In the first WGCIT Lunch & Learn event of the year, Mark Mason from Huntington Farms shared his thoughts about the future of agriculture, both in terms of workforce development and how to integrate new innovation into existing systems.
Mason, who manages Huntington Farms’ location in the Salinas Valley, spoke about the potential for the Next-Gen Ag Workers program, coining the term “two-year tech,” and his hope to hire these students for his ranch.
The Next Gen Ag Workers program is a Western Growers effort to implement modules into the current two- and four-year college programs to educate students about technology and systems unique to a career in agriculture. The modules are set to be utilized in the upcoming Spring 2023 semester. Once a student completes five of the 10 modules available, they will be to have access to internship opportunities with Western Growers members.
For the representatives from 18 startups that were in attendance, Mason talked about “farming by committee” and how the integration of new technology has to marry itself with the systems that already exist on a farm for implementation to happen.
For more information about WGCIT’s monthly Lunch & Learn events, visit the website here.