EconAlliance fifth annual agriculture forum Feb. 3 will look at innovation in industry

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Jan. 23—"Agriculture: The Future in Focus" is the theme and agricultural human resources and safety officers will be the focus of recognition for the fifth annual EconAlliance "Growing Possibilities" Agriculture Forum set for Thursday, Feb. 3, in Santa Maria.

The event will feature agricultural leaders speaking about innovation in the industry, two panel discussions and an update on agriculture in Santa Barbara County, an EconAlliance spokesman said.

The keynote speech, "Ag Tech: Lens to the Future," will be given by Walt Duflock, the Western Growers Association vice president for innovation, and Lottie Martin, the county's deputy agricultural commissioner, will deliver the update on the local industry.

Duflock will moderate an innovation panel discussion featuring Tim MacDonald, partner in Guadalupe Hardware and a sales representative for Robocrop; Matt Hart, technology engineer with Bonipak Produce and Betteravia Farms; and Frank McConachy, president and chief executive officer of Ramsay Highlander.

"Stories from the Field" by Roy R. Kilgore Jr., general manager of San Ysidro Farms, will offer a look at adaptations and innovations made by local growers.

Participants have yet to be announced for an issues panel, but the moderator will be Claire Wineman, president and chief executive officer of the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The forum will begin with check-in and coffee at 8:15 a.m., followed by the program at 9 p.m. and lunch and networking at 12:30 p.m. at the Radisson, 3455 Skyway Drive, at the Santa Maria Public Airport.

Masks will be required.

Individual registration is $60, with tables for 10 available for $600. Sponsorships range from $1,000 to $2,500, with a deadline of Jan. 25.

Human resources and safety officers can be nominated for recognition, registration can be completed, sponsorships can be arranged and forum details can be found by visiting

For more information, contact the EconAlliance at 805-254-4479 or