Southwest Ag Summit grows with new venue and focus on education
2013 summit to be held March 6-7 at AWC
In keeping with its new venue at Arizona Western College, this year's Southwest Ag Summit has adopted the theme “Back to Education.”
“It's where we all come from,” said Steve Alameda, co-chairman of the regional agriculture showcase now in its seventh year of bringing keynote speakers, exhibitor booths, educational seminars and networking to farmers and their supportive industries.
And the new venue offers more room for the annual event that continues to grow and now has been extended to two full days.
The 2013 summit will be held March 6-7 at AWC. The summit will kick off with a registration breakfast on March 6 and continue with a general session, golf tournament and welcome reception that evening. March 7 activities will include both breakfast and lunch keynote speakers as well as informative breakout forums and conclude with the Harvest Dinner.
“We've outgrown every place we've been,” said Alameda, who also is president of Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, a major partner in the summit. Other partners include Yuma County Farm Bureau, University of Arizona-Yuma and the AWC Foundation. Once again Alexander Ford-Lincoln will be the major sponsor.
Alameda said AWC was the perfect solution with its push for agriculture education and its beautiful new facilities with state-of-the-art technology. It also will allow students to take part in the industry conference both as volunteers and as participants.
“I'm really excited about going to AWC,” he said. “It brought AWC in as a partner and it has been very supportive. And the campus is made for the event.”
Last year's event attracted 900 participants from Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California and Northern Mexico. Last year's keynote speaker was Howard Buffet.
Rik Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection, will be the breakfast keynote speaker March 7. He will offer insight into world crop production and where the agriculture industry is going.
Miller began his career in 1984, holding a variety of roles in sales, product and marketing management across the United States. In 2005, he was named global business leader for DuPont Crop Protection's diversified specialty, vegetation management, forestry and railroad segments and relocated to Wilmington, Del. One year later, he joined the DuPont Crop Protection leadership team as global marketing director and in 2010 transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, as regional director for crop protection in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He was named to his current position in February 2011. He serves on CropLife International's Crop Protection Strategy Council and is actively involved in Future Farmers of America.
The topic will turn to immigration reform with the lunch keynote speakers Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, and Kristi Boswell of the American Farm Bureau.
ImmigrationWorks USA is a national federation of small business owners working to advance more workable immigration laws. Jacoby, a nationally known journalist, author and speaker, was in Yuma last fall for a conference that focused on the national guest worker program and how it needs to be changed to better meet area farmers' needs for temporary workers.
Boswell serves as the director of congressional relations in the Public Policy Department of the America Farm Bureau Federation, handling labor issues. Boswell, who grew up on a family farm in Nebraska, previously practiced corporate defense litigation, including labor and employment, at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Omaha, Neb.
All summit activities are at Arizona Western College unless otherwise noted.
The schedule includes:
Wednesday, March 6
• 7- 8 a.m Registration breakfast
• 8-11 a.m General session
• Noon-5 p.m. Jacob Louis Daily Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament at Desert Hills
Municipal Golf Course
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. Southwest Ag Summit Opening Reception and Trade Show
Thursday, March 7
• 7- 8 a.m. Breakfast
• 8-9:15 a.m. Keynote speaker Rik Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection
• 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Trade show
• 9:30-11:30 a.m. Morning breakout sessions
• noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch and keynote address
• 1:30-3:30 p.m. Afternoon breakout sessions
• 6 p.m. Harvest Dinner at Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park (sold out)
For more information about the summit, call Brenda at (928) 783-9355. For golf tournament information, call Jeanette at (928) 344-1926