassidy Tawse-Garcia, Southwest Organizer, National Young Farmers Coalition) The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. We are a national coalition of all ages tackling the most critical structural and economic issues that prevent motivated young and beginning farmers from entering into and succeeding in agriculture. Join NYFC to workshop challenges and opportunities facing the next generation of farmers and ranchers in Colorado, from land and water access and student loan debt to the issues you and farmers around you face. We will explore solutions through local organizing, policy advocacy, leadership development, and business services.
  • H-2A program – (Jason Resnick, Western Growers)  Jason will explore many complexities surrounding H-2A program compliance, best practices to ensure timely certification, avoiding corresponding worker issues, and avoiding allegations of U.S. worker discrimination.

2- Grower/Buyer networking (More than 20 buyers anticipated | Check back for more confirmed buyers)

  1. Alberts Organics
  2. Blue Apron
  3. Boulder Valley School District
  4. Colo-Pac
  5. Coosmans-Denver
  6. Costco
  7. Door to Door Organics
  8. Feeding Colorado
  9. Fresh Pack
  10. Fresh Point
  11. Greeley-Evans School District
  12. Huron Produce
  13. Kroger
  14. LoCo Food Distribution
  15. Melissa’s
  16. Robinson Fresh
  17. Safeway
  18. Sprouts Farmers Market
  19. St Vrain Valley School District
  20. Tony’s Market
  21. Weld Food Bank
  22. Whole Foods Market

3- Visit with more than 30 Exhibitors in the ballroom, hallway and foyer.  Confirmed to date include:

Agfinity inc.
AgPro Systems, Inc
American AgCredit
Aquatic Resources Inc.
Azomite Minerals
Centennial Ag
Colorado Mushroom Farm
Colorado State Irrigation, LLC
Colorado State University
Feeding Colorado
Hollar Seeds
Inman Interwest, Inc.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
K ·Coe Isom
Keithly-Williams Seeds
Larson Irrigation Inc.
LiveWell Colorado
Pueblo County Extension
Rehrig Pacific
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Silveus Insurance Group
USDA / Risk Managment Agency
Visugen Global Llc
WSARE / CSU Extension

2:30 – 3:20 pm

Second Breakouts

A – Labor

US Department of Labor Agricultural Compliance: Preparing for a wage and hour audit Jennifer Lee and Barton Rode

The presenters will review the general process of a WHD investigation, the basics of compliance with the H-2A program, and the resources available for employers to further research and understand the program.

B – Food Safety

Washington Tree Fruit Industry Response to Listeria monocytogenes Outbreak
Dr. Ines Hanrahan

Dr. Hanrahan will present a case study describing the attitude regarding research before and after the Lm outbreak on caramel apples in late 2014. She will focus on what was done in the PNW immediately following the outbreak to identify priorities for training and research, work together among various industry organizations and to secure funding for research. Dr. Hanrahan will share examples of the improvements that the Northwest apple industry has taken to reduce the risk of an event in that area.

C – Business Development

Perspectives on Produce Trends
Elizabeth Mozer (LoCoFoods), Kenny Meyer (Whole Foods Market),
Steven Genth (Fresh Point),  Mike Sagrati (Simplot), Tom Lynch (King Soopers)

Join Colorado industry leaders from King Soopers, LoCo Foods, Whole Foods, Fresh Point and Simplot to hear the latest in produce trends driving their purchasing and learn how to meet these trends in your production, packing and marketing.

D – Production

New Opportunities and Advances in Pepper Production in Colorado
Dr. Mike Bartolo, CSU

In this session, participants will a get an up-to-date and comprehensive review of Colorado-specific research for both sweet and hot peppers. Items to be covered include variety selection, pest management for organic and conventional production, irrigation, and intensive production techniques.

Speaker Bios

Jennifer Lee has worked as an Investigator for the Department of Labor, Wage Hour Division (WHD) in the Denver District Office since 2012. Jennifer works with all laws enforced by WHD, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the H-2A and H-2B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. She serves as a formal mentor to a number of WHD investigators within the Denver District Office and has completed a detail with WHD’s Division of Enforcement Policies and Procedures, Immigration and Farm Labor Branch, located in Washington, D.C. Jennifer graduated from Ithaca College in 2008 and served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.


Barton Rode has worked as an Investigator for the Department of Labor, Wage Hour Division (WHD) in the Denver District Office since 2014. Barton works with all laws enforced by WHD, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the H-2A and H-2B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Barton graduated from UCLA in 2010, served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago.



ines-hanrahanDr. Ines Hanrahan  has been employed as a Project Manager by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (WTFRC) since 2005. Her professional experience includes an extensive international background in practical and academic horticulture, including: research, teaching, and consulting. Dr. Hanrahan’s expertise includes the management of technical projects related to temperate fruit quality such as: apple fruit finish improvement, methods to prevent rain-induced cherry cracking, apple postharvest physiological disorder prevention, optimization of cropping and storage systems to produce consistently high yields of target fruit, management of plant material evaluation from breeding programs for commercial suitability, and applied food safety research in the areas of water quality, preharvest die-off and postharvest systems management.


elizabethElizabeth Mozer started LoCo Foods in 2011 in response to needing a streamlined way to source locally for her husband’s independent movie theater, the Lyric Cinema Café, and to the regional studies showing that distribution was the primary hurdle keeping local food from the mainstream marketplace. LoCo Foods now serves grocery stores, institutions, coffee shops, restaurants and other wholesale buyers between Cheyenne and Colorado Springs with products from about 120 local producers and makers.



kenny-meyerKenny Meyer started in Natural Foods Industry in 1982. He worked with Alfalfa’s Markets in Boulder and grew into multiple locations. Alfalfa’s was purchased by Wild Oats Markets in 1996 and Kenny became National Produce Purchasing Director. Meyer started with Whole Foods Rocky Mountain region in 1999. His Rocky Mountain Local Produce program develops lasting relationships in 5 states including Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico.



steven-genthSteven Genth –  Starting my career off as a chef gave me the ability to relate to the customers I currently supply with premium produce. I have also worked in retail for the nation largest grocer. My current focus at FreshPoint Denver is to expand the ever growing local produce segment. Over the last three years I have built relationships with many local farms. However, I am always looking for new opportunities with Colorado farmers.



sagrati-head-shotMike Sagrati has spent his entire working life in the foodservice industry.  While waiting tables and going to Boise State University, Mike started and working part-time in the Simplot Food Group mailroom.  He worked his way up the ladder through marketing and then sales.  After 10 years at Simplot, Mike moved to Shamrock Foods in Commerce City, CO for 3 years as Marketing Manager until being recalled by Simplot for his current role.  For the past 5 years, he has managed 14 Central US states.  Mike is responsible for over $100,000,000 in annual sales and over 150,000,000 pounds of food sold annually.


Tom Lynch has been with King Soopers/City Market for over 40 years, serving in many different capacities including store director, bakery/deli merchandising, grocery merchandising and currently as our Produce/Floral Merchandiser. He started as a courtesy clerk in 1976 and worked many positions in our retail locations before moving into our corporate office.  He has a Business degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.



Mike Bartolo is a native of the Arkansas River Valley, born and raised on a small farm east of Pueblo. He received his undergraduate and M.S degrees at Colorado State University. In 1990, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in Plant Physiology. For the past 24 years, he has been the Vegetable Crops Specialist at Colorado State University’s Arkansas Valley Research Center in Rocky Ford. In 2004, he also became manager of the Center. His primary responsibilities are research and outreach activities to support commercial vegetable crop production in the Arkansas Valley and other parts of the state. The major crops emphasized are onions, melons, and peppers. His research projects have been centered on different aspects of crop production including drip irrigation, plastic mulches, soil fertility, and pest management.

3:30 – 4:20 pm

Third Breakouts

A. Labor repeats

B. Nutrition replaces Food Safety with 

Potential Health Benefits of Colorado-Grown Fruits and Vegetables and Recent Research Findings – Adam Heuberger, CSU

This session will discuss the current understanding of how fruits and vegetables influence human nutrition and health. The talk will include key concepts in nutrition and health, bioactivity and bioavailability, types of phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, and a review of gut health. Case studies in onions and potatoes will be discussed.

C. Business Development repeats

D. Production repeats

Adam Heuberger is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Colorado State University.  His laboratory studies phytochemical diversity in food crops and foods including potato, onion, bread wheat, malting barley and beer. His lab uses chemistry to investigate the connections between agriculture and human health, specifically for how genetics and agronomy influence nutrition and flavor. This research spans the fields of biochemistry, plant genetics, food science and human health.

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