Salinas, CA, January 23, 2020 - The 2020 Annual Western Food Safety Summit in Salinas, Calif., has confirmed an expert lineup of industry and research experts as speakers for its May 6-7 event at Hartnell College – each focused on a theme of “Creating a Sustainable Food Safety Culture.”
Kicking off the first day as keynote speaker will be Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative Inc., which maintains a field-to-fork 5-Star Food Safety program. A former Produce Marketing Association director and chair, he is a founding member of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops.
The second day’s morning keynote will be delivered by Dennis Donohue, director of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, a premier agtech startup incubator based in Salinas. He also is a former longtime produce industry executive.
The two full days of presentations at the Center for Performing Arts on Hartnell’s main campus will feature 12 additional speakers, covering safety issues in equipment, communication, soil, FDA programs and a variety of water-related issues, including sampling and treatment of irrigated water.
A barbecue mixed-grill lunch will be served both days, along with a Networking and Sponsors’ Table, and Day One will conclude with a VIP reception from 4-5:30 p.m., hosted by Scheid Family Wines.
“This year’s summit program is extremely strategic, and that’s because this is an increasingly critical moment for food safety in the fresh fruits and vegetables industry,” said Western Food Safety Summit Chair Jess Hogg, who is quality assurance manager for Scheid Vineyards, based in Salinas.
“Our attendees will receive an enormous amount of timely, actionable information. They’ll be hearing from very thoughtful, knowledgeable individuals on subjects that will be right in their wheelhouse.”
The following is the full lineup of speakers for the 15th annual summit, in addition to the keynotes:
Wednesday, May 6
• “Sanitary Design of Packing Equipment,” Kim Snyder, director of food safety at Monterey Mushrooms Inc.
• “Technologies Available in Today’s Market and How to Increase Communication through Technology,” Bryan Banks, founder and COO of KipTraq.
• “Industry Ag Water Priorities and How the PMA is Involved,” Trever Suslow, vice president of food safety, Produce Marketing Association.
• “Ag Water – Ongoing Research at Arizona State University” (first of two parts), Channah Rock, associate professor of soil, water and environmental services and water quality specialist with University of Arizona Cooperative.
• “A Simplified Guide to Irrigation Water Sampling,” Greg Komar, technical director, California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
• “Procedures and Alternatives to Ensure Type B Water Can Become Type A,” Jim Byron, CEO, Xgenex.
• “Steps in Developing a Comprehensive Water Treatment Program,” Bob Mills, director of food safety, quality assurance and technical services at the Harbinger Group LLC.
• Panel discussion: Trevor Suslow, Channah Rock, Greg Komar, Jim Bryon, Bob Bills and Barry Eisenberg, food safety director for Miles Chemical Co.
Thursday, May 7
• “Organic Matter, Chlorine and Soil Microflora,” Jim Byron, CEO, Xgenex.
• “FDA Sampling Policy and Procedures,” Sonia Salas, assistant vice president for food safety and science at Western Grower.
• “Ag Water – Ongoing Research at Arizona State University” (second of two parts), Channah Rock, associate professor of soil, water and environmental services and water quality specialist with University of Arizona Cooperative.
• “Harvest Equipment Sanitation,” Justin Kerr, owner/manager of Factor IV Solutions LLC.
• “Food Safety Considerations of Pelletized Products,” Mike Menes, vice president of food safety and technology at True Organics Products.
• “Requirements for Better Food Safety,” Kari Valdes, director of food safety and quality assurance at Taylor Farms.
Registration for the summit is available online. The fee is $295 and can be paid with VISA or MasterCard.
For media inquiries:
Director of Comm. & Marketing
Cell (831) 206-9422
Sponsorship opportunities area available for a partner donation of $1,000. The sponsorship package includes significant exposure to Salinas Valley agricultural businesses on location throughout the event, a company logo on summit materials, one free registration to the summit and one sponsor’s booth in the common area. Exhibition times are 8-9 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Learn more on the event webpage.
For sponsorship or registration questions, please call (831) 755-6810.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901