Today Western Growers celebrated the grand opening of its Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, Calif. The new technology incubator aims to bring innovative entrepreneurs together with farmers to develop creative solutions to the biggest challenges facing agriculture.
The event kicked off with remarks from Tom Nassif, Western Growers President and CEO; Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms [Salinas, Calif.]; Vic Smith, President and CEO of JVSmith Companies [Yuma, Ariz.]; and Larry Cox, owner of Lawrence Cox Ranches [Brawley, Calif.]. Several hundred attendees enjoyed a myriad of grand opening festivities including a captivating high-tech laser light show, networking opportunities and tours of the WGCIT and Taylor Farms headquarters.
The new 2,800-square-foot facility will house up to 34 startup technology companies, providing tenants with access to top-of-the-line amenities, facilities and services. During the event, representatives from most of the startup companies currently housed in the center—California Safe Soil, GeoVisual Analytics, HeavyConnect, iFoodDecisionSciences, Concentric Power and Inteligistics—had the opportunity to speak with attendees and showcase their technologies.
The work of these start-up companies will be supported by a host of sponsors currently providing financial support to the WGCIT, including Bayer CropSciences, Farm Credit, JVSmith Companies, Monsanto, Prophet North America, Taylor Farms and Toro Micro-Irrigation.