Summit Information 20– 21 June 2023

About the summit

As the demand for nutritious and affordable food continues to rise, the need to accelerate sustainable agriculture, improve crop yields and offer protection against a wide variety of plant diseases and insect pests has never been more important.

The 2023 Salinas Biological Summit has been designed to provide growers, consultants, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers with a detailed overview of the current landscape for biological research, development and deployment. The recently published 'Roadmap for California; Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management’ report provides some insights into the regulatory environment that growers in California need to navigate.

The Summit will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and targeted breakouts. A number of international delegations will be attending the Summit, sharing their experiences for delivering 'best practice'. With global consumer sentiment driving both retail and regulatory behaviors, the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit provides the platform for delegates to meet, engage and learn.


The Program

The Summit Program has been designed to be more than a two-day talk-fest. It’s a major opportunity for effected stakeholders to meet, engage and network to support increased research and investment into biological tools that will assist growers improve soil and plant health. Key themes within the Summit Program include;

  • Understanding the current landscape for the application of biological tools to soil and plants
  • Learning more about the ‘Roadmap for California; Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management' program
  • Understanding the emerging global regulatory environment and its impact on local growers
  • What do major corporates and our industry leaders think?
  • What's Next? Accelerating the Research, Start-up and Investment Opportunity
  • Network with multiple international delegations and learn 'best practice' application from around the world.

The 2023 Salinas Biological Summit Program has been designed to connect key local and international stakeholders to fully address the impact of biological tools on our soil and plants. It's a unique opportunity for growers to be at the center of this conversation. It's an opportunity that should not be missed. 

View the full program >



Latest News

The 2023 Salinas Biological Summit delivered!

After two days of compelling presentations, insightful panel discussions and extensive networking, the verdict is finally in. The 2023 Salinas Biological Summit delivered!

The Summit's Central Valley Field Trip is SOLD OUT!

With 10 days to go before the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit begins, we can confirm that the Central Valley field trip for international delegates on 22-23 June has been officially SOLD OUT!

EXCLUSIVE: Mixing Bowl to Release their Global Biological Ecosystem Map

The team at the Mixing Bowl are to release their global biological ecosystem map on Day 1 of the Salinas Summit

Secretary Leon E Panetta to keynote at the Summit

We are delighted that Secretary Leon E Panetta will be the keynote speaker on Day 2 at the Salinas Biological Summit.

The Summit Speakers

Zach Bagley

Zach is Managing Director, the California Tomato Research Institute.

Mark Borman

Mark is COO FoodService / President, Taylor Farms California

Don J Cameron

Don is the President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and is the Vice President and General Manager of Terranova Ranch

Carl Casale

In 2018, Carl helped launch Ospraie Ag Science, the venture arm of Ospraie Management. In this role, he leads successful venture campaigns for select companies that help farmers do more with less environmental impact.

Ben Cicora

Ben is Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Vestaron

Alex Cochran

Alex is Chief Technology Officer, DPH Biologicals

Paul Crout

Paul is Senior Product Manager | Agronomist, Helena Agri-Enterprises

Helene R. Dillard PhD

Helene was appointed Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis in January 2014.

Dennis Donohue

Dennis is Director of the Western Growers Innovation & Technology Center and co-convenor of the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit

Phil Erlanger

Phil is co-founder & Managing Partner, Aliment Capital

Elizabeth Fastiggi

Elizabeth is the Head of Worldwide Business Development for the Agriculture vertical at AWS.

Sherry Frey

Sherry is Vice President, Total Wellness – NielsenIQ, the global leader in consumer intelligence

Taryn Goodman Gallery

Taryn is a Partner at Cultivian Sandbox and Sandbox Sustainability Ventures

David Gill

In 2017, Western Growers honored David with their Award of Honor, the organization’s most prestigious award, in recognition of his extensive contributions to the agricultural community.

Miriam Hall

Miriam Hall is a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research in New Zealand.

Kirk Haney

Kirk is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Radicle Growth.

Julie Henderson

Julie was appointed Director, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, on December 2, 2021

Juli Jessen

Juli is CEO, Gowan Group

Keith Jones

Keith is Executive Director, the Biological Products Industry Alliance

Vatren Jurin

Vatren Jurin, Partner and VP of Product Development, DunhamTrimmer

Albert P Keck

Albert is the Board Chair, Western Growers

Michael Key

Michael Key is the co-founder and CEO, Impello Biosciences

Scott Komar

Scott is Senior Vice President of Global R&D for Driscoll’s, the world’s leading fresh berry company.

Jason Kuhlemeier

Jason Kuhlemeier is VP of Marketing, AgBiome.

Ethy Levy

Ethy is the Managing Partner at Kinneret Impact Ventures and Passionate Founder @ Impact Innovation Israel

Josette Lewis PhD

Josette is the Chief Scientific Officer, Almond Board of California

Ashish Malik

Ashish is VP Strategy and Corporate Development, DunhamTrimmer

Francisco Manzano

Francisco Manzano, Director, Business Development, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Pam Maronne PhD

Pam is CEO and Founder, Chestnut Bio Advisors and Co-founder & Executive Chair, Invasive Species Foundation and Invasive Species Corporation

Steve McIntyre

Co-founder, the Monterey Wine Company

Rick Melnick

Rick Melnick, Partner and VP Global Business, DunhamTrimmer

Peter R. Müller

Peter is SVP, Global Strategy Lead Fruits & Vegetables, Bayer AG, Division Crop Science

Amy O'Shea

Amy is President and CEO, Certis Biologicals

Secretary Leon Panetta

Leon E. Panetta, Chairman, Panetta Institute for Public Policy and Former Secretary of Defense

Keith Pitts

Keith is Senior Vice-President, Sustainability and Regulatory Strategy, Bioceres Crop Solutions

Dave Puglia

Dave is the President and CEO of Western Growers

Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Director of Regulatory Affairs, Lallemand Plant Care

Hector Rodriguez

Hector Rodriguez is Probelte US CEO

Cristina Rohr

Cristina is Managing Director, Food & Agriculture, S2G Ventures

Secretary Karen Ross

Karen was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 9, 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom

Eugenia Saini

Eugenia is FONTAGRO’s Executive Secretary, a unique sustainable co-financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain.

Mark Singleton

Mark is Chief Commercial Officer & General Manager, Plant Health, Greenlight Biosciences

John Smith

General Manager, Levied and Emerging Industries, AgriFutures Australia

Susanne Sutterlin

Susanne Sutterlin is Director Plant Health, directorate Plant Supply Chains and Food Quality at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Netherlands.

Larry Taylor

Larry is the Co-founder & Managing Partner of The Yield Lab, Asia Pacific.

Dr Hillary Thomas

Hillary is currently the Research and Technical Director, Naturipe Berry Growers,

Mark Trimmer, Ph.D

Mark is Founding Partner, DunhamTrimmer

Prem Warrior

Senior Technical Advisor, Valagro S.p.A/Syngenta Biologicals

Candice Wilson

Candice is Regional Director for the Western US at Farmers Business Network (FBN).

Stuart Woolf

Stuart is President and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing and incoming Chair, Western Growers

Peter Wren-Hilton

Peter is the founder & CEO of New Zealand-based Wharf42 & co-convenor of the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit

Gabriel Youtsey

Gabriel (Gabe) is the Chief Innovation Officer, University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Summit Partners & Sponsors

Host City Sponsor

Host County Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


“For Western Grower members, biologicals have become a significant issue. The 2023 Salinas Biological Summit will provide the platform to share knowledge, insights and best practice to address the opportunity".

Dennis Donohue, Director, Western Growers Innovation & Technology Center

Become a Sponsor

Our Venue: CSUMB Salinas City Center

Designed with flexibility in mind, the CSUMB Salinas City Center, home to the National Steinbeck Center and located in Downtown Salinas, offers a vibrant selection of meeting rooms, exhibition spaces and a wide array of networking places.

Positioned at One Main Street in the heart of downtown Salinas, the Center has not only served to revitalize the city’s downtown area but has distinguished itself as a locale for global conversations inspired by visiting scholars, speakers, guests, and patrons.

As one of the largest literary museums in the United States dedicated to a single author, the National Steinbeck Center began as an initiative by the local community and civic leaders to create a forum for his writings and one that would inspire and launch successful literacy and educational programming.

John Steinbeck received worldwide recognition for his perception of the “common man” and his keen observations and powerful descriptions of the human condition and the rich locations like the Salinas Valley in which the characters in his novels inhabited.