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FOOD GEEKS TRAVEL: SALINAS VALLEY
August 25, 2014 @ 8:30 am - 7:30 pm PDT
In an effort to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities for technologists to address issues for the fresh specialty market, The Mixing Bowl organized a group day-trip from Silicon Valley to Salinas in August 2014, in conjunction with our partner, The Steinbeck Innovation Center.
“Fish where the fish are. There are some really big fish in the Salinas Valley that control the fresh produce industry,” claimed Dennis Donohue, former Salinas Mayor at our Soil to Fork Conference last month. Certainly, Salinas Valley’s big ag players were no small hand in the 4.3 billion dollar annual crop report released for Monterey County last year. But what does it take for the fast-paced innovation of Silicon Valley to connect with the largescale more conservative farming regimes of Salinas Valley?
We met with Salinas farmers to understand data and tech development needs within organic and conventional agricultural production, processing, and distribution. Although the 28th largest crop report in the country is at our doorstep, Dennis Donohue stated, we need logistics, updated technology, and improved communication. IT innovation can help Salinas Valley become a model for tech-supported, productive, and environmentally viable agriculture.
We led a day-trip bus tour from the Bay Area to the Salinas Valley. We visited four premier and limited access farming operations including Taylor Farms, The Nunes Company (Foxy Fresh Produce), and Driscoll’s. Our tour included transportation, lunch at a local favorite, and a wrap-up discussion over drinks.
Check out photos here.