On April 26, 14 representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, Calif.

Among those who toured the facility to meet with the startups was Bill Richmond, Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program for the USDA and Robin Chilton, Director, Standards Division of the USDA's Specialty Crops Program.

The group met with WGCIT member Solare Holdings about their hemp program and the USDA requirements for hemp. In addition, the group me with the following WGCIT startups:

Ann Donahue

Sarah Nolet, Co-Founder and General Partner at Sydney, Australia-based VC firm Tenacious Ventures, focuses on investing in early-stage agtech startups with an eye towards how they will help provide innovations to assist with the ramifications of climate change.

"Ag can actually be a solution for a lot of the challenges we're facing," Nolet says in this episode of Voices of the Valley, noting that growers are in a unique position where they can simultaneously work to reduce emissions and be proactive to prevent additional climate disruption.

Ann Donahue

Dr. Jerry Buckley, the President of Reedley College, joins Voices of the Valley to talk about the vital need to expand the relationship between agriculture and community colleges in California.

"Across the country, community colleges are the best-kept secret that we have," he says, noting that with its 2.1 million students in attendance every year, California community colleges represent the largest system of education in the U.S.

Ann Donahue

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