Julian Malone of Scheid Vineyards takes an electric ATV from Barefoot Motors, one of dozens of exhibitors, out for a spin around the lawn of the Monterey Fairgrounds.
-- About 350 viticulturists and other specialty farmers soaked up information on eco-friendly business practices during the Sustainable Ag Expo held at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The Central Coast Vineyard Team organized the Nov. 13-14 event.
"Not only did we attract a variety of farmers from different areas, but our panels with speakers outside of the ag sector were very well received," said Kris O'Connor, executive director of the CCVT. "I am reminded once again that farmers are innovators and focused on solutions."
Jean-Jacques Lambert (Left)listens to comments after his talk about soil type and chemistry. Paul Anamosa (Right) is a Napa-based vineyard consultant for Vineyard Soil Technologies.
A United Nations panel in 2007 said that agriculture and forestry are responsible for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the biggest topics at the conference was how to adopt environmentally conscientious practices while still making good business decisions. For example, panelists during a session on renewable energy asserted that it's better for business owners to make their operations as energy efficient as possible before installing solar panels, otherwise they could end up throwing money away by paying for the purchase and installation of more solar cells than they need.
"There are a lot of people who want to put solar up as soon as possible, but it's really not a good business move," said John Garn, co-owner of ViewCraft.
Foxx Viticulture's Prudy Foxx (Right) is a winegrowing consultant in Santa Cruz County. Robert Wample (Left), V&E department chair at CSU Fresno, prepares to give a research update.