Santa Cruz Tech Beat


IBM to Present on Blockchain for Food Safety at Ag Tech Summit


January 31, 2019 — Salinas, CA

(Photo above: Susanne Livingston, IBM Food TrustTM Offering Director, will talk about block chain technology for food safety at this year’s Salinas Valley Ag Tech Summit. Contributed.)

Suzanne Livingston to highlight opportunity for ‘transparency in the food chain’

An IBM presentation on the application of blockchain technology for food safety will be one of many opportunities for learning and innovation at the 2019 Salinas Valley Ag Technology Summit on March 26-27.

IBM, which is developing blockchain data-tracking solutions for the U.S. food supply, will be represented by Suzanne Livingston, its offering director for Food Trust™. Blockchain uses encoded digital data to create a permanent, interlocking record of each transaction.

Livingston describes her work with IBM Blockchain Solutions as an effort to bring “transparency in the food chain, accountability and traceability to retailers, suppliers, farmers and more using the power of blockchain and with an incredible global team of scientists, engineers, designers, inventors, growth hackers and more.”

She will present during morning sessions on March 27 and will be available for questions and conversation.

Summit chair Nick Pasculli said the inclusion of blockchain technology reflects the event’s emphasis on how attendees can adapt and incorporate emerging technologies in all aspects of fresh produce growing, processing, sales, marketing and distribution.

Educational tracks in ag production and ag business feature such topics as the latest in precision crop management, “big data” to accelerate decision-making, traceability to tackle the food- safety challenge, and initiatives to meet California’s workforce needs in 2020 and beyond.

“Each one of our sessions will offer distinct insights,” said Pasculli, founder, president and creative director of TMD, a creative services agency with many clients in the produce industry. “And taken together, the entire experience will make our attendees excited about all they can achieve with new tools and new thinking.”

Keynote speakers also will zero in on hot-button themes. The morning keynote on the summit’s main day, March 27, will be delivered by Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief scientific officer for the Produce Marketing Association, and the luncheon address will be made by Glenda Humiston, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of California.

As always, the sixth annual event will provide unique opportunities for learning and networking while supporting agribusiness students and programs at Hartnell College. It also will spotlight the Salinas Valley’s emergence as an incubator and hub for innovation and development in ag tech.

The summit will open on March 26 with a President’s Opening Reception from 6-8 p.m., featuring local wines and hors d’oeuvres and participation by esteemed industry leaders. The main Ag Tech Summit program on March 27 will begin with a continental breakfast at 6:30 a.m. The morning schedule will feature three educational tracks: ag business, ag production and pest control. Ongoing throughout the day will be a vendor trade show, hands-on demonstrations and more.

Event admission ranges from $30 to $60 depending on early registration, as well as a new combined main event Summit and President’s Opening Reception ticket option. Community members, ag industry members, growers, PCAs, CCAs, QALs, pilots, students and participants in ag tech and software industries are encouraged to attend. The event is organized by the Hartnell College Agriculture Business and Technology Institute in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA).

As a Feb. 15 deadline for exhibitor and sponsorship registration approaches, opportunities remain for prime visibility and location within the summit’s physical space and developing conference agenda.

This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever, Pasculli said, with more than 1,000 participants expected, as well as more than 100 exhibitors and a talented group of dynamic and thought-provoking speakers.

Exhibitor options include single and double booths, either indoor or outdoor, including one or more tickets to the March 26 reception. Non-profit and start-up packages are available.

A wide range of sponsorship levels also are available, beginning at the $1,000 Gold Level and ranging up to the $10,000 Presenting Level, which includes a program logo, double booth space, website acknowledgment, two-minute stage commercial, six tickets to the March 26 reception and 25 tickets to Main Day events. Additionally, opportunities also exist for special sponsorship of keynote addresses and more.

Exhibitor, sponsor and other program information can be found at:



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