New this Year: Innovation Tech Pitch
Register by Feb. 5 for Early Rates
The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association’s (CFVGA) Fourth Annual Conference Feb. 19-20, 2018, will feature experts on labor and food safety, both primary topics of concern to Colorado produce growers. In addition, the two-day event will culminate in a Tech Pitch, showcasing innovations to help the produce industry work more efficiently and to solve some its most pressing challenges.
Discussing fair labor practices will be Reginald Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange. Brown was involved throughout the evolution of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, which curtailed the damaging impact to U.S. tomato growers from the dumping of Mexican grown tomatoes on the U.S. market.
Also, traveling from out of state to present at the CFVGA conference is Laura Strawn, assistant professor and Extension specialist of produce safety from Virginia Tech. She will address procedures, policies, and practices that produce growers, packers, shippers and processors should implement as preventive measures to reduce the risk of Listeria monocytogenes in their operations.
A CFVGA selection committee chose four technology innovators out of a wider field of highly-qualified companies and inventors to participate in a Shark-Tank-type presentation. Innovators who will present at 2:40, Feb. 20 include:
- Augean – commercialization of “Burro,” a robotic cart that can be programmed to follow a harvest crew and deliver product to a collection point
- Impello – Tribus™, liquid plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria that serves as a pathogenic inoculator
- Tortuga – robotic harvesting, inventory tracking and data collection enabling precision agriculture
- Visugen – early detection, on-site water monitoring to comply with FDA regulations
The conference will also feature speakers on water, soil health, organic and conventional disease control, recall readiness and produce marketing. In addition, the always popular grower-buyer networking session will take place Feb. 19, 3-5pm. Three hundred are expected to attend, including over 35 exhibitors and more than 40 of the most innovative produce growers in Colorado. More information on the CFVGA conference is available at: https://cfvga.org Conference rates go up after Feb. 5.
The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.