Click on boxes to see session descriptions,  biographical info, and copy of presentention slides when possible.
Click here to jump to Feb 25 program of events

Monday, February 24, 2020

7:30 – 8:30

Registration, breakfast and visit with exhibitors

8:30 – 9:00

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.

9:00 – 9:45

Keynote

The Power of Produce 2019: A Look at the Produce Department Through the Shoppers' Eyes

The Food Marketing Institute has published the “Power of Produce” research every year since 2014. Conducted by 210 Analytics and sponsored by Yerecic Label, Burris Logistics and the Southeast Produce Council, this research is part of a broader look at the fresh perimeter.

The 2019 study included a consumer survey of 1,500 shoppers. Using this data, participants will gain a “shopper’s” view of produce planning, purchasing and consumption and come away with several actionable insights to grow their business. The study offers an understanding of the opportunities, habits, preferences and trends in the produce department by listening to the consumer’s voice and combining it with sales data from IRI and Nielsen.

John Cravens’ career spans over forty years in the food industry and covers a broad range of products including produce, meat, canned foods, and packaging. He received his BS Degree in Food Science from Purdue University and his MBA from the University of Colorado. He has worked in both corporate and non-profit environments and has held positions in sales, international marketing and food safety.

As an Account Manager for Yerecic Label, John helped develop the produce market for Yerecic. Using research, he demonstrated to growers and processors how to build produce sales by giving consumers additional information on the package.

 

9:45 – 10:00 

Exhibitor elevator speeches – see current list of exhibitors below

Hear exhibitors explain why you should visit with them in the expo

4Rivers Equipment
Aquatic Resources, LLC
Brandt Consolidated, Inc
CCOF Certification Services
Colorado State University Extension
Community Food Share
Decade Products
DocuPots
Frost, PLLC
Hollar Seeds
Inman Interwest
InterCrate, Inc.
Landmark Packaging
NNZ J&J Supply
Salud Family Health Centers
USDA NASS Mountain Regional Office
Western SARE

10:00 – 10:30

Networking break

10:30 – 11:30

Breakout sessions

Labor - Are Growers Subject to 2019 Colorado Employment Law Changes?

Colorado employment laws have seen dramatic changes in recent years, including a complete overhaul of Colorado’s minimum wage law that takes effect in 2020. In this session, we will explore the most significant changes that affect you as an employer, and will discuss potential changes that may be coming in the near future.

 

Jody Duvall is a Fort Collins attorney whose practice focuses on labor and employment issues. He represents employers before federal and state trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and in mediation and arbitration. He counsels clients on a wide range of issues related to their employment policies, and represents employers in labor negotiations and arbitrations; unfair labor practice proceedings; wage and hour class and collective actions; and wrongful termination, discrimination, and retaliation actions.

Business Development - What’s fresh: Emerging market opportunities for growers

What’s fresh in the marketplace?  Hear from buyers and distributors with new programs including school district local purchasing dollars, backhauling opportunities, purchasing of produce seconds,  food pantry purchasing and more.

Shelly Allen has been the Director of Nutrition and Warehouse Service since 2007 at St Vrain Schools. Prior to that the Assistant Director of Nutrition at Denver Public Schools. Enjoy implementing healthy eating and active living initiatives in the school district and have spent the last 10 years building a stronger Farm to School program within our school district.

 

 

 

Dave Maynard has been the VP of FreshPack since 2002. He is instrumental in developing high volume sales with local retailers and food service customers throughout Colorado. Dave worked closely with Colo Dept of Ag to promote Colorado Proud. He served on the Colorado Farm to School Task Force and worked side by side with the many of Colorado growers to help make their products available to Colorado consumers.

 

 

Larry Martinez is the Executive Director of the Denver Inner City Parish. He has worked at DICP for 17 years. He joined the staff as the Office Manager and Community Resource Coordinator in 2002. He was promoted to Associate Director in 2011 and became Executive Director in 2018. Larry has played a critical role in the development of many DICP programs and facilities. He is an advocate for social-justice and has been a part of many collective-impact groups like the Colorado Food Pantry Network, Food Exchange and Resource Network, Full Lives Full Pantries, Closing the Hunger Gap, and several others.

FoodMaven is transforming the food system to support the people who make our food, help feed the hungry, and protect the planet for future generations. Hear from CEO Ben Deda about innovative solutions to sell into food service and market your products. Ben will address the challenges for producers and suppliers that lead to waste and how marketing local products and #2s as more sustainable can increase your sales.

 

 

 

Ian Navarro is a passionate foodservice professional who has traveled the globe meeting farmers, chefs artisans and producers. Navarro joined What Chefs Want in 2012 as Director of Gourmet Foods and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Colorado Division. Working closely with award winning chefs, high volume hotels and resorts, independent restaurateurs, healthcare units and beyond in the across the several states, Navarro understands what top caliber chefs, restaurateurs and foodservice professionals expect. What Chefs Want is positioning itself as the premium foodservice provider in the region and bringing on demand ordering to thousands of kitchens. He has had an impact throughout the company including curating their digital presence, producing industry leading events, co-chairing the new web and app roll out, installing state of the art customer service technology, handling the What Chefs Want brand and more. Navarro has assisted with 14 acquisitions during his tenure with What Chefs Want, specializing in the What Chef culture. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two kids and two dogs.

Production - Staying Up-to-Date with National Organic Program Standards Changes

Learn about the process of organic certification and working with a certifier and hear about changes to the National Organic Program including inputs for organic production. Topics of interest in organic certification including container production and hydroponics will be presented, as well as information on the upcoming “Strengthening Enforcement Rule” which may have new rules for organic imports and exports and certification requirements for handlers of organic commodities. Additional information resources will also be provided.

Renee Delaney is the Director of Farm Programs at CCOF. Renee grew up on a farm in Central Illinois, raising cattle, hogs and 400 acres of corn and soybeans. She studied plant biology at Southern Illinois University where she graduated with honors. Renee has been working in organic certification for over eleven years. CCOF is a nonprofit organization founded in California more than 40 years ago. Today its roots span the breadth of North America, and it is internationally recognized.

Janis Kieft is the Organic Program Manager for the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. She joined the CDA in August, 2017 and has worked with organic growers, companies and suppliers since 2000. Prior to her current position, Janis worked in the seed industry for 20 years. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Horticultural Science and an MA in Agricultural Education.

Small Farms - The Price is Right: Understand different pricing methodologies and how you can price products for profitability

Pricing is one of the key challenges for food enterprises.  This session will seek to use improved understanding of the key drivers of prices in differentiated markets, as a means to consider and choose among the alternatives for pricing strategies.  Although enterprises may still consider themselves price-takers in the market, this session will challenge managers to consider new market innovations that may support stronger or more stable prices to support their bottom line.

Dawn Thilmany has been a Professor of Agricultural Economics since 1997 and Associate Director of Engaged Research at CSU since 2019.  She specializes in economic development related to differentiated food market supply chains, as well as market analysis and consumer behavior. Her work on agricultural diversification also includes work with agritourism in Colorado and the Western US.  She is past chair of the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council (COFSAC), and has co-led CSU’s Food Systems and Community Development Extension teams.

 

11:30 – 1:00

Lunch and CFVGA annual meeting – all are welcome

1:00 – 1:30

Networking break

1:30 – 2:30

Breakout sessions

 

Labor - Being an employer of choice

 

Many organizations pay lip service to being an “employer of choice,” but what does it really mean? In simple terms, it means being a great place to work. It means being able to attract and retain the best employees and having a competitive advantage over your competitors in a tight labor market. In this session, we will discuss the “secret sauce” for elevating your business to an “employer of choice.”

 

Jason Resnick joined Western Growers in 2003 as a staff attorney. Today as Vice President and General Counsel, he has responsibility for overseeing the organization’s legal affairs and serves as Western Growers’ corporate secretary. As a member of the Western Growers’ executive team, Jason provides advice and counsel on various legal, business and policy matters. Jason also manages Western Growers H-2A Services, which serves as a full-service H-2A agent exclusively for Western Growers members.

Jason is a frequent speaker and magazine contributor on employment law and ag labor issues. He serves as secretary on the board of directors for the Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA), is on the board of iFoodDecisionSciences, and is a past co-chair of the Agribusiness Committee of the State Bar of California.

Jason received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and his JD from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Business Development - Emerging Market Opportunities in Denver: a 2020 update

Speakers will provide updates on Denver and Colorado’s latest policies and efforts to create new market opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers. This is a 2020 update to the 2019 session and will focus on: CO HB1132 (incentives for schools to purchase Colorado grown products), Double Up Food Bucks, the Good Food Purchasing Program (Denver’s values-based procurement efforts), Healthy Food for Denver Kids, and the National Western Center’s 1909 stadium arena market development plans.

Dr. Becca Jablonski’s research and extension program is comprised of two primary components: 1) evaluating the farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through non-commodity markets (e.g., local food markets, certification, or other product differentiation strategies); and, 2) assessing the community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs. Dr. Jablonski holds a PhD from Cornell University.

 

 

As the director of food systems, Wendy Moschetti leads the development and implementation of LiveWell Colorado’s strategies related to food systems, food access and food promotion.
After moving to Colorado in 2005, Wendy researched healthy food access initiatives for the National Convergence Partnership while also serving as project coordinator for the “Gardens for Growing Healthy Communities” research project with the University of Colorado-Denver and Denver Urban Gardens. She joined the consulting firm Civic Results in 2007 to help staff the healthy schools and food access teams of the Metro Denver Health & Wellness Commission. Wendy launched her own firm, WPM Consulting, in May 2009. Since then, she has collaborated with numerous organizations—including LiveWell Colorado, LiveWell communities across the state, Colorado State University, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Hunger Free Colorado, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment—to work on a variety of projects aimed at leveraging our food systems to improve equitable access to healthy foods.

Matt Barry serves as Chief Development Officer at the National Western Center Authority leading new business development and building local, regional and global partnerships with organizations to deliver programming in service of its mission to advance global food solutions. Formerly, Matt served as Chief Impact Officer at Gary Community Investments where he was responsible for developing strategy and advancing a data-driven, impact investment strategy through the measurement of social impact and risk across philanthropic and market rate investments. He also co-led the design of the organization’s innovation practice, including the development of a local ecosystem to support entrepreneurs and ventures focused on addressing social issues.

Production - Biological pest control for fruit and vegetable crops

There are several types of commercially available biological controls that can be used to help manage insect and mite pests of Colorado fruit and vegetables. Each of these has potential benefits, and limitations.  This session will review the status of biological controls available to Colorado producers and how they can be most effectively integrated into production.

 Whitney Cranshaw is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Entomology at Colorado State University.  For the past 37 years he has developed a research and Extension program to address insect pest management problems affecting horticultural crops grown in Colorado, including vegetables, small fruit, landscape plants and turfgrass.

Small Farms - Developing and implementing a farm food safety plan

2:30 – 4:00

Grower and Buyer networking session:  open to all registrants

Buyer companies attending:

Albertsons/Safeway
Alfalfa’s Market
Care and Share Food Bank
Colorado State University
Community Food Share
FreshPack Produce
Food Bank for Larimer County
Food Bank of the Rockies
Frost, PLLC
GoFarm
Russ Davis Wholesale
Weld County Food Bank
Whole Foods Market

Grower farms attending:

Clark Family Orchards
Farmer Johns
Honey Rock
Strohauer Farms
Talbott’s Mountain Gold

4:00 – 6:00

FREE Reception: heavy appetizers and cash bar

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

7:00 – 8:00 am

Registration, breakfast, networking

8:00 – 8:20

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.

8:30 – 9:30

Breakout sessions

SCBGP - Colorado Specialty Crop Block Grant Program project reports
Food Safety - Produce Safety Rule 20-20

Join us for an exploration of farm inspections uner the Produce Safety Rule and how to be prepared all the upcoming season.

 

Duane Sinning, Colorado Department of Agriculture; Cristy Dice, Colorado State University

Production - Made in the shade: High-value colored pepper production in Colorado

In this presentation, participants will review production capacity, costs, and returns of high-value colored peppers grown in shade tunnels. The session will provide a comprehensive look at 5 years of research at CSU’s Arkansas Valley Research Center in Rocky Ford and will examine aspects of tunnels design, construction, variety selection, and other production issues.

 

Mike was born and raised on a small irrigated farm east of Pueblo, Colorado.For the past 29 years he has been the Vegetable Crops Specialist with CSU at the Arkansas Valley Research Center in Rocky Ford.  His responsibilities include research and outreach activities to support commercial crop production. His research has been centered on different aspects of crop production including irrigation efficiency, soil fertility, plasticulture (drip irrigation and mulches) and pest management.

 

Small farms - Creating and managing an effective farm team

You’ve assembled a workforce that is both coachable for team work and capable of reaching your farm goals.  How do you develop this team to be high achieving?   How do you provide rewards and reprimands, navigate interpersonal issues, and ensure workplace equity so that productivity and worker morale are maximized?  Join us for an exploration of managerial and leadership skills necessary for optimal human performance in your farm business.

 

 

 Alexandra Hill earned her Ph.D.in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis in the summer of 2019. Her dissertation and research interests revolve around understanding how U.S. agricultural labor markets function, how agricultural workers make decisions, and how agricultural employers can positively influence their workforce. At Colorado State University, her primary research and teaching areas include economic productivity, agricultural labor economics, agricultural business management, and econometrics.

 

Meg Caley is the “founder and farmer-in-chief” of Sprout City Farms, an urban agriculture nonprofit building 1-acre urban farms across Denver. She managed their first site, the Denver Green School Community Farm, from 2010-2018, and now oversees operations, programs, staff, and finances for all of SCF’s farm sites. She sits on the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, Jeffco Food Policy Council, Denver Community Food Access Coalition, and the board of Mile-High Farmers.

 

 

 

9:30 – 10:00

Networking break

10:00 – 11:30

Deep dives

SCBGP - Colorado Specialty Crops Block Grant Program project reports
Food safety - Just clean it!

Cleaning and santizing are critical for farm food contact surfaces.  Learn the where, how, what and when.

 Travis Chapin is a State Specialized Extension Agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences with statewide responsibilities in food safety and an emphasis on providing outreach to produce farms and packinghouses. Travis currently serves as Vice President of the Florida Association for Food Protection and Vice President of the Handling and Processing Section of the Florida State Horticultural Society.

Labor - Staying in compliance with H-2A rules

 Join us for a update on how to apply for and succeed with the H-2A guest worker program.  Hear about updates to H-2A from current DOL rulemaking and from legislation.

 

Kerri Owen is the Foreign Labor Certification Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and has worked in Workforce Development for 5 years. Kerri assists employers/agents with the H-2A and H-2B application process regarding job orders that must be placed in Connecting Colorado, housing inspections, and job referrals.

 

 

 

Kerry Scott is Program Manager for MAS Labor, based in Lovingston, Virginia, the country’s largest supplier of H-2A and H-2B legal guest workers. MAS provides H-2 services in 46 states and in virtually every eligible agricultural and non-agricultural sector from apiculture to viticulture; landscaping to hospitality. Kerry originally made farm calls for MAS; advising clients on how to stay in compliance with the highly regulated H-2A program. Kerry’s responsibilities now include business development for MAS, reporting directly to the owners of the company. This work has him exhibiting and speaking to agricultural and horticultural groups all over the country. Recent participants have credited Kerry as being the first speaker to leave them truly understanding the H-2A program.

Small farms - Recordkeeping and farm management best practices

This session will be filled with practical advice on how to develop and incorporate record keeping and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for your farm. The session will cover general concepts for record keeping and SOPs, and then work to help each participant feel empowered to prioritize what specific information will benefit their individual farming operation. This session will be interactive so come ready to get to work.

 

Stephen Cochenour is a small-scale vegetable farmer growing food for Denver Public School. He has taught agriculture courses for FRCC and CU-Denver, as well as spoken at conferences across the country about agriculture, spirituality, and philosophy. Stephen holds a BS in Horticulture with a focus on Organic food crop production from Colorado State University and a MA in Transpersonal Ecopsychology from Naropa University.

 

 

Meg Caley is the “founder and farmer-in-chief” of Sprout City Farms, an urban agriculture nonprofit building 1-acre urban farms across Denver. She managed their first site, the Denver Green School Community Farm, from 2010-2018, and now oversees operations, programs, staff, and finances for all of SCF’s farm sites. She sitson the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, Jeffco Food Policy Council, Denver Community Food Access Coalition, and the board of Mile-High Farmers.

11:30 – 1:00

Awards lunch

1:00 – 1:30

Networking break

1:30 – 2:50

Exploring the risks and opportunities of the Colorado hemp industry

Hemp, hemp, hoorah!  We are indeed in the gold rush of cannabis in the US.  Thousands of acres were planted in Colorado in 2019.  How do growers produce a quality crop?  Where is the marketplace headed?  What do we know about the business risks to farmers?  And when the gold rush is over, who will be left in the market and why?  Join a panel of Colorado’s private and public sector leaders in the hemp industry for a candid discussion.

With more than 15 years of experience developing and commercializing technologies for human diagnostics, food safety and agriculture, Dr. Vaught brings a diverse background with both a strong scientific and practical business acumen. As CEO and Co-Founder of Front Range Biosciences, Dr. Vaught drives the evolution of cannabis agriculture through science, improving efficiency for farmers along with safety and reliability for consumers.

 

 

 

With over twelve years of state regulatory experience, Hollis Glenn became the Director of the Inspection and Consumer Services Division at the Department of Agriculture in 2017. In this position, Hollis oversees a number of inspection programs across Colorado. The Inspection & Consumer Services Division is the hub of CDA’s consumer protection programs. Prior to coming to the Department of Agriculture, Hollis worked at the DORA’s Division of Real Estate, where he worked his way up from an investigator to Deputy Director. Hollis is a proud Colorado native and earned his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.

 

 

Dr. Brent Young serves as an Agricultural Business Management Economist with Colorado State University Extension (CSUE). Brent strives help farmers and ranchers manage risk through the development, delivery and evaluation of non-credit educational programming. Additionally, he provides information on Title 1 production support and Title 11 commodity insurance programs, crop and livestock enterprise analysis, financial management strategies, and commodity marketing.

 

 

Rick Novak is the Director of Colorado Seed Programs. He is the Manager of the Colorado Seed Growers Association and provides leadership and oversight to the Managers of Seed Certification, Agronomy Foundation Seed, and the Colorado Seed Lab.   He collaborates with the Colorado Department of Agriculture on seed related topics that affect Colorado agriculture.  He is also actively involved in the Association of Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA.

 

 

 

Jake Salazar was born and raised in Louisville Colorado a suburb of Boulder. He’s married with two children. Jake has truly earned his credibility in the Cannabis business over the last 10 years earing 20 cannabis cups for both THC and CBD as well as being named the as one of the most influential individuals in cannabis by High Times two years in a row. From his work building the MMJ America brands and Solari brands to his long list of political contacts along with high powered board positions. Jake has always made it his mission to understand as much about the plant as possible to truly understand how to build a successful business in this Industry.

 

5:30 – 8:00

Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Reception at History Colorado Center

1200 N Broadway, Denver

 

Sponsors for the 2020 Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Annual Conference