March 2, 2021

Emerging Tech and Markets Analyzed in AgTechX Summit in March

On March 18-19, Western Growers (WG) members will join a cadre of leaders in agriculture, technology and academia at the Virtual AgTechX/Salinas Valley Ag Tech Summit to share how to best harness emerging technology and emerging markets. This year’s summit, which is co-hosted by WG and Hartnell College, will be free of charge and presented via Zoom.

The summit will kick off with a President’s Reception on March 18 at 5 p.m. PT, with opening remarks from Hartnell College President Raúl Rodríguez immediately followed by a Fireside Chat between Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Dennis Donohue, director of the WG Center for Innovation & Technology.

The full-day program on March 19 will include the following back-to-back panels:

  • “The Importance of Education for Tomorrow’s Workforce” Keynote Fireside Chat: A Central Coast panel made up of Tom Nunes a fourth-generation farmer and president of the Nunes Company; John D’Arrigo, president, CEO and chairman of D’Arrigo Bros.; and Miles Reiter, CEO and chairman of Driscoll’s. The moderator will be Brie Reiter Smith, director of Driscoll’s quality systems design, supply chain.
  • AgTech Players on Key Issues: A wide-ranging discussion featuring Leon Brish, co-founder and CEO of FarmDog; Mariana Valdez, soil science manager for Ag-Wise Enterprises Inc.; and Sebastien Boyer, co-founder and CEO of FarmWise.
  • Education and Ag Technology: A discussion on workforce challenges and the critical role of education by Dr. Peter Livingston, head of the BioResource & Agricultural Engineering Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Chris Kitts, director of the Robotic Systems Laboratory and associate dean of research and faculty development for the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University; and Clint Cowden, Hartnell’s dean of Career Technical Education and Workforce Development.

Save the date! Stay tuned to Spotlight for registration details. To learn more about this year’s summit, visit the event webpage at