Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, To Headline Fifth-Annual Forbes AgTech Summit In Salinas, CA

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Salinas, CA – Forbes announced that Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will headline the fifth-annual Forbes AgTech Summit from June 26-27, 2019. The event will convene the world’s biggest agricultural leaders, investors and entrepreneurs looking to find solutions for some of the world’s most critical food and agricultural challenges.

Other key speakers include Beth Ford, President & CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; John Hartnett, Founder & CEO, SVG Partners and THRIVE AgTech; Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers Association; Ertharin Cousin, Former Ambassador to the UN World Food Programme & Distinguished Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University and Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of Forbes.

Held on historic Main Street Salinas – where the Silicon and Salinas Valleys meet – the Summit will cultivate authentic conversations, foster lively debates and create rich networking opportunities. Attendees will hear from preeminent industry leaders who are disrupting the food and agricultural industries and finding new and innovative solutions to the growing challenges caused by the industry’s rapid transformation. In addition, participants will also have the opportunity to experience first-hand technology innovations that are revolutionizing the global agricultural ecosystem.

The Innovation Showcase, presented by Western Growers, will feature 35 of the most exciting agtech startups offering a wide variety of solutions to the challenges of achieving higher crop yields and less food waste. Showcase presenters include Root AI, Bear Flag Robotics, SWIIM, iTradeNetwork, GroGuru, Beekeeper’s Naturals and more.

“New technologies continue to transform the food industry and these rapid changes have led to the rise of new opportunities in the ag space,” said Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes. “Advancements such as blockchain and automation are disrupting the industry. That’s why the Forbes AgTech Summit will provide participants with insights and analyses they need to take advantage of growing challenges and reimagine the industry they once knew.”

The Forbes AgTech Summit brings insights from prominent industry leaders who will explore topics at the heart of technology, entrepreneurialism and agriculture. Speakers include:

  • Minos Athanassiadis, Business Area Director, Trimble/HarvestMark
  • Julie Baker, Cofounder & COO, Ursa Space Systems
  • Wade Barnes, CEO, Farmers Edge
  • Soren Bjorn, President, Driscoll’s of the Americas
  • Mark Byrne, President & CEO, ProteoSense
  • Xiong Chang, Cofounder & CEO, Tensorfield Agriculture
  • Ertharin Cousin, Former Ambassador to the UN World Food Programme & Distinguished Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University
  • Dr. Fiona Edwards-Murphy, Cofounder & CEO, ApisProtect
  • Mike Federle, CEO, Forbes
  • Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes
  • Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Forbes
  • Beth Ford, President & CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
  • Hank Giclas, Senior Vice President – Science, Technology, and Strategic Planning, Western Growers
  • Mayor Joe Gunter, City of Salinas
  • Krysta Harden, Executive Vice President of Global Environmental Strategy at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy & Former Deputy Secretary, USDA
  • Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Ken Jackson, CEO, Intelliconn
  • Timothy “Paule” Jackson, Cofounder & Director, Detroit Hives
  • Bill Jennings, Chief Technology Officer, FarmX
  • Miku Jha, Founder & CEO, AgShift
  • George Kellerman, CEO & Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Ventures
  • John Kastl, Sr. Director, Innovation and Intellectual Property, Valley Irrigation, Valmont Industries
  • Alex Knapp, Associate Editor, Science, Forbes
  • Allison Kopf, Founder & CEO, Agrilyst
  • Arama Kukutai, Cofounder & Partner, Finistere Ventures
  • Willard Lewallen, Ph.D, Superintendent & President, Hartnell Community College District
  • Maggie McGrath, Editor, ForbesWomen
  • Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers Association
  • Stuart Oda, Founder & CEO, Alesca Life
  • Matt O’Hayer, Founder & Executive Chairman, Vital Farms
  • Thomas Palomares, Cofounder & Chief Technology Officer, FarmWise
  • James Paterson, Cofounder & CEO, Aerobotics
  • Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture
  • Joe Pezzini, President & CEO, Ocean Mist Farms
  • Chris Rotticci, Cofounder, Automated Harvesting LLC
  • Annie Ryu, Founder & CEO, The Jackfruit Company
  • Karen Schuett, Cofounder, CEO & Chief Technology Officer, Livestock Water Recycling
  • Marian Singer, Cofounder & CEO, Wellntel
  • Jason Smith, President & CEO, Smith Family Wines
  • Victor Smith, President and CEO, JVSmith Companies
  • Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer, Food & Ag, Forbes
  • Carly Stein, Founder & CEO, Beekeeper’s Naturals
  • Greg Steltenpohl, Cofounder & CEO, Califia Farms
  • Ellie Symes, CEO, The Bee Corp
  • Tashia Tucker, Cofounder & CEO, Olombria
  • Tara Vander Dussen, Environmental Scientist & Dairy Farmer, New Mexico Milkmaid
  • Diane Wetherington, CEO, iFoodDecisionSciences
  • Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
  • Jewel Zimmer, Founder, Juna

SVG Partners and its Thrive Accelerator is the Founding Partner. The City of Salinas is the Host Partner. Western Growers is the Innovation Showcase Sponsor. AgriNovus Indiana, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Taylor Farms, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Merced, and Yamaha Motor Ventures are the Partner Sponsors. Califia Farms, HarvestMark, a Division of Trimble, and Santa Clara University are the Supporting Sponsors. Business Leader Sponsors include Driscoll’s of the Americas, Hartnell College, iFoodDecisionSciences, Motivo and Rabobank. Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is the Official Dairy Partner. Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the Official Travel Partner.

For more information, please visit: 2019 Forbes AgTech Summit – Salinas.

The Forbes AgTech franchise will also return to Indianapolis September 18-19, 2019. For more information, please visit: 2019 Forbes AgTech Summit – Indianapolis.

To join the conversation on social use: #ForbesAgTech

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