Dec 4, 2017
Colorado fruit, vegetable conference set for Feb. 19-20

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) will hold its fourth annual conference Feb. 19-20, 2018, at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, expanding the event to a two-day format and adding a Produce Innovation Technology Pitch, fashioned along the lines of the well-known television series Shark Tank. 

“CFVGA is inviting businesses with technology solutions for pressing issues in the produce sector to submit a proposal to pitch at the 2018 CFVGA annual conference,” said Adrian Card, founding CFVGA board member. “Up to four businesses will be selected to deliver a brief presentation to a panel of judges and an audience of 300 conference attendees, followed by a Q&A session with judges. The audience also will vote on a favorite.”

The pitch will be the culminating event of the conference, taking place at approximately 2:40pm, Feb. 20. James Pritchett, executive associate dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University, assisted by Robert Sakata, CFVGA president, will moderate the pitch. Judges will includelenders and venture capitalists.

Two nights lodging, conference registration and exhibitor space will be provided to those businesses selected to make pitches. In addition, two winners will be selected to receive business services from the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology and specific legal services from Holland and Hart LLP.  Winners also receive a one-year membership in both Western Growers and Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and publicity through CFVGA.

“We want to encourage agricultural production technology that will help Colorado produce growers work better,” said Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo. “Anything that saves on labor, increases water availability, makes produce safer or makes growers’ lives easier in some other way is something CFVGA wants to encourage. Our conference attracts some 300 participants, including over 35 exhibitors and more than 40 of the most innovative produce growers in Colorado. This mix of professionals provides a great exposure for ag innovation start-ups.”

More information on the CFVGA conference, including the technology pitch and applications is available at: https://cfvga.org  The deadline to submit technology pitches for consideration is Dec. 20.

The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.

 

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