A Word from the Board: The Almond Board of California

The Almond Conference 2022 Education to Focus on ROI

For the 50th consecutive year, almond growers and industry members will gather to learn the latest research, marketing efforts and regulatory updates at The Almond Conference (TAC) 2022 (all photos courtesy Almond Board of California.)

For the 50th consecutive year, almond growers and industry members will gather to learn the latest research, marketing efforts and regulatory updates at The Almond Conference (TAC) 2022. Whether the event took place in Modesto or Sacramento, at convention centers, state fairgrounds or online, The Almond Conference (TAC) has a wealth of knowledge and education for the industry and this year continues that mission.

The annual conference, back for a second year at the newly renovated SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, December 6-8, 2022, will feature three days of education with general sessions focused on grower’s return on investment (ROI) and driving global demand as well as breakout sessions that cover over 15 hours of pending continuing educational units towards three programs.

What’s New for 2022
Last year, the first day of the conference was void of any breakout sessions. Now in 2022, there will be five breakout sessions on Tuesday, December 6, followed by the annual State of the Industry address. General sessions as well as breakout sessions continue Wednesday and Thursday, offering growers substantial educational opportunities on all three days.

TAC 2022 will also conclude earlier on than in years past. The conference will conclude at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, which will allow for easier travel back home for attendees. And due to the earlier ending, there will only be one sit-down keynote lunch this year on Wednesday, December 7, which will feature ABC-partnering influencers. This talk show format session will discuss the popularity of sustainability topics on social media, how these influencers select the companies and brands they partner with, and why they love meeting almond growers and working with the Almond Board to share growers’ stories.
A more detailed look at the 2022 agenda, including information for general sessions and breakout sessions with pending continuing education, can help growers and industry members make the most of their TAC 2022 experience. Educational hours will be available for Certified Crop Advisors (CCA), Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) and CDFA’s Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Program (INMP).

Day One: Tuesday, December 6

International Horticultural and Global Tree Nut Production Insights: Tuesday @ 10:30 a.m.
Australia, Spain and Portugal are key international players in almond production. In this session, attendees will gain insights on the way almonds are grown in these regions and how growers are tackling challenges. Attendees will hear about current and future global production as well as what the future may look like for the global industry. Moderated by ABC’s Sebastian Saa, speakers include a familiar name to growers in former-UCCE advisor David Doll of Rota Unica, ABC’s Richard Waycott, Damien Houlahan of Ofi and Brian Ezell of Wonderful. This session has 1 hr. of CCA CEUs requested.

What’s New in Almond Pollination?: Tuesday @ 10:30 a.m.
Growers will hear the latest research aimed at keeping the cost and supply of bees stable, such as cold storage of bees. Talks will also provide the latest information on how growers can protect this investment and get the most out of this critical input to lay the groundwork for a good harvest. Moderated by ABC’s Josette Lewis, speakers will include Brandon Hopkins from Washington State University, Elina Niño from UC Davis, Rory Crowley of Project Apis m., Miles Daikin of Pollinator Partnership and Wynter Vaugn of Monarch Joint Venture. This session has 1 hr. of CCA CEUs requested.

Creative Approaches to Managing Limited Water: Tuesday @ 12:30 p.m. 
As growers are aware, the western U.S. is in another muti-year drought, requiring new creative approaches to secure reliable agricultural water supplies and address business risks. In this session, attendees will hear from leaders who have developed groundbreaking approaches to managing water shortages while maintaining economic productivity. Methods include forging difficult agreements, developing regional strategies and incentivizing groundwater recharge. Moderated by ABC’s Jesse Roseman, speakers include David Guy of Northern California Water Association, Stephanie Anagnoson of Madera County, grower Mark Huston and Daniel Mountjoy of Sustainable Conservation. This session has 1 hr. of CCA CEUs requested.

Almond Food Quality and Safety Resources: Tuesday @ 12:30 p.m.
As a handler or processor, have you ever wanted a better understanding of the food safety and quality resources available to help navigate the complexities across the supply chain? This session will highlight both new and existing resources, showcase where and how to access the tools, and provide a preview of the new “Almond University.” Moderated by ABC’s Miranda Thomas, speakers include ABC’s Tim Birmingham and Guangwei Huang. This session has 1 hr. of DPR CEUs requested.

State of the Industry: Tuesday @ 2:00 p.m.
With the ongoing multi-year drought, global logistical challenges and increasing production from other growing regions, the California almond industry is facing unprecedented challenges. During the annual State of the Industry address, Almond Board Chair Alexi Rodriguez and CEO Richard Waycott will discuss ways the Almond Board of California is working to drive global demand, ensure a favorable trade and regulatory environment and maximize industry efficiency.

Day Two: Wednesday, December 7

Driving Global Demand: Wednesday @ 8:00 a.m.
Building long-term global demand for California almonds is the top strategic priority for the Almond Board of California. Ever wonder how they do it? In this general session for all, attendees will hear about how the Almond Board leverages the amazing nutritional profile of almonds, what they call the “health halo,” to drive consumer demand while educating consumers about their responsible farming practices to protect that demand now and in the future. Attendees will also be introduced to the people representing California almonds around the world who are passionate about the demand-building work they lead on behalf of the industry.

Fertigation When Times Are Tight: Wednesday @ 10:30 a.m.
With skyrocketing fertilizer prices and continued regulatory pressures on nitrogen, growers might need to reevaluate their fertilization plan. This session will discuss practical recommendations that will equip growers with the knowledge they need to make strategic decisions to maximize profitability. Moderated by ABC’s Sebastian Saa, speakers include Patrick Brown from UC Davis and grower Tommy Bottoms. This session has 1 hr. of CCA, 1 hr. DPR and 1 hr. INMP CEUs requested.

Irrigation in Stressful Times: Wednesday @ 2:45 p.m.
Increasing water use efficiency is a core tenet of the industry. Drought and regulatory pressures emphasize the need for continuous improvement with irrigation. At this session, attendees will learn from irrigation experts how sensing technologies and irrigation evaluations can benefit them in getting the most out of every drop. The session will conclude with a three-industry-member panel that will share experiences and lessons learned from managing limited water supply. Moderated by ABC’s Sebastian Saa, speakers and industry members include Mallika Nocco from UC Davis, ABC’s Tom Devol, Kevin Greer of Tehama County RCD, Zac Ellis from Ofi, pomology consultant Wes Asai and Jeffrey Iniguez from Wonderful. This session has 1 hr. of CCA, 1 hr. DPR and 1 hr. INMP CEUs requested.

Educational sessions will focus on input costs and return on investment.

Day Three: Thursday, December 8

Managing Input Costs to Increase ROI: Thursday @ 8:00 a.m.
With input costs at an all-time high, decisions need to be made now in your operations to increase your return on investment. This special breakfast session will review industry experiences on how to manage labor, pesticides and other input costs in your operation. Growers will want to set their alarm so they can make it up in time to enjoy a hearty breakfast sandwich while getting tips to improve profitability. Moderated by ABC’s Michael Roots, panel members will include ABC’s Josette Lewis, Chris Gallo from YARA, Justin Nay from Integral Ag Inc., Lucas Avila from Farmland Management Trust and Brittney Goodrich of UC ANR. This session has 1 hr. of CCA and 1 hr. INMP CEUs requested.

Rootstock Selection to Mitigate Stress in the Long Run: Thursday @ 9:05 a.m.
This session is being brought back due to popular grower demand, but this time with a different angle. Appropriate rootstock selection may be one of the most efficient tools that a grower can use to mitigate soil challenges, replant complex and major pests and diseases. Recognizing the power of this tool, ABC has supported the evaluation of multiple rootstocks in different California conditions for decades. The latest research results clearly illustrate how rootstock selection impacts yields over the lifespan of an almond orchard and how chemical control can be reduced and/or made more efficient. Moderated by ABC’s Sebatian Saa, speakers include Katherine Jarvis-Shean, Roger Duncan, Andreas Westphal, Greg Browne and Cameron Zuber, all of UC ANR. This session has 1 hr. of CCA and 1 hr. DPR CEUs requested.

Almond Stewardship 2.0: Thursday @ 9:05 a.m.
In this session, ABC will introduce CASP 2.0, now called the California Almond Stewardship Platform following its refresh after more than 10 years and 3,000 grower self-assessments. Attendees will learn about CASP 2.0, how the data is protected and leveraged, and additional stewardship opportunities through incentive funding as well as the role of pollinator habitat in stewardship. Moderated by ABC’s Gabriele Ludwig, speakers include ABC’s Tom Devol and Jesse Roseman, Eric Harris from SureHarvest and Miles Daikin from Pollinator Partnership. This session has 1 hr. of CCA CEUs requested.

Whither Pest Management?: Thursday @ 11:30 p.m.
Controlling pests keeps getting more complicated as new regulations, pests and techniques all seem to be on the rise. This session will explore both the ideas for “Sustainable Pest Management” with current regulatory issues and ABC research efforts to develop or assess newer technologies for managing key pests. Moderated by ABC’s Gabriele Ludwig, speakers include Julie Henderson from California DPR, ABC’s Jesse Roseman and Jim Adaskaveg and Jocelyn Millar, both of UC Riverside. This session has 1 hr. of CCA and 1 hr. of DPR CEUs requested.

Whether you are attending for the first or the 50th year, The Almond Conference 2022 will provide everything you need to make for a successful experience. On top of educational opportunities, growers will have the chance to ask one-on-one questions to researchers at the two dedicated poster sessions, and to incentive program providers at the Incentive and Grower Support Zone. Registration for TAC 2022 is open now and available at Almonds.com/Conference.