Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Drones, tractors and robots: Salinas Valley addresses evolving industry at Ag Tech Summit

Cristian Ponce
The Californian

March 29, 2018 — Salinas, CA

(Photo above: A scene from the 5th Salinas Valley Ag Tech Summit at Hartnell College. Credit: Amy Wu)

Hundreds gathered to learn about drone use in farming, the latest innovations in tractor technology, the proposed California Farm Bill and more during the fifth annual Salinas Valley Ag Tech Summit Wednesday at Hartnell College.

The summit reflects the ongoing evolution of a multi-billion dollar industry serving as the backbone of the Salinas economy and highlights the potential growth of technological advancements in agriculture for the area.

“We’re helping with more economic development of the area,” said Ashton Clarke, philanthropy officer at Hartnell College. “Obviously agriculture is the predominant industry so we want to make sure that the sponsors want to be out there, they want to help cultivate that, help grow that and help the next generation of agricultural leaders. We want the next agricultural technologies coming from Salinas and not somewhere else.”

Clarke said the vision of the event is to highlight all the innovation occurring within the Salinas Valley with people trying to create the next great idea for the industry. Clarke said that while there is some influence from Silicon Valley, he estimates that 70 percent of new technologies at the event were from the Salinas Valley.

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