Santa Cruz Tech Beat


PBS NewsHour Features Salinas AgTech Strategy

Source: Contributed

December 3, 2016 — Salinas, CA

The November 30, 2016, edition of the national PBS News Hour program featured an in-depth report on the promise of Salinas’ agtech-based economic development strategy, particularly in creating good jobs for local residents.

The story, by correspondent Cat Wise, describes the work of public and private partners to create an agtech ecosystem. The City believes the marriage of agricultural and technology will leverage the region’s existing strengths and global trends in a way likely to yield growth, well-paid jobs, and a healthier environment.

In California’s Salinas Valley, known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” a push is underway to expand agriculture’s adoption of technology. The mobile app HeavyConnect, for example, enables farm managers to track personnel and equipment efficiently. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports on how such innovation is providing new opportunities for the Valley’s largely Hispanic population. — PBS News Hour

Among those highlighted in the PBS piece are agtech startups Heavy Connect and SWIIM System, grower Tanimura & Antle, the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology, Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz, Hartnell College and CSUMB, and Hartnell/CSUMB computer science graduate Rivka Garcia, who now works for Heavy Connect:

One of those using her past experiences in her new career is HeavyConnect’s Rivka Garcia. She was born and raised in Salinas, and worked in a produce processing plant, before graduating earlier year from the CSin3 program.

Garcia is now using all her skills, including coding, to help make the company’s app more intuitive for those who will be using it.

The full story can be watched on the web at A transcript can also be found there.

PBS NewsHour reaches an average TV audience of more than a million, with millions more viewing its content on the web, Facebook, and YouTube.


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