This year’s summer convention for the Onion Association Convention is less than a week away, set for July 18-21 in Bakersfield, CA, at the downtown Bakersfield Marriot and featuring an all-star line-up of speakers and topics for the Thursday afternoon sessions.
NOA Executive Vice President Wayne Mininger will start the educational series at 1:15 Thursday after lunch, with these presentations following in order:
Roland Fumasi, Ph. D. and vice president, senior analyst and manager for Rabobank’s RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group headquartered in Fresno, will speak about “Increasing Complexity in the Food & Agribusiness Value-Chain.”
Dr. Fumasi will look at “rising global incomes, led by a growing middle-class in developing countries, favor[ing] increased produce consumption.” That demand is challenged by “limited availability of land, labor, and water, increasing regulatory pressures—coupled with increasingly complex consumer purchasing habits and rising consumer expectations of a holistic approach to food production, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility,” and he will discuss mitigation
“FSMA: New Insurance Realities for Producers, Shippers, and Handlers” will be discussed by Matt Bingham of Western Growers Association. Matt has 20 years of work in the insurance brokerage industry, 14 of which have been with Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) as a practitioner in the agriculture and food industry. “Currently he manages partnerships between WGIS as a brokerage and food-related organizations to leverage distribution of products…,” and he will explain WGIS’s “proprietary Shield Program that helps industry producers understand the true cost of a recall, manage their economic risk and plan for financial recovery.”
“The Role of Food Safety Specialists” will be discussed by Gabriela A. Sandoval, agriculture food safety professional “who sustains relevancy in national and international food markets by creating, implementing, and maintaining food safety programs that comply with strict consumer-based schemes and governmental regulations.” She will speak on “competitive characteristics of buyer-driven third-party audits that couple with regulations generated by FDA’s FSMA rule-making.” Key to the conversation is, “Dry bulb onion research justifies the ‘die-off’ provision secured within FSMA’s produce rules. Consequently, what can bulb onion growers and shippers reasonably expect from this provision?”
Food photographer and nutritional scientist Lori Rice is slated to address “Check Your Device – Social Media Wants Your Attention!” Lori’s address will help attendees find “the right fit for social media in your business model and marketing plan,” discussing “how to make it work for you and the National Onion Association in promoting our combined efforts to educate consumers and get them excited about onions!”
Next in the speaker series will be Lauren Singh, manager of C.H. Robinson’s Western Growers Transportation Program Account Management Team, a unique program includes eight grower/shipper associations in North America. She will talk about “Supply Chain Technology: The Future is Here,” specifically addressing the issue of technology evolution and the fact we “are being pushed to become efficient at an extraordinary pace” with “digital freight matching, autonomous vehicles and blockchain technology all on the horizon.
Beth Brookhart Pandol, executive director of the Water Association of Kern County, CA, since 2011 and former ag journalist and communications director, will tackle “Kern County: Water 101.” Kern County, the number-one agriculture revenue producing county in the United States, “is an extraordinarily productive region” that competes for water with a variety of other industries. Beth will discuss “how the different interests of this highly prized ‘commodity’ are meshed with each other in the Southern San Joaquin Valley… [as] the nation watches (and follows) California…”
In addition to this exceptional speaker line-up, the NOA is also linking to a very special podcast from National Public Radio featuring Tom Deardorff of Deardorff Family Farms in Oxnard, CA. Tom addresses the critical issue of ag labor, looking at “not only who will work on our farms, but from where our food will come.” That link is https://www.npr.org/2018/05/03/607996811/worker-shortage-hurts-californias-agriculture-industry.
Speakers pictured in the featured image left to right: Tom Deardorff, Matt Bigham, and Lori Rice.
For more speaker photos and the NOA Speaker Sheet, download here: Bakersfield speakers