JANUARY 26, 2022

Join Western Growers and
CA Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary
Karen Ross for a special industry event!

DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF 
TECH-SAVVY AG WORKERS

Imperial Valley College
380 E. Aten Rd., Imperial, CA 92251

Registration for this event has come to a close. If you have any additional questions please reach out to Dennis Donohue at ddonohue@wga.com.

The AgTechX Ed Summit at Imperial Valley College will be comprised of 3 panels covering topics including: industry issues and skill identification; education and workforce development strategies; and current and future workforce needs on the farm. 

This event is part of the AgTechX Ed Initiative – a statewide effort, led by Western Growers and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, to cultivate a future workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate emerging on-farm technology. 

Register for the event to help us develop the skills of tomorrow TODAY!

For more information please contact
Dennis Donohue
Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology
c: 
(831) 594-4883   |   f: (831) 751-3580

Karen Ross 
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

1:00PM
Welcome

Lennor M. Johnson, Ed.D. 
President 

Imperial Valley College

2:45PM
Networking Break
3:15PM
Panel: Chief Executive Officers
4:00PM
Fireside Chat with

Brandon Grimm 
General Manager, Grower RelationsGrimmway Farms

Juli Jessen 
CEO 

Gowan Group

1:20PM
Panel: Industry Issues and Skill Identification

Charlie Andersen 
CEO 

Augean Robotics

Adam Bergman 
Managing Director

Clean Energy Transition Group at Citi

Pauline Canteneur 
Head Of Business Development 

FarmWise

Erica Riel-Carden  
MBA Lecturer & Board Member 

Center for Food Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Santa Clara University

Josh Ruiz 
Vice President of Ag Operations 

Church Brothers Farms

Amy Tomlinson 
Director of Project Development
 
Concentric Power

Moderator

2:00PM
Panel: Education and Workforce Development Strategies
Industry Issues and Skill Identification

Jairo Diaz 
Director 

UC Desert Research and Extension Center

Tanya Hodges, EdD 
Regional Academic Programs Manager 

University of Arizona-Yuma

TBD 
TBD 

TBD

Adam Bergman  
Managing Director

Citi - Global Head of AgTech

Michael G. Kanyi, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Agriculture
Imperial Valley College

TBD 
TBD 

TBD

TBD 
TBD 

TBD

Moderator

Karen Ross
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, will have an in-depth discussion on how to cultivate homegrown talent through partnerships between government, industry and academia. 
5:00PM
6:00PM
TO
Closing Reception
The reception will include: 
  • A showcase with Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology residents
  • A chance to visit Secretary Ross and panelists
  • Appetizers and snacks 

Jack Vessey 
President
 
Vessey & Company, Inc.

Lawrence Cox 
Owner
Coastline Family Farms

With special introduction from

Moderator

Ethy Levy 
Impact Israel Founder and 

co-Founder Bridge Hub

FEATURING

KAREN ROSS was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 9, 2019, by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

In re-appointing Secretary Ross, Governor Newsom cited her unmatched leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally and in California, in areas including environmental stewardship, climate change adaptation and trade. 

Secretary Ross was initially appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2011.

Leadership from companies throughout the region will delve into strategies and tactics for building a sufficient workforce.
Educators and academics will detail current and future education and workforce development strategies.
Agtech entrepreneurs, global tech experts and farmers will provide guidance on the hard and soft skills needed to thrive in the current workforce.
An event welcome by leadership from Imperial Valley College and the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology.
More panelists to be announced. Check back for updates.
More panelists to be announced. Check back for updates.

David Lopez 
Immediate Past Western Region Vice-President 

FFA, Holtville, CA

Hernan Hernandez 
Executive Director 

California Farmworker Foundation

Marisa Alcorta 
Apprenticeship Program Manager 

Center for Land-Based Learning

Briana Layfield 
President 
Ag-Bee LLC 
Contractor | RANTIZO

Mike Dentinger 
Director of AG OEM Development
 
Trimble Agriculture

J.P. LaBrucherie 
President
 
LaBrucherie Produce

Elia Scudiero, Ph.D.
Research Agronomist in Environmental Sciences 

University of California, Riverside

Jessica Wojtysiak 
Dean of Instruction

Bakersfield College