OGS educational sessions to explore sustainability reporting, organic plant health

A pair of educational sessions focused on the future of organic plant health and an examination of how to effectively promote sustainability reporting have been announced as part of the 2019 Organic Grower Summit educational program, slated for Dec. 4-5 in Monterey, CA.ogs

The two newly announced education sessions are part of an extensive OGS educational program designed to inform and engage organic growers, farmers and producers, and their service and supply chain partners. The third annual OGS is made possible by partners California Certified Organic Farmers and Organic Produce Network, and focused on providing information vital to organic farmers and ranchers, as well as an overview of the challenges and opportunities in the production of organic fresh food. 

The 50-minute educational sessions will be held Thursday, Dec. 5. One session, “Taking a Proactive Approach to Sustainability Reporting,” will discuss the role of sustainability and the related metrics in promoting responsible organic and agricultural practices.

Featured speakers for the session include Ze'ev Barylka, marketing director of Netafim USA; Kevin Warner, manager of sustainable agriculture for SCS Global Services; and Bryan Duarte, senior sourcing manager for Walmart. The session will be moderated by Nikki Rodini, founder and CEO of Measure to Improve.

“While organically grown is a valuable and sustainable approach to agriculture, Sustainability Surveys ask about all three P’s of Sustainability – People, Planet and Profit,” Rodini said. “This panel of experts will help answer the some of the common questions about Sustainability Reporting: ‘Why are customers asking for this information and what are they going to do with the information? What tools, metrics, and resources are available? And, how can growers get ahead of these requests, and tell a powerful, compelling and verifiable sustainability story?”

The other session, “What’s Next: Organic Plant Health,” will feature a panel of organic growing and production experts discussing the latest tools in plant health, biological controls, and leading-edge research. Panelists for the session include Steve Pavich, senior plant nutritionist for BioFlora; Dr. Danielle Kirkpatrick, global technical support coordinator at Trécé, Inc.; and Pete Anecito, director of ag operations at Mission Ranches. The session will be moderated by Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs for the Organic Trade Association 

Among other topics that will be addressed by organic industry leaders at OGS are the impact of technological advances in organic agriculture, strategies to reduce risk through organic soil health practices, the burgeoning hemp marketplace, organic cannabis production, and a data dive into organic food sales. Educational sessions at OGS are eligible and approved for continuing education units.

“Organic farmers and growers are always looking to learn more about innovative farming techniques, how to grow their businesses, and how to excel in the organic sector. The educational sessions at OGS cover the wide variety of topics that organic growers are interested in, and attendees leave inspired with new tactics to employ in their businesses,” said Kelly Damewood, CEO of CCOF.

OGS 2019 will be held at the Monterey Conference Center Monterey on Dec. 4-5. General and exhibitor registration is currently open with fewer than 10 booths remaining available. For more information on the third annual Organic Grower Summit, visit www.organicgrowersummit.com.

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