Like any other profession, farmers need to stay up to date on the latest trends and newest technologies in their industry. This is the reason that for the past 44 years Almond Board of California (ABC) has hosted the Almond Conference, which was attended by over 3,000 members of the almond community this past year.
The goal for this conference is to give farmers a resource for the knowledge and tools needed to create the continuous progress in almond farming that addresses market fluctuations and agricultural challenges. The most recent conference in December touched on many different farming topics including:
- Water use efficiency and sustainability-related1 initiatives
- Food safety and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- Honey bee health
- Utilization of coproducts from harvesting almonds, like hulls and shells
- Global regulatory and legislative updates
- New consumer and product trends from around the world
In addition to farming topics, the conference attendees heard from supply chain experts about expectations of the customer and consumer, manufacturing and sustainable production, and how the community can collectively work together to build an even healthier image for almonds.
There was also a presentation from ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott which provided attendees an overview of ABC’s partnerships with organizations including Sustainable Conservation; Environmental Defense Fund; University of California, Davis; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Almond Alliance of California; and the paths ABC and these organizations are forging, leading to research that increases our understanding of groundwater recharge potential and continues to develop innovations in the area of almond coproduct uses.
As Almond Girl Jenny Holtermann says: “As farmers, it is in our best interest to continue to educate ourselves on the newest pest, the newest machinery, the market trends and the newest irrigation efficiency tool. By educating ourselves, farmers are able to stay in business and operate on less resources.”
Want to continue your education about almonds and the community?
Download the Almond Almanac, an annual year-end report with comprehensive historical information about almond production, acreage and varieties, as well as shipment and market information.
1 California Almond Sustainability Program definition: Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious, safe food product.