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AgTech Innovation Symposium

AgTech Innovation Symposium


Event Details


Event Details

This symposium will focus on the technologies, strategies and companies that enable best practices for sustainability, energy efficiency, water efficiency and responsible development in the agriculture, including online tools, drones, mapping, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and the impact of an expanding cannabis industry.

AgTech Innovation Symposium Sponsors:

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8:00 – 8:25 Registration & Networking
8:25 – 8:30 Welcome
8:30 – 8:50 Setting the Stage: A Look at AgTech Policy, Challenges and Drivers
Dave Puglia, EVP, Western Growers Association
8:50 – 9:10 The Reality Behind Climate Smart Agriculture
A.G. Kawamura, Founding Member Orange County Produce, LLC
9:10 – 9:25 Managing Farmland with Data: an Urban Water Agency's Perspective
Lauren Steely, Resource Specialist, Water Resources Group, Metropolitan Water District
9:25 – 9:55 Precision Tech: Optimization
Eileen Licitra, Director of Product Marketing ClearAg, Iteris
Steve Gitlin, VP Corporate Strategy, Investor Relations & Communications, AeroVironment, Inc.
9:55 – 10:10 Break
10:10 – 10:50 Energy & Water Tech: Increased Efficiency and Reduced Cost
Hank Giclas, Sr. VP, Strategic Planning, Science & Technology, Western Growers Assn. (moderator)
Manu Pillai, CEO, WaterBit
Brian Curtis, CEO, Concentric Power
Aaron Enz, VP Business Development, Alta Energy
10:50 - 11:10 Energy Efficiency in Indoor Agriculture
Gary Corlett, Field Engineer, Southern California Edison
11:30 – 11:50 Cannabis: Growing, Policy and Investment
Miguel Motta, President & CEO, Cultivation Technologies, Inc.
11:50 – 12:30 Closing Remarks; Networking and Tour of UCI Applied Innovation

About Our Speakers:

 

A.G. Kawamura, Owner / Partner, Orange County Produce, LLC

A.G. Kawamura is a third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County. He is the former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010). He is co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a non-profit organization that collaborates with farmers, ranchers, foresters and stakeholders to implement climate smart land management practices and strategies. He currently serves on several boards and committees including: The Ag Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative; the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), a policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences’ Natural Resource Council; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; American Farmland Trust; The 25x’25 Alliance, a national alliance of renewable energy stakeholders; External Advisory Board for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at U.C. Davis. He is a former chairman and current board member of Western Growers. As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Through his company, Orange County Produce, LLC, he is engaged in building an exciting, interactive 21st century 100 acre agricultural showcase at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. A.G. was elected to the board in 1994, and served as chairman in 2002.

 

Darren L. Haver, Ph.D., Water Resources Advisor, UC ANR

Darren Haver currently serves as the Water Resources Advisor, County Director for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Orange County, Center Director of the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, and the Assistant Vice Provost of Director of the Research and Extension Center System since January 2018. His research and extension efforts focus on protecting local water resources and water quality through pollutant source identification and movement, identification and implementation of pollutant mitigation management methods and practices, and reduced water consumption in agricultural, urban, and natural environments. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside.

 

Dave Puglia, Executive Vice President, Western Growers

Dave Puglia joined Western Growers in 2005, leading the association’s state government affairs team and media communications staff on behalf of the association’s 2,500 members in California, Arizona and Colorado. He was promoted to Executive Vice President in July 2015 in recognition of expanded responsibilities for Western Growers’ operations and his extensive work on water policy issues affecting western agriculture. Prior to joining Western Growers, Puglia was Vice President of APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs consulting firm. During his six-year tenure, he helped build the firm’s Sacramento practice, providing strategic advice and issues management expertise on public policy issues to numerous corporations and industry associations. Puglia previously served for seven years in the California Attorney General’s Office, first as Press Secretary and later as Director of Public Affairs and Communications. In addition to serving as chief spokesperson for the state Department of Justice, Puglia directed the agency’s public policy research and was a senior adviser to Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren. Puglia has also served in senior roles on three statewide political campaigns in California. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center and is a member of the board of directors of SWIIM System, Ltd©., a Denver-based irrigation management company. A native of Sacramento, Puglia earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, in Government-Journalism. Dave and his wife Lezlie, and their twin sons, live in Orange County, California.

 

Eileen Licitra, Director of Product Marketing, Iteris ClearAg

Eileen Licitra joined Iteris’s Agriculture and Weather Analytics Division in January 2016 as Director of Product Marketing for the ClearAg Product Portfolio. She has over 15 years of experience in product marketing for technology and media companies. In her role with Iteris she focuses on go-to-market planning, product positioning, and sales enablement to deliver solutions that help customers improve product performance, streamline costs, and build customer loyalty and market share.

 

Gary Corlett, PE, CEM, CWEP, Southern California Edison

Gary has 39 years of engineering experience in the commercial, industrial, agricultural and public sectors. He is a licensed professional engineer, a Certified Energy Manager and a Certified Water Energy Professional. For the past 9 years, Gary has been working for Southern California Edison serving business customers by identifying energy efficiency opportunities and assisting them with obtaining incentives. Gary is a subject matter expert on Energy Efficiency for Indoor Agriculture.

 

Henry L. (Hank) Giclas, Senior Vice President Science & Technology, Strategic Planning, Western Growers

Henry L. (Hank) Giclas has worked for Western Growers since 1990 concentrating on the science and technology issues facing agriculture. Science and Technology addresses food safety programs, pesticide and chemical registration, policy issues and environmental programs including water and air quality issues. Under Hanks leadership WG works to ensure sound science and useful technology drives industry advancement, solutions and government policy. Since August 2003, Hank has directed strategic planning for the association. Today, Hank serves as Senior Vice President Strategic Planning, Science and Technology for Western Growers and is actively developing association leadership in the areas of sustainability, food safety, food security, crop production and protection as well as assisting in the implementation of the association’s strategic plan.

 

Lauren Steely, Water Resource Management Group, Metropolitan Water District

Lauren Steely is a water resources analyst and data scientist with a passion for turning data into policy. Her work focuses on the science and economics of urban and agricultural water use in the western U.S. She received an MS from UC Santa Barbara, where she participated in the Sustainable Water Markets program at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She tweets at @MadreDeZanjas.

Manu Pillai, Founder, WaterBit, Inc.

Manu Pillai is founder of WaterBit, Inc., focused on sensing and control systems for commercial  agriculture. WaterBit has an emerging portfolio of connectivity products, connected sensors and application software focused on automated irrigation systems.  Over the 25 years prior to WaterBit, Manu worked in consumer, industrial and telco grade electronic systems and software from design to deployment. Manu has led or been a key team member in the definition, development and manufacturing of over 100 products to the global market. On the business side, he has also helped promote large scale software and neural networks applied to learning systems.  Manu has also started 3 other companies, and been involved in the startup, reboot and growth of other firms. Technical domains include EDA software to fabless semiconductors to engineering services across silicon, systems and software. Product experience includes automotive and military image capture systems, low latency- high capacity storage systems, GSM networks and additional systems. Roles have included executive leadership to product ownership to business development, in the US, East Asia, South Asia and the EU. Manu has a BE(EE) from University College, Dublin, Ireland and an MBA from Santa Clara University, California. He is also father, husband, and head weed-puller of the backyard. He is a member of the IEEE, a strong believer in California, the positive impact of immigration, reduced regulatory burdens, and the importance of voting.

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