Hundreds attend 2017 AgTech Summit in Salinas


SALINAS — Forbes Magazine hosted the 2017 AgTech Summit June 28 and 29. This annual invitation-only gathering was hosted by some of the largest names in the industry. DuPont Pioneer, Bayer, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Taylor Farms, Western Growers, Hartnell College and the City of Salinas were among the sponsors.

This year the keynote speaker was Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former Secretary of Homeland Security.

Other notable speakers were Brian Antle, Harvest Manager, Tanimura and Antle; Sammy Duda, Vice President, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.; Lorri A. Koster, Chairman and CEO, Mann Packing Company; Vic Smith, CEO, JV Smith Companies; Javier Zamora, Owner, JSM Organics; Patrick Zelaya, Founder, HeavyConnect; and Bruce Taylor, Founder and CEO, Taylor Farms.

“What we set out to do was to create dialogue and stimulate interaction between growers, businesses and technology,” Taylor said. “We’ve accomplished that. Each year it gets better and better.”

The Summit included tours of Taylor Farms state-of-the-art processing plant as well as Grupo Flor’s cannabis cultivation facility in addition to discussion panels, such as “The Great Drought: Problem Solved?,” “Growing Entrepreneurs in Ag” and the “Farmer of the Future.”

The Official Wine Partner was Scheid Family Wines of Greenfield.

There were more than 700 attendees to this year’s AgTech Summit. Chairman of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes, was happy to attend, saying it was a great way to celebrate Forbes’s 100th anniversary, and was looking forward to next year’s Summit.