Once again the Southwest Agriculture Summit is on the move as it continues to grow, with organizers announcing that the seventh annual event will be March 6-7 at Arizona Western College.
Held during Yuma's Ag Week, the Southwest Agriculture Summit is an agriculture industry show that includes keynote speakers, exhibitor booths, educational seminars, networking, golfing, social events and more.
Originally held at the Yuma Civic Center, the event was held the past two years at the Pivot Point Conference Center, where a sell-out crowd came this spring to hear keynote speaker Howard Buffett.
“We've outgrown everyplace else we've been,” said Steve Alameda, president of Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, which will put on the 2013 summit in partnership with Yuma County Farm Bureau, the University of Arizona and Arizona Western College.
He 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 participants.
“We are very excited to bring the summit to Arizona Western College,” Alameda said. “Education is a major component of the summit. By bringing the speakers and conference participants back to their agriculture education roots, we will be able to connect the future of the industry with current, active industry leaders.”
Activities will be held at both the AWC Schoening Conference Center and the Agriculture Sciences Building on AWC's main campus.
“The department is looking forward to working with the Southwest Ag Summit committee,” said Holly Clements, AWC professor of agricultural sciences. “And we are happy the industry will be able to utilize the facilities they helped build through a great deal of donations.”
The move to a new venue is one of two major changes the Southwest Ag Summit committee is making to the industry event. The summit will now have 1-1/2 days of breakout sessions, and the trade show will be expanded to two days, Alameda said. Something else new will be some activities for the wives of those attending the summit.
And the summit will tap the skills of the AWC Culinary Arts students to prepare lunch.
“In the past, we have had one keynote speaker and one day of educational sessions,” Alameda said. “As the summit continues to grow, we are expanding the educational and networking opportunities.”