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Monday, February 19, 2018

8:00 – 9:00

Registration, breakfast and visit with exhibitors

9:00 – 9:30

Opening Remarks

Robert Sakata, CFVGA President

Sakata2

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.

Dr. Amy Charkowski, Department Head of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Mgt, Colo State University

Dr. Amy Charkowski is the Department Head for Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University.  Her research goal is to learn how necrotrophic bacterial pathogens cause disease in plants. Her lab focuses on Pectobacterium and Dickeya, which are broad host range bacterial pathogens and we study how these bacteria infect potato and how to best detect these pathogens in potato and in the environment. We are also interested in other high impact potato pathogens, especially Potato virus Y, and are currently working on projects related to virus resistance and detection in potato.

9:30  – 10:15

Keynote address

Colo Water Conservation Board and State Engineer’s Office: What and Who are New?
Kevin Rein, State Engineer and Director of the Colo Division of Water Resources

Kevin Rein is the State Engineer and Director of the Colorado Division of Water Resources, also known as the State Engineer’s Office.  Kevin directs the performance of the division’s responsibilities, which include administration of water rights in Colorado, issuing well permits, performing administrative approvals for water use, administering programs that ensure the safety of dams and the safe construction of water wells, managing compliance with interstate compacts, and providing information and education resources to the public.  He has worked at the Division of Water Resources for 19 years.

Becky Mitchell, Director of the Colo Water Conservation Board (CWCB)

Rebecca Mitchell (Becky) serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).  She is an accomplished water leader with over 14 years experience in the Colorado water sector and highly knowledgeable in the water laws of the State. Mitchell played a significant part in working with the State’s Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, the public at large and CWCB staff in producing Colorado’s Water Plan.  Becky has worked in the public and private sector as a consulting engineer; she received both her B.S. and M.S. from the Colorado School of Mines.

10:15 – 10:45

Break and visit with exhibitors

10:45 – 11:45

Breakout Sessions

Food Safety

Best Practices to Keep Listeria Out of Produce Packinghouses
Session Description

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It is soil-borne and common in the outside environment; can multiply over a wide range of temperatures; can adapt to a variety of stresses and persist for long periods. Chances are high Listeria may enter a facility at some point, so it is vital for growers/packers to assess their operations for vulnerability to Listeria and manage the risk(s).

Dr. Laura Strawn, Assistant Prof and Extension Specialist of Produce Safety, Virginia Tech

Dr. Laura Strawn is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Produce Safety in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech. She holds three degrees in Food Science with food microbiology emphases, as well as minors in Epidemiology and Molecular Microbiology: a PhD from Cornell University, a MS from the University of Florida, and a BS from the University of California, Davis. Her research program focuses on the microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables along the supply chain. Additionally, Dr. Strawn works directly with produce stakeholders on current produce safety issues.

Labor

Worker Protection Standard Updates  
Session Description

Gain the basic information of the changes of the Federal Worker Protection Standard that went into effect January 2, 2018. This presentation will provide you the information needed to come into compliance moving forward in protecting your agricultural employees and understand what the Colorado Department of Agriculture will be able to provide for your agricultural establishment. Get an opportunity to ask the burning questions that you have for understanding the WPS regulations.

Michael Rigirozzi, Pesticide Enforcement Specialist and Worker Protection Standard Authority/Program Manager, Division of Plant Industry, Colorado Department of Agriculture

Michael Rigirozzi has served as a Pesticide Enforcement Specialist CDA since 2012, enforcing the Rules and Regulations of Pesticide Applicator’s Act. In addition to his role as an Enforcement Specialist, Michael is the staff authority for the Federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and in this capacity; he oversees the assignment of WPS inspections and enforcement of the WPS Rules. Prior to 2012 Michael was an inspector, playing an integral role in promoting WPS and ensuring industries are in compliance.

Business Development

Markets for #2 Produce
Session Description

This session will showcase advantageous industry options when finding value for produce that is not of prime grade. The panel will dive into topics ranging from further processing, vertical integration to alternative market streams.

Eliah Golden, Associate Director, Senior Executive Chef, Univ Colorado Boulder

Chef Eliah Golden is the Associate Director for Residential Dining/Culinary Operations of CU Boulder Campus Dining Services. Chef Eliah serves on the Colorado Farm to School Task Force and the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. Serving over 3 million meals a year, Chef Eliah understands the hurdles that exist in getting locally produced ingredients onto her menus, and recommends starting off with one item and letting that program snowball into something much bigger.

Scott Rush, Director of Lipman Local

In addition to a business degree, Scott has worked in agriculture for 25 years and ran a 4500 acre vegetable farm in Southwest Florida for 12 years.  For the last three years he has worked as the Director of Lipman Local, working with approximately 50 growers throughout the US.

Christina Hahn, Lipman Family Farms

Christina Hahn got into the produce business because her father owned a company that managed the refurbishing and sharpening of the processing blades for large produce processors. While there she developed a desire to work directly for the farm and was recruited to work for Church Bros. After working for Church Bros. for 7 years she made the move to Lipman and has been there for 2 years.

Patrick Bultema, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Food Maven

Patrick Bultema (Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of FoodMaven) is an experienced venture-backed executive, widely recognized as a company and industry maker. He has served as CEO, Founder and Exec Chairman of numerous companies. He has served boards of scores of startups, as well as worked in venture capital firms. His family still runs the farm he grew up on, so it pains him to know so much food is thrown away that they worked so hard to produce. With a Master of Divinity from Princeton, he values a stewardship approach to our planet and its inhabitants.

Production

Soil Health for vegetable farms
Session Description

This session will focus on how to plan, design and implement a Soil Health Mgt. System that is based on implementing soil health management principles (Maximize Biodiversity, Maximize Soil Cover, Living Roots throughout the year, Minimize Soil Disturbance). This will include how to conduct a field Soil Health Assessment and how to interpret Soil Health Indicators, which are used to plan a site-specific Soil Health Mgt. System and is used to also monitor soil health. The session will focus on the importance of a systems approach that regenerates soil health and increases crop productivity. Emphasis will be on a soil health case study involving a vegetable producer from Albuquerque, NM that I’ve been working with, that has a very good example of what a Soil Health Mgt. System looks like and how it is working.

Rudy Garcia, NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist (NM, AZ, CO, UT)

Rudy Garcia has worked for the USDA-NRCS for the past 28 -years and has served as the State Agronomist position for the last 10-years. In NM, the main agronomic issues that he has worked on are: irrigation water management, salinity mgt., nutrient mgt., cropping systems that build soil health (i.e., crop rotations, cover crops, high quality compost, hoop houses, subsurface drip irrigation, minimum-till, etc.). He accepted the position as Regional Soil Health Specialist for the states of Utah, Arizona, NM and Colorado since October 2016; in this new position, his major responsibilities are to facilitate the adoption of soil health management systems. This will require that he work with our NRCS State Offices/Specialists, conservation partners, producers,  PMC and others to identify training needs, keeping our staff updated on the latest soil health findings/assessments, tools, etc. The major emphasis will be to advance the art and science of building healthy soils through our NRCS conservation practices/management, by understanding how the soil resource ecosystem functions.

Nutrition and Health

Give your Sides a Makeover: healthy vegetable dishes using fresh, local produce
Session Description

Some veggie sides contain more fat, calories and salt than a fast food burger! Discover which ones they are and learn ways to “flip them on their side” to create a healthier version using local produce. We will also explore the “magic number” of fruits and veggies that put you in a good mood and will demonstrate a healthy “voodles” recipe that can help your customers reach their goals!

Cathy Schmelter, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

Cathy is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Nutrition Consultant, and author of the book “Cutting thru the Nutritional Jungle – A Survival Guide to Feeding Kids” for parents of elementary school aged children. In the book, she promotes making fruits and veggies the “star of kid’s plates” and provides information about the benefits of choosing “real” and healthy food.

Currently, Cathy develops and implements sustainable food and nutrition education programs for middle and high schools, including the popular high school curriculum “Food for Thought”, a sustainable food system program and “You Are What You Eat” that promotes “real” food citizens.

She has a genuine passion for health and wellness and making a difference in the lives of kids and their families. Cathy has worked in the health and wellness field for over 18 years.

Previously, she was the Wellness Coordinator for Denver Public Schools where she helped close to 50 schools implement nutrition and physical activities, worked as a Director of Health Resources, where she assisted new and emerging Charter Schools in planning for health and consulted with SOAR Schools in Denver (an all-plant-based food menu school) on nutrition, physical activity, mental health and physical health.  She has also developed programs for community partners and pediatric sites.

She has appeared on several local news programs and has had articles published in Colorado newspapers. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Foodservice Nutrition from California State University–Long Beach and completed a Dietetic Internship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“My ultimate dream is to get kids to “love their veggies” and inspire youth to create a healthier food system for us all!

11:45 – 1:15

Lunch and CFVGA Member Meeting (all are welcome to attend)

1:15 – 2:15

Breakout Sessions Repeat

Nutrition breakout will not repeat

2:15 – 3:00

Break and visit with exhibitors

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Grower and Buyer networking session

Buyer companies attending:

Alberts Fresh Produce
Bon Appetit Management Co.
Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado
CDE Office of School Nutrition
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Colo-Pac
Colorado State University
Community Food Share
Costco Wholesale
Feeding Colorado
Food Bank for Larimer County
Food Bank of the Rockies
FoodMaven
FreshPack Produce Inc
GoFarm
Huron Produce/Suntastic
Kroger
Lipman
Melissa’s
Target
Tony’s Meats and Market
UNFI
Weld Food Bank
Whole Foods Markets

Grower farms attending:

DiSanti Farms
DP SEEDS, LLC
Ela Family Farms
Environmental Care & Share
Farmer John’s
Father Earth Organic Farm
Fern Hill Farm
Golden West Farms
Hirakata Farms
Hoffman Farms, LLC
Jones Farms Organics
Kilt Farms
Knapp Farms LLC
Kokopelli Farms, Inc.
L&M
Lenz Family Farms
Milberger Farms
Monroe Organic Farm, llc
Mountain Quality
Nature Fresh Organics/Southern Colorado Farms
Peach Haven Farms Inc.
PowerGrow
Prototerra Partners, LLC
Rancho Durazno
Ray Domenico Farms, Inc.
RMPR/FULL CIRCLE FARMS
Roenbaugh Schwalb/Kansas Potatoes Ltd.
Rossi Dairy/Produce, LLC
RPE
Ruckman Family Orchards
Sakata Farms
Strohauer Farms
Talbott’s Mountain Gold LLLP
Topp Fruits
Worley Family Farms

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Free reception: heavy appetizers and cash bar

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

7:30 – 8:30 am

Registration, breakfast, networking, visit exhibitors

8:30 – 8:45

Opening Remarks

Robert Sakata, CFVGA President

Sakata2

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.

Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture

Don 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.

8:45 – 9:45

Keynote

Why they buy what they buy?
Session Description

The way Americans shop for fruits and vegetables is changing, thanks to changing demographics of primary household shoppers. This not only affects how grocers go to market, but also what they demand from their growers and suppliers. In this session we’ll talk about shopper habits, and how those are impact marketing, merchandising and sourcing fresh produce.”

Pamela Riemenschneider, Editor, Produce Retailer magazine

Pamela Riemenschneider is the editor of Produce Retailer magazine, and the retail editor of The Packer Newspaper. Over the past 13 years of visiting growers, retailers and industry functions all over the world, she’s gained a unique perspective on the changing landscape of the fresh produce industry, including consumer trends, packaging innovations and the relationship of growers, suppliers and retail.

9:45 – 10:30

When a recall strikes, are you ready?
Diane Mulligan, President, M and C Communications

Diane Mulligan, APR is president of M&C Communications, representing inspirational people, organizations, products, and services. M&C specializes in Insider Media Relations, branding and crisis communications. Clients include: Rocky Ford Growers Association, Colorado Chefs Association, Monarch Casino, City of Black Hawk, and more. Formerly, Diane was news director at Channel 7 during the Columbine shootings, senior news editor for NBC News and vice president of national communications for the National Stroke Association.

10:30 – 11:00

Break and visit with exhibitors

11:00 – 12:00

Breakout sessions

Food Safety

Is Your Farm Ready?  FSMA On-Farm Readiness Reviews
Session Description

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has partnered with CSU Extension to offer a variety of resources to help farmers comply with the newly implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This session will give an overview of the Produce Safety Rule and highlight the resources that are available for growers to help them comply with the Produce Safety Rule including the Farm Inventory, On Farm Readiness Reviews, and CSU Extension resources.

Cristy Dice, Produce Safety Rule Program Manager, Colorado Department of Agriculture

Cristy Dice is the Produce Safety Rule Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, working under the FSMA Project Director, Steve Bornmann. Her role is to implement the Produce Safety Rule in Colorado by developing policies, goals, objectives and strategies for the program. She works closely with CSU Extension, grower organizations, and other states to create a program that is uniform and consistent with other programs in the nation and meets the needs of Colorado produce growers.

Labor

Florida’s Experience with the Fair Food Program/Alternatives for Colorado Growers
Session Description

The Florida Tomato Growers Exchange has been in the forefront of the social accountability issue for many years. The “Penny a Pound” campaign, undertaken by Coalition of Immokalee Workers, established a model for worker empowerment without unionization.  The resulting evolution of the Fair Food Program has been recognized as a significant breakthrough for worker rights in the U.S.  Understanding the potential impact of this social accountability program on you operation and alternative solutions.

Reginald Brown, Executive Vice President, Florida Tomato Exchange

Mr. Brown was hired as Executive Vice President of the Florida Tomato Exchange in September 1999 and currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange and is also the Manager of the Florida Tomato Committee. He has been involved throughout the evolution of the Tomato Suspension Agreement and as well as the establishment of the NAFTA based Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). He was actively engaged in the development of the Florida T-GAP program for fresh tomatoes, United Fresh Food Safety Harmonization effort as well as the Food Safety Programs and Auditing Protocol for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Produce Safety Alliance.

Other organizations that Mr. Brown currently belongs to, include the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, Minor Crop Farmer Alliance, and USDA/USTR Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables.

Business Development

The Consumer Wants to Hear Your Story:  How PR Can Work  For You
Session description

Now, more than ever, consumers want to connect with the farmers who grow their food. Learn how to share your story with the public and use public relations to your advantage.

Jen Miller, Jen's Side Dishes

Jen Miller is a business owner and executive, a marketing and public relations pro, a collaborator, inspirer and dreamer. She co-founded Philosophy Communication in 2001 and led, managed and directed the boutique marketing and public relations firm to be one of the top firms in Colorado. With a focus on consumer marketing campaigns, she guided and developed creative communication initiatives for the firm’s most notable clients, including Colorado Proud, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Town of Frisco, Natural Grocers, T.G.I. Friday’s, Smashburger, Quiznos, Caribou Coffee, Nautilus Health and Fitness, Sub-Zero and Wolf, Denver Public Schools and Denver Center Attractions. Her work has made a tangible impact on clients’ customers, communities and stakeholders, and has won multiple awards and top honors from the community and her peers.

Jen recently left Philosophy Communication to pursue new business opportunities and passions in the food and ag industry. She’s started a blog and launched a pop-up dinner demo concept that’s still in the early stages of development. She’s always been an avid home cook, seeking out local, seasonal food products. Her new food business is a reflection of her belief that local, seasonal food not only tastes better, but is better for the community and local economy.

When she’s not cooking, you can find Jen searching for powder stashes and “kickers,” skiing with her boys, dreaming up an annual family adventure or perusing farmers markets, specialty grocery stores, cooking magazines, websites and blogs for her next culinary creation.

 

Diane Mulligan, President, M&C Communications

Diane Mulligan, APR, is president of M&C Communications, representing inspirational people, organizations, products, and services. M&C specializes in Insider Media Relations, branding and crisis communications. Clients include: Rocky Ford Growers Association, Colorado Chefs Association, Monarch Casino, City of Black Hawk, and more. Formerly, Diane was news director at Channel 7 during the Columbine shootings, senior news editor for NBC News and vice president of national communications for the National Stroke Association.

 

Jim Ehrlich, Exe Dir, Colorado Potato Admin Committee, Area II

Jim Ehrlich is the Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Jim has a B.S. in Agronomy from Colorado State University and has spent his entire adult life working in agriculture. First as a farmer, then as an agronomist for Coors Brewing Company, and now represents Colorado’s potato growers with a true passion for potatoes and potato growers. His mantra is potatoes are good for you.

Production

Convention and Organic Disease Control Strategies for Specialty Crops
Session Description

During the session, the visual characteristics of several common vegetable diseases will be reviewed. In addition, the environmental and cultural reasons for disease development will be discussed as well as potential conventional and organic disease control strategies.

Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist, Washington State University

Lindsey du Toit completed a BS degree in South Africa, and MS and PhD degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in plant pathology. She was a diagnostician at Washington State University from 1998 to 2000, and then hired as Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist in vegetable seed pathology at WSU. The focus of her research and extension program is on diseases affecting vegetable and vegetable seed crops in the Pacific Northwest.

12:00 – 1:30

Awards Lunch

1:30 – 2:30

Breakouts repeat

Concurrent roundtable discussions in ballroom

  • 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 – (Glenda Mostek 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 –  (Dan Waldvogle, Director, Colorado Landlink, Guidestone Colorado) 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.
  • Young Farmers & the Future of Colorado Agriculture –  (Alex Funk, Western Policy Director and Staff Attorney, 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.
  • Farm to Institution – (Wendy Moschetti, Director of Food Systems, LiveWell Colorado and Nanna Meyer, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) Building off the successes of farm to school, which have provided sustainable contracts for Colorado producers while securing fresh, healthy foods for Colorado kids, more public and private institutions are exploring how to shift procurement practices to source more Colorado-grown and raised foods. In this roundtable we will discuss what “farm to institution” looks like in Colorado today – from preschools to k-12 to higher ed, and hospitals. We will discuss preliminary results of state-wide interviews with a variety of institutions and share farm-to-institution ideas from other states and visions for Colorado.
  • Labor Solutions – (Harrison Topp, Membership Director, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union) Join an open discussion of successful strategies to recruit and retain qualified produce farm labor and add your ideas to potential next steps in labor solutions
     

2:30 – 2:40

Break

5:00 – 7:00

Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Reception at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion

400 E 8th Ave, Denver | No registration required | drinks and appetizers provided

Sponsors for The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Conference