6 February 2018, Comments: 0

Recap of EconAlliance 2018 Ag Forum “Growing Possibilities”


Ag Forum Chairperson Lorena Chavez

On Friday, February 2, 2018, nearly 300 northern Santa Barbara County agriculture and economic stakeholders gathered at the Santa Maria Fairpark for the third annual “Growing Possibilities” Ag Forum (held previously in 2014 in Lompoc, 2016 in Santa Maria). The event was organized by an Ag Forum Planning Committee led by 2018 Chairperson Lorena Chavez, DL Farm Management and L&G Farming, past-chair, California Strawberry Commission. The biannual Ag Forum is coordinated through the EconAlliance Ag Initiative Team, co-led by George Adam, Innovative Produce and Steve Jordan, Baroda Farms.

The 2018 Ag Forum Keynote presentation Envisioning an Agricultural Renaissance was given by Orange County grower A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture. Other speakers and participants included: Santa Barbara County Ag Commissioner Cathy Fisher on Agriculture: 2017 Revisited, Roland Fumasi, PhD, giving a “deep dive” presentation into the strawberry sector (Forces Impacting Central Coast Strawberry Industry), and Moderator Claire


EconAlliance Ag Initiative CoLead
George Adam

Wineman, president, Grower-Shipper Assn. SB and SLO Counties leading a panel discussion (Ag Opportunities & Challenges) with panelists Alexandra Allen (Main Street Produce/Freshway Farms), Carolyn O’Donnell (California Strawberry Commission), Andrew Rice (Reiter Affiliated Companies), and Jim Stollberg (Growers Ag Labor/Maverick Farming Company).

The Ag Forum celebrates Northern Santa Barbara County agriculturists, and helps educate the public about the ag community and its many benefits to the County (including that of being the County’s #1 economic sector!) since Northern Santa Barbara County agriculture is characterized mostly by family farms, each Ag Forum event also recognizes the legacy and contributions of a particular North County ag sector and the pioneer families that developed it. The 2018 Ag Forum recognized the Strawberry Sector and the pioneer families with 35 or more years in continuous strawberry production.

See links below for presentations, Awardee stories, and other 2018 Ag Forum materials!

Click to View 2018 Ag Forum Program
Click to View Ag 2017 Revisited – Ag Commissioner Cathy Fisher
Click to View Keynote Envisioning Ag Renaissance – A.G. Kawamura
Click to View Rabobank Central Coast Strawberry Sector Analysis – Ronald Fumasi
Click to View 2018 Growing Possibilities Ag Forum Closing – Lorena Chavez

Lorena at podium Ag Forum 2018 Steve Pepe welcome-veggies foreground    Start of lunch reception    Tractor and Stakebed truck-2018 Ag Forum    Soilmoisture booth 1    Paul Allen with award 2018 Ag Forum    Smiling A.G. Kawamura sharing story    SM Chamber table-other attendees    Side view of ag products    Paul in Food Bank booth    Reception guests    Rabobank exhibit 2018 Ag Forum    Paul Allen with Mayor Patino    Paul Allen awardee 2018 Ag Forum    Paul & Chrissy Allen w-Mayor Patino    Panelist Andy Rice speaking-OConnell Allen    Pacific Premier Bank table    Miguel Chavez table    Miguel Chavez with Mayor Patino    Miguel Chavez awardee 2018 Ag Forum    Miguel Chavez at podium    Luis Chavez-Mayor Patino - Miguel Chavez    Mayor Patino welcome    Luis Chavez awardee 2018 Ag Forum    Luis Chavez at podium    Keynote Kawamura-CSC O'Donnelly at Strawberry Booth    Les Graulich plus two  2018 Ag Forum    Keynoter Kawamura at microphone    HN Chavez w-attendee    Glenn Morris et al at table    George Adam-farming in NoCo    George Adam giving welcome 2018 Ag Forum    George Adam facing audience    Farm Supply exhibit visitors    Fumasi at podium    Food Bank booth    Farm Supply booth    Fisher speaking-event centerpiece foreground    Fisher speaking    Fisher - 2017 ag update    Farm Credit West exhibit Farm Credit West shaking hands Farm Credit West distributing matls Event Chairperson Lorena Chavez at podium Donahue Trucking Center Engel and Gray exhibit Daren Gee and son with Ottsy Early arrivals 2018 Ag Forum Engel and Gray booth Cornucopeia 2018 Ag Forum Daren Gee and Mayor Patino Daren Gee 2018 Ag Forum awardee Coffee station Ag Forum 2018 CalCoast tractor-Donahue truck displays Challenges & Opportunities Panel CA Strawberry Commission booth w-pp Bill Moncovich Cal Giant 2018 Ag Forum Bill M Beginning of lunch reception 2018 Ag Forum Audience side shot Audience and stage 2018 Ag Forum Attendees - 2018 Ag Forum Alexandra Allen panelist speaking-Stollberg-Rice also Angelica Gutierrez-other attendees AHC exhibit w-Holly Nolan Chavez Ag Commissioner Cathy Fisher AHC 2018 Ag Forum exhibit Aera and Donahue trucking booths Aera exhibit-Rust Thomas Oakley Adam-Coleman-Kawamura 2018 Ag Forum audience Abel Maldonado Sr awardee 2018 Ag Forum Abel Maldonado Sr w-Frank Patti & Mayor Patino Abel Maldonado Sr rcvg award 2018