Summit Information 25-26 June 2024

About the summit

Following last year’s successful 2023 Salinas Biological Summit, the need to place growers at the center of the accelerating global discussion around the application of biological inputs remains critical. Once again, the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit Program will reflect that need.

The Salinas Summit is unique. With the backing of Western Growers, whose members produce over 50% of all North America’s specialty crops, delegates learn directly about the challenges and opportunities from those most impacted by them. The 2024 Summit will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and targeted breakouts. A number of international delegations will once again be attending the Summit, sharing their experiences for delivering best practice.

With the post-2023 Summit launch of Platform10, delegates will also hear from the biopesticide companies and growers engaged in its field trial program. Addressing mounting pest and disease challenges due to climate change, reduced efficacy, and diminishing availability of traditional pest control tools will be a highlight of June’s Summit Program.

The 2024 Summit will also host the launch of the Platform10 Global Partner Network. This will provide the template for the first ‘Global Grower Trial Network’ for emerging biopesticide products, leveraging counter-seasonal growing opportunities and dual hemisphere field trials. This offers a unique set of opportunities for the Summit’s Sponsors and Exhibitors looking to engage with the international market.

As regulators and global consumers continue to call for ‘less chemicals. more biologicals’, the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit will once again bring together growers, consultants, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers to provide a detailed overview of the current landscape for biological research, development and deployment. With its unique grower focus, it is one event that you should not miss.

The Program

The Summit Program has been designed to be more than a two-day talkfest. It’s a major opportunity for interested or invested stakeholders to meet, engage and network to support increased research and investment into biological tools that will assist growers improve soil and plant health.

The Summit program will include the following themes:

  • application of biological tools for soil and plants
  • the emerging global regulatory environment and its impact on local growers
  • thoughts from major corporate and industry leaders
  • the future of research and investment opportunities
  • Launch of the Platform10 Global Partner Network.

The 2024 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 >

The Summit Speakers

Paimun (PJ) Amini

Paimun is Senior Director, Venture Investments, Leaps by Bayer

Kevin Andrew

Kevin is Senior Vice President Operations, Illume

Jerry Baron

Jerry is the Executive Director, The IR-4 Project

Undersecretary Christine Birdsong

Christine is Undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Bill Buckner

Bill is CEO & Director, Harpe Bio Herbicide

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.

Claire Delaunay

Claire is Chief Technical Officer, Farm-ng

Dennis Donohue

Dennis is Director of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology and co-convenor of the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit

Livia Esterhazy

Livia is Programme Director, A Lighter Touch (NZ)

Vonnie Estes

Vonnie is VP of Innovation, International Fresh Produce Association

Sherry Frey

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

Cristian Garcia de Paz

Cristian is Agricultural Relations Director for Latin America, Gowan Crop Protections Ltd

Miriam Hall

Miriam Hall is a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research, New Zealand. Miriam is also MC for Day 2 of the Summit.

Julie Henderson

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

Chris Judd

Chris is Head of North America and VP Global Marketing, Certis Biologicals

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki, tech titan, former Chief Evangelist at Apple, venture capitalist and best-selling author.

Elliott Kellner

Elliott is Director of Commercial Innovation, Donald Danforth Plant Center

Bob Kennedy

Bob is Chief Scientific Officer, Vestaron

François Lamoureux

François is President, CXC

Josette Lewis PhD

Josette is the Chief Scientific Officer, Almond Board of California

Pam Maronne PhD

Pam is Co-founder & Executive Chair, Invasive Species Foundation and Invasive Species Corporation

Rick Melnick

Rick Melnick, Partner and VP Global Business, DunhamTrimmer

Undersecretary Jennifer Moffitt

Jennifer is the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Richard Newcomb

Richard is the Chief Scientific Officer, Plant & Food Research (NZ).

Megan Nunes

Megan is the founder and CEO of Bountiful. Megan is also the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit's Day 1 MC.

Tom Nunes

Tom is President, Nunes Company

Mike Mendelsohn

Mike Mendelsohn is chief of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Emerging Technologies Branch.

Adrian Percy

Adrian is the inaugural Executive Director of the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI) at North Carolina State University.

Keith Pitts

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

Jonas Ptasinski

Jonas is a Senior Evaluator at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Health Canada

Dave Puglia

Dave is the President and CEO of Western Growers

Dr. Angela Records

Angela is the Chief Scientific Officer, Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR)

Joe Pezzini

Joe is Senior Director of Ag Operations, Taylor Farms

Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Director of Regulatory Affairs, Lallemand Plant Care

Secretary Karen Ross

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

Alexey Rostapshov

Alexey is Head of JD Labs & Sustainability at John Deere.

Sumeeta Salvador

Sumeeta is a Senior Associate at SVG Ventures

Jon Spaits

Jon is Program Development & Innovation Manager, CSIRO - Catalyzing Australia's Biosecurity

Terry Stone

Terry is the Global Biologicals Regulatory Policy Leader, Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Louise Sutherland

Louise is the Director of UK-based, Ceres Agri-tech

Chris Taylor

Chris is a Partner at The Mixing Bowl

Dr Louise Thatcher

Louise is a Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food

Rob Trice

Rob is Founder & Partner, The Mixing Bowl

Mark Trimmer, Ph.D

Mark is Founding Partner, DunhamTrimmer

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

Latest News

Meet these highly innovative California Growers

Growers are at the centre of the conversation which will be reflected by the large number in the room.

View the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit Program

With just 6 weeks to go, we are delighted to share details of the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit Program.

Guy Kawasaki to keynote in 2024

The Summit organizers are delighted that Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple, venture capitalist and best-selling author will be a keynote speaker at the 2024Summit.

Introducing 'The Grower Talks' podcasts

In advance of the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit and in support of the Platform10 initiative, Dennis Donohue and Peter Wren-Hilton have hosted the first 6 'The Grower Talks' podcasts.

Our Venue: 2024 Venue

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.