The 2020 Ag Expo & International Sustainable Winegrowing Summit will be presented in a virtual format this year due to COVID-19 protocols that limit gatherings.
Registration for the event, hosted by The Vineyard Team in Atascadero, is now open.
Since 2003, the annual conference has featured experts from all over the country to present comprehensive educational programming geared toward the local agricultural industry that include farmers, researchers and consultants.
Vineyard Team Executive Director Kris Beal explained that even more is available this year with the expo's altered design.
“The virtual format actually allows us so much flexibility," said Beal. "Rather than having to compress all the presentations into three days, we can offer an even greater variety of course content with time to dig a bit deeper."
Having grown up on the farm, Dittmar says his apple knowledge comes straight from his dad who at one time planted more than 900 fruit trees on the property.
Programming will also include access to a greater diversity of topics and speakers from all over the world, including Tasmania, New York and Pennsylvania.
"We now have speakers who are able to attend the expo without having to fly across the country, and registrants will be able to access valuable content for an entire month at their own convenience,” Beal said.
Some topics to be discussed, according to the event itinerary, include climate adaption, winegrape supply and demand, invasive insects, bio control for Pierce’s Disease, irrigation technology and regenerative agriculture, among others.
Additionally, more than 15 continuing education (CE) hours in Department of Pesticide Regulation and over 20 certified crop adviser CE hours are available through program participation.
Over 25 hours of content will be accessible to registrants online from Nov. 9 through Dec. 4.
The cost to attend the live event and access the recorded material over the four-week period is $345.
Since making the move to their “Rancho Olivos,” Shannon and John have been hands-on every step from tending to the seven acres of olive trees, all of which are sustainably and organically farmed, to bottling their extra virgin olive oil (EVO).
HEART OF THE VALLEY In the fall of 1867, Benjamin Wiley became the Santa Maria Valley’s first settler. He lived in a dugout, a little north and east from the present center of the city.
Lisa André covers local news and lifestyles for Santa Ynez Valley News.
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