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Source: Forbes news release

Forbes announced today its 2017 Forbes AgTech Summit. This two-day, invitation-only event on June 28-29, 2017, in Salinas Valley, California, will bring together more than 600 of the most entrepreneurial minds in global agriculture with those from the Silicon Valley to tackle some of the world's most critical challenges.

Held once again right in the heart of the Salinas Valley, the third Forbes AgTech Summit provides participants with a fully immersive experience into the burgeoning world of agricultural technology, from tours of state-of-the art processing plants to hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge, in-field technologies. The summit is designed to foster an energetic debate and generate rich networking opportunities while showcasing the latest innovation for farmers, investors and stakeholders of the global agricultural ecosystem.

"We're convening over 600 of agriculture's leading voices to debate, discuss, showcase and collaborate on innovative, near-term solutions to the most daunting challenges facing global agriculture," said Paul Noglows, executive director, Development, ForbesLive, Forbes Media and executive producer of the Forbes AgTech Summit. "We can think of no better place to do that than historic Main Street Salinas-epicenter of global agtech innovation, where Salinas and Silicon Valley meet."

The Forbes AgTech Summit will kick off on Wednesday, June 28, with exclusive tours for 150 of the participants, who will visit Taylor Farms' state-of-the-art processing plant, Grupo Flor's cutting-edge cannabis cultivation facility and the grower owned processing plant of True Leaf Farms. The tours will conclude with a series of Field Demos at Hartnell College's Alisal Campus.

The Innovation Showcase and the Plenary Sessions will follow under the summit's signature white tents on Main Street Salinas, where Janet Napolitano will present the opening keynote. The Innovation Showcase continues to expand and will feature 50 innovative agtech startups offering a wide variety of solutions to the challenges of achieving higher crop yields and less food wastage. Showcase presenters include Arable, California Safe Soil, Cool Planet, Harvest CROO Robotics, HeavyConnect, HydroGrow, Lumigrow and SWIIM.

"Participating in the Forbes AgTech Summit exposed HeavyConnect to a wider spectrum of AgTech stakeholders and led to dozens of follow-on discussions after the event with industry leaders looking to leverage the HeavyConnect platform in their operations," said Patrick Zelaya, Founder of HeavyConnect Inc. "Our inclusion in the summit's Innovation Showcase and the Field Demos definitely raised our profile and very much helped bring us to the attention of 500 Startups."

"As an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator, we're excited to be participating in this year's summit so we can continue investing in the world's best agtech startups," said Tristan Pollock, Venture Partner, 500 Startups. "Some in Silicon Valley may think this industry is unsexy, but that's exactly why we like it. It's feeding the future, and farming innovation is desperately needed in the U.S. and around the world as the population grows." Zelaya and Pollock will be featured in conversations on the afternoon of June 28 at the opening of the Innovation Showcase.

Starting on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 28 and continuing through Thursday, June 29, the plenary sessions will encourage dynamic discussions around such topics as drought solutions, future of food production, rise of organics, robotic tech in the field, labor and the farmer of tomorrow.

Speakers include:

Brian Antle, Harvest Manager, Tanimura & Antle

Sallie Calhoun, Owner & Manager, Paicines Ranch

Amol Desphande, CEO & Co-Founder, Farmers' Business Network

Geoffrey Eisenberg, Principal, Ecosystem Integrity Fund

Mike Federle, President & Chief Operating Officer, Forbes Media

Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-In-Chief, Forbes Media

Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto

Xuemei Germaine, Chief Executive Officer, MicroGen

The Honorable Joe Gunter, Mayor, City of Salinas

Neal Gutterson, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer

John Hartnett, Founder & CEO, SVG Partners

Thomas Healy, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Hyliion

Dan Hodgson, CEO & President, FarmQA, Inc & Founding Partner, Linn Grove Ventures

Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Miku Jha, Chief Executive Officer, AgShift

Justin Kamine, Managing Member, Kamine Development Corporation

Dr. Mathias Kremer, Head of Strategy & Portfolio Management, Bayer

Mike Macrie, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Maggie McGrath, Staff Writer, Forbes Media

Krystine McInnes, Director & Chief Executive Officer, Grown Here Farms

Trent McKnight, Rancher & Founder, AgriCorps

Daniel Morash, Founder, California Safe Soil

Janet Napolitano, President, University of California, Former Secretary of Homeland Security

Paul Noglows, Executive Director, Development, ForbesLive, Forbes Media

Tom Nunes, Vice President, Operations, The Nunes Company

Nancy Pfund, Founder & Managing Partner, DBL Partners

Shami Patel, Chief Executive Officer, LumiGrow

Tristan Pollock, Entrepreneur-in-Residence & Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Matthew Seeley, Co-Founder & CEO, Organic Produce Network

Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer, Forbes Media

Dan Steere, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Abundant Robotics

Bruce Taylor, Founder & CEO, Taylor Farms

Mike Teel, Owner & CEO, Raley's

Kip Tom, CEO, Tom Farms

Rob Trice, Founder, The Mixing Bowl

Tomer Tzach, Chief Executive Officer, CropX

Mariana Vasconcelos, Chief Executive Officer, Agrosmart

Mark Young, Chief Technology Officer, Climate Corporation

Javier Zamora, Owner, JSM Organics

Patrick Zelaya, Founder, HeavyConnect

David Zaitz, Chief Executive Officer, Pieper Farms

"The Forbes AgTech Summit has helped Taylor Farms accelerate our discovery and implementation of new technologies in farming, harvesting and fresh-food-processing operations," said Bruce Taylor, founder and CEO of Taylor Farms.

The City of Salinas is the host partner. DuPont Pioneer is a presenting sponsor. Partner sponsors include Bayer, Hyliion, Land O'Lakes, Inc. and Monsanto. Supporting sponsors include Intel, Wells Fargo and Western Growers. Salinas Business Leaders include Taylor Farms, Driscoll's, Grupo Flor, Hartnell College and Yamaha.

The official wine partner is Scheid Family Wines. The official travel partner is Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Mixing Bowl and Organic Produce Network are program partners. AG/SUM is a media partner. The founding partner of the Forbes AgTech Summit is SVG Partners and its Thrive Accelerator.

For more information go here.

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