Salinas and Silicon Valley Thought Leaders to Guide Next Generation Farms Discussion
MONTEREY, CA - PMA is giving fresh produce industry members the chance to interact with revolutionary technologies from across the globe at PMA’s Tech Knowledge Symposium in Monterey, CA. In the name of advancing produce production and consumption in the near future, Ag Tech experts and thought leaders from all sides of the industry will gather from May 11-13.
Among the thought leaders guiding the conversation are Lance Donny, Founder and CEO of OnFarm; Roger Royce, Founder of RoyseLaw AgTech Incubator; Dennis Donohue, President of Royal Rose LLC; and Nathan Dorn, Director of Farming Systems and Mechanization, Reiter Affiliated Companies.
“The produce farm of the future will have greater efficiency in labor, logistics and applied material,” says Donny. “Like we see in commodity crops today, more mechanization in everything from planting and harvesting to application of material will yield more efficiency, and that future isn’t too far off. There are companies working on these problems today.”
The group, facilitated by PMA Chief Science and Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker, will participate in a forward-thinking panel discussion to provide a glimpse into the future of production and emerging technologies in fresh produce – through traceability, improved sanitation, better management of labor costs, reducing product shrink, etc.
Drew McDonald, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety with Church Brothers shared, “We see technology being employed at the farm with new seed varieties, better ways to manage agronomic inputs and even drones that can serve as next generation data collection platforms to improve yields and enhance product safety.”
The symposium will also attract investors looking to engage with the industry, including four late-startups who will present their ideas to a group of venture capitalists, industry executives and potential customers in the “What’s The Pitch” session.
“These types of sessions directly align with PMA’s goal to address industry’s challenge of increasing food production with fewer resources while bolstering confidence in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Whitaker.
He continued by saying that he believes that when scientists and tech professionals help industry members build connections, produce and floral companies can better focus on building consumer demand for the products they grow, ship and sell.