Saturday, February 21, 2015

AgroLiquid Western Summit

So this past week was the first AgroLiquid Western Summit in Monterey, California.  This was a conference of AgroLiquid and our California Retail Partners.  Due to distance, timing and crop focus, many of these folks aren't able to attend the summer Corporate Growth Conferences.  Plus February is a great time for us to visit CA.  There were over a hundred attendees, so it was a good event.  There were a variety of presentations on history, shared vision, product information, chemistry and of course research.  Below Albert gets things rolling Wednesday morning.
 There were also some speakers from outside AgroLiquid, such as a discussion on California nutrient reporting and water issues.  Water, or the lack of it, is the controlling factor now with the persistent drought.  Our luncheon keynote speaker was Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF).  Paul is also an almond grower who had used eNhance before he even knew who AgroLiquid was.  After meeting with Lonny and Troy over the years, AgroLiquid has become a strong supporter of the CFBF's efforts to support CA farmers.  That is a tough job in this state.  Paul did praise AgroLiquid's commitment to CA agriculture, because unlike other companies who talk strong, AgroLiquid actually built a manufacturing plant in probably the most regulated state in the country.  He likes our approach to nutrient rate reduction for the environment and our our commitment to our dealers and growers. 
There was also a panel of agriculturalists from the Young Farmers and Ranchers of California.  They go around and have discussion and debates on a variety of agricultural issues.  Today's topic was Proper Fertilization in Drought.  They raised a number of pertinent issues and it was gratifying to see these well-spoken young people.  They should put them in front of the non-farming public to show this refreshing side of agriculture and provide education on where food comes from.  Incidentally, all of them are current or former students at Fresno State University.  I didn't even know they had an ag program there.  But it must be a good one.  There are at least four universities with ag programs in the state.  This is unusual, but needed in this agriculturally diverse state. 
Well since my time was short in Monterey, and I had never been there before, I took a walk down to the wharf on a break.  This is looking back at the hotel in the middle of the pic.  There are lots of restaurants and shops on what used to be the site of the biggest fish packing industry in the world. (More on that in the next post.)
Here are some seals resting on the dock.  One is ready to go boating.  You may have seen on the news that the seals are having a tough time these days with many of the young ones showing signs of starvation.  They guess that the water has become warmer and reduced the normal types of fish that seals eat.  It is thought that this is not exactly a climate change issue, but a temporary current change. But hopefully it is a short temporary effect.  These seals here look ok to me.
In addition to the support of the CFBF, AgroLiquid has also been supportive of the California Future Farmers of America.  In addition to direct support, there have been programs where a portion of the money from gallons sold was donated to the CA FFA.  At our meeting were were joined by the members of the California FFA Foundation.  These are post high school members who spend a year going around to visit the FFA chapters in the state, promote FFA where ever possible, and represent the FFA in different the Western Summit.  Here we see the Foundation members posing with Troy in the Kelp Forest (read the next post for more on that.)  So it was nice to have them here. 
In visiting with some of them, I was surprised to learn that one smart individual in the group is going to have the opportunity to attend probably the leading agricultural university in the country.  Well one of the top two anyway.  So the future of agriculture in America is very bright indeed.  I'm sure the others will learn and lead too where ever they go.  (Which university you ask?  Well look at the colors of the fish in the first picture in the next blog post for a clue.)