March 16, 2018 – -The Almond Alliance of California and our Seminars Sponsor, Western Growers Insurance Services, has strategically designed our 2018 convention seminars to update and educate our members on the pressing issues affecting the almond industry. The convention will be held May 1-3, 2018 in Monterey.  The featured seminars are:

Wednesday May 2

Byproducts: Managing biomass and organic byproducts continues to be a major issue for the almond industry. As we step up research efforts to find alternate uses for almond byproducts, convention attendees will hear from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service facility in Albany, bioproducts research leader, Dr. Bill Ortz.

FSMA: Attorney Rachael D. Spiegel of Faegre Baker Daniels is set to provide attendees with a detailed overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act and foodborne illness litigation. Spiegel will delve into FSMA’s minimum standards for safe production, as well as discuss how the Foreign Supplier Verification rule will affect specialty crop growers. The session will wrap up with real-life examples of how food safety errors could result in civil ligation and criminal prosecution and tips on how to properly manage contamination outbreaks.

Sustainability: Wednesday’s agenda continues with a presentation by Almond Board of California (ABC). To quote Almond Alliance’s Chairman Brad Craven, “The word sustainability means different things to different people.” Attendees will hear what sustainability means to ABC and how ABC staff and committees are continually investing in research regarding sustainable programs, practices and procedures to insure the longevity and validity of the almond industry.

Almond Alliance Update: The Almond Alliance Annual Business Meeting will close out day one of the educational portion of the convention. Newly named President Elaine Trevino will address members with her first ever annual address summarizing the association’s annual activities and highlighting her plans for the association in the future.

Thursday, May 3

Employment Law: On Thursday morning, employers will benefit from a presentation by Stacy Henderson, partner at Terpstra Henderson, A Professional Corporation. Henderson has gained a reputation as an outstanding civil litigation and transactional attorney, specializing in the areas of employment law, corporate law and public agency law. Utilizing her expertise, Henderson will be counseling members on how to prepare for seasonal workforce during her presentation, “Getting Ready for Season”.

Tax Reform: For over 50 years, K·Coe Isom has helped nut growers, producers, and manufacturers achieve financial prosperity through tax strategies, including farm income averaging, cost segregation, depreciation, and IC-DISC and R&D credits. They will provide an overview of the impacts of national tax reform on the industry and discuss how to be prepared for financial success heading into the new crop year.

Water Policy: Thursday’s seminars will include a presentation focusing on a significant issue impacting California agriculture—water. Ellen Hanak is director of the non partisan Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) . Under her leadership, the center has become a critical unbiased source of information and guidance for natural resource management in California. She has authored dozens of reports, articles, and books on water policy, including Managing California’s Water. Her research is frequently profiled in the national media, and she participates in briefings, conferences, and interviews throughout the nation and around the world.

Advocacy Panel: Our 2018 Seminar agenda will conclude with a panel focused on the latest in state politics moderated by Almond Alliance’s Manager of Government Relations, Andrea York. The discussion will cover a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues our industry faces at both the state and federal levels. Later that evening, the Almond Industry PAC will host a legislative cocktail reception providing guests the opportunity to get social with the legislators and influencers that are engaged with our political efforts.

Registration will be open until March 22, 2018. Late registration will be available starting March 23, 2018 *late registrants will be subject to corresponding fees. For more information click HERE.