2016 sessions will be posted in the near future. Take a look at our 2015 program.


Sponsored by Coldwell Solar 


Monday, November 16, 2015

8:00am-10:00am General Session (1.0 DPR CE (Other) applied for)

Three Important Challenges for California Ag

Farming is a challenging business in the best of times. Presenters in this session will discuss three particularly important challenges currently faced by California farmers and also implications for the future. They include: water availability and quality; access to affordable labor; and new federal air quality standards that may have significant effects on farming operations in the future, particularly in areas of the state where current air quality standards are being exceeded.

  • Dr. Jay Lund, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis
  • Bryan Little, Director Employment Policy, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento, CA
  • Nancy Levin,  Agriculture Specialist Air Rules Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, San Francisco, CA

10:00am-10:30am Break with Exhibitors

10:30am-12:30pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 DPR CE (Other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Management of Mealybugs, Spotted Winged Drosophilia, and the Latest Information on some Important Invasive Insect Pests

This session will provide the latest information on managing mealybugs in vineyards provided by Dr. Kent Daane, one of the foremost experts on the topic. Additionally, Dr. David Haviland will provide current information on the impacts and management of Spotted Winged Drosophila, which has spread rapidly throughout California and is causing significant problems for certain fruit crops. The session will end with Dr. Dave Headrick updating attendees on other recent invasive pests that pose a threat to California crops.

  • Dr. Kent Daane, Cooperative Extension Specialist, University of California Kearny Ag Center, Parlier, CA
  • David Haviland, Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension - Kern County, Bakersfield, CA
  • Dr. David Headrick, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

10:30am-12:30pm Breakout Session B  (1.0 DPR CE (Other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Floor Management in Perennial and Annual Cropping Systems

Floor management is a huge part of crop production. The goal of the session is to present an overview of floor management practices and detailed information on specific issues related to weed management, a very important component of floor management. Dr. Scott Steinmaus will discuss floor management in permanent crops, which has a significant influence on soil properties such as water percolation and organic matter content. Dr. Kurt Hembree will present on managing herbicide resistance, an issue that is quickly becoming critical in California cropping systems. The session will conclude with a grower panel discussing their ideas and opinions on effective floor management.

  • Dr. Scott Steinmaus, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Kurt Hembree, Weed Management Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative  Extension - Fresno County, CA
  • Grower Panel:
    • Fritz Helzer, Vineyard Manager, Mesa Vineyard Management, Templeton, CA
    • Sage Finch, Finch Ag Consulting, Inc., Arroyo Grande, CA
    • Launnie Ginn, Crops Technician, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall - Lunch Provided by Two Cooks Catering and Sponsored by Crop Production Services; Driscoll's; TGP West; Vineyard Industry Products

1:30pm-3:00pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 DPR CE (Other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Honey Bees, Native Bees, and California Agriculture

California farmers have long recognized the importance of honey bees to California agriculture. This awareness is growing among consumers of those crops and all of us have seen the extensive media coverage of the decline in health of the US honey bee population. This awareness and decline in honey bee health is resulting in calls by some for regulatory actions by US EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation on pesticides that have the potential to affect honey bees. Furthermore, research is showing that native bees can play an important role in crop pollination in California. The purpose of this session is to update attendees with an overview of the honey bee situation in the US, provide information on some pesticide-related regulatory changes that have already been made and could possibly be made in the future, discuss some best management practices farmers can use to ensure the continued health of honey bee colonies in their fields or in the region, and learn about the role of native bees in some important Central Coast and Southern California crops like peppers, blueberries and avocados.

  • Billy Synk, Director of Pollination Programs, Project Apis m., Paso Robles, CA
  • Dr. Ruben Alarcon, Associate Professor, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA
  • Dr. Brian Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of  Entomology & Nematology, University of California, Davis, CA

1:30pm-3:00pm Breakout Session B  (1.5 CCA applied for)

Sustainable Fertility Management

The recent passage and current implementation of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) for nitrogen management has put the spotlight on using a nutrient budgeting approach for crop nutrient management. The goal of this session is to remind growers and agricultural consultants the important processes and practices of fertility management of annual and perennial crops, discuss some of the specifics of the ILRP for nitrogen management, and present a nitrogen management decision support tool that has been developed by the Almond Board of California for almond growers and agriculture consultants to use in developing a nitrogen budget for an almond orchard as well as creating a report for the IRLP program.

  • Eric Overeem,  Coastal Regional Agronomist, Performance Agriculture
  • Parry Klassen, Executive Director, East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition, Dinuba, CA
  • Robert Curtis, Associate Director of Agriculture Affairs and Production Research, Almond Board of California

3:00pm-3:15pm Break with Exhibitors

3:15pm-4:45pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 DPR CE (Other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Disease Management in Vineyards - Powdery Mildew, Canker Diseases, and Bunch Rot 

This breakout session will present the latest information on three of the more important disease problems in California vineyards. Dr. Michelle Moyer from Washington State University will present on some very interesting research being done on powdery mildew monitoring, detection and management. A great deal of new information has been developed over the last 20 years on vineyard canker diseases, much of it based on work done in Dr. Kendra Baumgartner’s lab. Dr. Renaud Travadon will discuss this work in his presentation. Larry Bettiga will end the session by talking about the latest approaches to bunch rot management in California vineyards.

  • Dr. Renaud Travadon, Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA
  • Larry Bettiga, Viticulture Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension - Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties, Salinas, CA
  • Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor/Statewide Viticulture Extension Specialist, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Prosser, WA


3:15pm-4:45pm Breakout Session B  (1.5 CCA applied for)

Water Management in Permanent and Annual Cropping Systems

Water management is on everyone’s mind nowadays due to the record setting drought in California. However, water management has always been a critical component of any irrigated crop in the state. There is always something new to learn or important established practices that we need to be reminded about. The first presentation in the session will be about the importance of and how to measure the performance of an irrigation system, a practice everyone knows is important but may not be done on a regular enough basis. This will be followed by the latest practices in irrigation scheduling in annual and permanent crops.

  • Michael Cahn, Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension - Monterey County, Salinas, CA
  • Dr. Andrew McElrone, Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Davis, CA
  • Dr. Daniele Zaccaria, Agriculture Water Management Specialist, University of California Cooperative Extension - Davis


4:45pm-6:00pm Exhibitor's Showcase - Sponsored by G3; Harmon Systems; Paso Robles Polaris


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

8:00am-10:00am General Session (1.0 DPR CE (Other) applied for)

Sustainability Initiatives in the Agri-Food Supply Chain - What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Over the last 10 years, members of the agri-food supply chain, particularly buyers, retailers, and consumers have become more and more interested in how crops are grown on the farm. To meet this demand for transparency, several sustainable farming initiatives have been established to document practices as well as some metrics for important inputs like water, energy and nutrients. It is important for farmers and others involved in decision making on the farm, such as Pest Control Advisors and other agricultural consultants, to know about these initiatives, why they were developed, and how they might impact farming. In this session, Andrew Arnold will provide attendees with an overview of the more important sustainable farming initiatives and representatives of two initiatives will provide a detailed view of their respective programs.

  • Andrew Arnold, Sustainability Senior Associate, SureHarvest, Soquel, CA
  • Dr. Daniel Sonke, Manager of Agriculture Sustainability Programs, Campbell's Soup Co.- Agriculture Sustainability Programs
  • Georgiann Miller, QA Department Manager, Sysco


10:00am-10:30am Break with Exhibitors

10:30am-12:30pm Breakout Session A (1.5 DPR CE (Other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Virus Management in California Vineyards

Viruses have been and continue to be a very vexing pest problem for California winegrape growers and winemakers. The recent identification of Red Blotch associated virus and its distribution in vineyards is a great example. It has been the topic of some heated conversations in the wine industry due to the high value of winegrapes and the damage Red Blotch is causing in some vineyards as well as the fact that the virus was not identified until recently yet has been in vineyards for a very long time. Furthermore, some misunderstandings about it have been circulating among some growers and winemakers. The goal of this session is to set the record straight on Red Blotch associated virus in California vineyards. Dr Deborah Golino of UC Davis’s Foundation Plant Services will provide an overview of Red Blotch, John Duarte will present the problem from the nursery industries perspective, Josh Kress will discuss what California Department of Food and Agriculture is doing about the problem, and John Crossland will present a grower’s perspective on the issue.

  • Dr. Deborah Golino, Director, Foundation Plant Services, University of California, Davis, CA
  • John Duarte, President and CEO, Duarte Nursery Inc., Hughson, CA
  • Joshua Kress, Program Supervisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture - Plant Health, Sacramento, CA
  • John Crossland, Owner & President, Vineyard Professional Services, Inc., Templeton, CA


10:30am-12:30pm Breakout Session  B 

Measure-to-Manage - If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It

One of the core goals of sustainable farming is to strive to continuously improve one’s practices and performance over time. A rule of thumb that will help a farmer achieve this goal is, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” In other words, if the goal is improvement in a practice or performance, a benchmark must be established so some time in the future it can be used to determine if improvement has or has not occurred. The goal of this session is to review the measure-to-manage approach to farming, present to the attendees some of the tools available to a farmer for capturing data and summarizing it, and present a case study of a farm that has put measure-to-manage into practice.

  • Dr. Daniel Sonke, Manager of Agriculture Sustainability Programs, Campbell's Soup Co.- Agriculture Sustainability Programs
  • David Sypnieski, President, Athena Intelligence, Inc, Sacramento, CA
  • Shawn Veysey, Director of Viticulture, Scheid Vineyards 


12:30pm-1:00pm Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall - Boxed Lunches Provided by Two Cooks Catering Available for Pre-Order

1:00pm-4:00pm General Session (3.0 DPR CE (Laws & Regs), 3.0 CCA applied for)

Laws & Regulations 

The Laws & Regulations Session will address significant new changes to regulations regarding buffer zones, sensitive areas, and new closed system requirements.

  • Janice Campbell, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Peggy Byerly, Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisory), Department of Pesticide Regulation, Sacramento, CA
  • Amy Wolfe, Executive Director, AgSafe, Modesto, CA


4:00pm Closing Remarks and Adjourn


Check back soon to discover the latest additions to the program!