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GrowRIVERSIDE Focus Areas
If you are interested in attending the 3rd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: Cultivating the Future on March 21 – 22, 2016 at the Highlander Union Building at University of California, Riverside you can find out more about the updated program here and register for the conference here.

Through keynotes, plenary discussions and breakout sessions, the local food system, urban ag-focused GrowRIVERSIDE Conference will explore the following areas:

Production – Increasing local food production in a sustainable manner; Economically viable urban farming business models; Innovative growing technologies
New Business Creation – Creating new farming enterprises and food businesses; creating additional capacity in the form of new farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs
Local Food Sales and the Marketplace – Understanding what buyers want; investigation of the various local food sales channels;
Community Impact – Local food access for all; food policy to benefit community, economy and environment; health impact
Day 1: Thursday, June 11, 2015
Registration and Breakfast7:30am
Introduction and Outline of Conference Goals

Al Zelinka - Assistant City Manager for the City of Riverside
Mayor Rusty Bailey - City of Riverside
Councilmember Chris MacArthur - City of Riverside
Robert Puro - Seedstock
Citrus Sponsor Address: Kaiser Permanente

Vita Willett - Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente for the Riverside area
GrowRIVERSIDE Conference Keynote Address

Mark Winne - Community Food Systems Expert and Founder, Hartfood Food System
Plenary Session - Building a Local Food Marketplace


Cheryl Garner - Executive Director of Dining, Conference and Catering Services at the University of California, Riverside
Bob Knight - Founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.
Kathleen Reed - Sustainable Food Program Manager for Kaiser Permanente
Dwight Detter - Local Forager for Whole Foods Market


Erika Block - Founder of Local Orbit
Networking Break11:05am
Breakout Sessions

I. Developing Urban Farms that Benefit City and Community (Room Location: Raincross A)

Rishi Kumar - Founder of The Growing Home
Hop Hopkins - Co-founder of PANTHER RIDGE FARM

II. Local Food Marketing and Distribution (Room Location: Raincross B)

Dwight Detter - Local Forager for Whole Foods Market
Erika Block - Founder of Local Orbit

III. Food Policy Council Workshop (Room Location: Raincross C)

Mark Winne - Community Food Systems Expert and Founder, Hartfood Food System
Rebecca Hoggarth - San Bernardino Food Policy Council
Gail Egenes - Executive Director of Riverside Land Conservancy
Lunch on your own12:35pm
Keynote Address: USDA and the Future of Local Food

Elvis Cordova - Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
Breaking Bad: Creating, Connecting and Driving Demand for Clean, Local Food

Leah Di Bernardo - Chef and Founder of E.A.T Marketplace, a Cultivating Good partnership
Don Webber - Partner at Cultivating Good & Owner of Harvest2U
Networking Break3:20pm
Breakout Sessions

I. Indoor Farming in Cities (Room Location: Raincross A)

Pierre Sleiman - Founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture
Dr. Gene Giacomelli - Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center [CEAC] at the University of Arizona
David Rosenstein - Executive Director at OurFoods


Jim Bergantz - Sales Engineer at Agra Tech, Inc.

II. Crop Diversification in Greenbelt and Beyond! (Room Location: Raincross B)

Giovanni Cavaletto Vice President of Sourcing for Index Fresh
Dr. Tracy L. Kahn - Principal Museum Scientist at UCR Citrus Variety Collection
Daniel Francis - Permaculture Specialist


Dr. Margaret Barth PhD, MPH, MBA - Program Director, Nutrition & Food Sciences

III. Disruptive Events and Technology in Agriculture (Room Location: Raincross C)

Robert Tse - State Broadband Coordinator for USDA CA Rural Development
Bob Knight - Founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.
A.G. Kawamura - Former Secretary of California Dept. of Food and Agriculture and Co-chair of Solutions From the Land
Keynote: Climate Smart Agriculture for Urban Farmers

A.G. Kawamura - Former Secretary of California Dept. of Food and Agriculture (2003 - 2010)
Day 1 Closing Remarks

Joyce Jong - Agricultural Business Development Coordinator for the City of Riverside
Citrus Circle Dinner at California Citrus State Historic Park

Dinner Keynote:

Robert Egger - Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen
Day 2: Friday, June 12, 2014
Registration and Breakfast7:30am
Introduction and Update on the Riverside Food Systems Alliance (RFSA)

Gayle Hoxter, MPH, RD - Public Health Program Chief for the County of Riverside Department of Public Health

The importance of local food in addressing the nutrition needs of Riverside’s and by extension America’s children; the progress of RUSD’s farm-to-school program and the impact it has had and will have on the growth of the Local Food System in Riverside

Rodney K. Taylor - Director of Nutrition Services, for the Riverside Unified School District
Plenary Panel – Local Food Access For All


Viviana Franco - Executive Director of From Lot To Spot
Eddy Jara - City of Riverside Program Coordinator: Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention
Joey Romero - Program Director for Mobile Fresh


Fortino Morales III - UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator
Networking Break10:35am
Breakout Sessions

I. Market Development for Small Farmers (Room Location: Raincross A)

Eta Takele, UCCE County Director/Area Advisor Farm Management/Agricultural Economics
Ramiro E. Lobo, UCCE Small Farms & Agricultural Economics Advisor
Andrea Peterson - Peterson Specialty Produce and Blue Heron Farm Bed and Breakfast
David Figueroa - Vice President and Procurement, Family Tree Produce in Anaheim

II. Soil, Water and Compost Management for Farmers (Room Location: Raincross B)

David Crohn, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences at UC Riverside; UCCE Resource Conservation Specialist
Laosheng Wu, Professor of Soil Physics; UCCE Water Management Specialist

III. Launching and Funding a Local Food Enterprise (Room Location: Raincross C)

Paul Smith - Economic Development Specialist at US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Anthony Lattner - Chief Instructor for the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) Program
Diana Cescolini, M.A.M. - 
Adjunct Instructor of Accounting, Business, and Management and SCORE Counselor
Nicole Kinney - Director of the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Vincent McCoy - Director of the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center
Lunch on your own12:05pm
Business Models to Bolster Small Farmers and the Local Food System

Bob Knight - Founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.
Plenary Panel – The Impact of Water Usage, Policy and Technology on Agriculture in
Riverside and Beyond

Water Usage, Policy and Technology and their Impact on Agriculture in Riverside


Celeste Cantu, General Manager at Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA)
Craig Miller, Deputy General Manager at Western Municipal Water District (WMWD)
Kevin S. Milligan, Deputy General Manager at Riverside Public Utilities (RPU)


Justin Scott-Coe, Public Affairs Director for the Monte Vista Water District
Conclusion and Next Steps3:45pm
Community Farm Fest Workshop Schedule: Saturday, June 13
Meeting Room 1 (MR1)

9 AM: Ask a Farmer: What is Community Supported Agriculture? – Phil Noble – Sage Mountain Farm

10 AM: Saving the Seasons: An Overview of Food Preservation – Lindsay Barnes – San Bernardino County Master Food Preservers

11 AM: Innovative Water Devices – Subterranean Irrigation – Rob Buff – Intelligent Irrigation

12 PM: Rainwater and Greywater Harvesting – Alex Kallas - Agpals
Meeting Room 2 (MR2)

10 AM: Edible Landscaping – Christine Lampe and Steven Orr – UC Master Gardener Program
11 AM: Hydroponics 101 – Alex Kallas - Agpals
12 PM: Edible Weeds and Native Plants – Preston Galusky – Riverside City College
Meeting Room 3 (MR3)Grow Vegetables and Gardens Organically and Sustainably – Joyce Jong – Jong’s Organic Fertilizers

9 AM:
10 AM: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet (90 Minutes) – Dr. Mohammed Ismail and Jacob Fischer – Kaiser Permanente

12 PM:Converting to Native and Drought Tolerant Landscaping – Nancy Sappington – Inland Urban Forest Council