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Wednesday, February 26

Day Three:

Our Agricultural Future and Where We Go From Here



8:00 - 9:00AM         Breakfast

La Jolla Ballroom – Salon E


9:00 - 9:45 AM        Keynote: Our Agricultural Future: A Report on CEA Research

Dr. Mark Lefsrud, Dept. of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University

Introduced by Darrin Drollinger, ASABE 

La Jolla Ballroom – General Session


10 - 10:45AM            Farms of the Future 1: Urban Business Models, Crops, Grow


Urban agriculture is a broad term used to describe any form of agriculture in dense built environments. From vertical stacking in warehouses to green roofs and walls on and in commercial high-rises, the future of food offers a return to local sourcing and increasingly creative and efficient horticultural approaches. What business models are emerging, which crops are seeing the most success, how are energy and water resources being optimized, what are consumers demanding and where will human ingenuity and technology take us?

Djavid Abraham, Agritecture 

Sam Schatz, AeroFarms 

Grant Vandenbussche, Fifth Season

Chris Higgins, UrbanAg News 

La Jolla Ballroom – General Session


11:00 - 11:45AM        Farms of the Future 2: The Evolution and Role of Greenhouses

Greenhouses offer opportunities to capture natural sunlight and augment it with supplemental electric light to lengthen growing seasons, offer additional growth cycles, and increase yields.  Through dynamic controls, greenhouse operators can optimize environmental conditions across a range of simple and sophisticated structures featuring various materials and technologies. The role of greenhouses in our agriculture future is expanding; could this lead to an increasing use of controls strategies by leaders in the market?

Janeen Wright, Greenhouse Grower

Paul Sellew, Little Leaf Farms

Erico Mattos,  GLASE

Dave Nichols, AppHarvest
Kale Harbick, US Dept. of Agriculture

                                     La Jolla Ballroom – General Session


12:00 - 12:45PM       Lunch

La Jolla Ballroom – Salon E

1 - 1:45PM                 Precision and Price at Scale: A Technology Roadmap for the

Future of Agriculture

From automation to artificial intelligence, how are technologies of the future improving the delivery, accuracy, and efficiency of systems that consume energy and water, and how are energy and water resources possible to optimize for plant health and growth? Gain insights from these leading producers and market influencers.

Lauren Morlino, Efficiency Vermont

Chris Higgins, UrbanAg News 
Matthew Gaboury, Calyx King & House of Cultivar

Grant Vandenbussche, Fifth Season

                                    La Jolla Ballroom – General Session


2:00 - 2:45PM          Adapting Codes for Buildings with Plants, Not Humans

Join these experts in building energy codes for a robust conversation on how reputable codes and standards have been evolving and will continue to change to address the unique buildings containing indoor grow environments, which have yet to be officially recognized by international building code. Panelists will discuss a range of state, national and global energy codes, including the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), California’s Title 24 Requirements and several ASHRAE standards.

Jen Amann, ACEEE

Alexi Miller, New Buildings Institute
Kyle Booth, Energy Solutions
Keith Coursin, Desert Aire

                                    La Jolla Ballroom – General Session

3:00 - 3:30PM         Keynote: Finding common ground in the search for EEMs for 

Indoor Agriculture

Dr. Sabeh is a leader in the field of energy efficiency in greenhouse and indoor design and operation. She will summarize her deep expertise in identifying energy-saving measures in cultivation environments to provide top recommendations for optimizing grow facilities in any location and climate. Dr. Sabeh will review energy-restricting actions taken by various local jurisdictions. She will point out where these actions are in conflict with crop productivity and quality, and will offer additional new energy efficiency measures to help find common ground.

Dr. Nadia Sabeh, Dr. Greenhouse

Introduced by Thao Chao, California Energy Commission (invited)


3:45 - 4:30PM         Breakout Sessions


HVAC Best Practices for Controlled Environment Agriculture

Join in an expert discussion about emerging best practices on optimizing energy efficiency and plant growth. Hear guidance on a range of issues, such as determining and achieving the right temperature set points and understanding vapor pressure differential and how to monitor it in your grow environments. Learn from our panel of speakers who contributed to RII’s peer-reviewed Best Practices Guide: HVAC for Cannabis Cultivation & Controlled Environment Agriculture. 

Rob Battiston, InSpire Transpiration Solutions
Michael Leavitt, Root Engineers 
Keith Coursin, Desert Aire

Gretchen Schimelpfenig, Resource Innovation Institute 

Cardiff Room: First Floor


Best Practices from Utility Program Models

Hear about new and innovative energy efficiency program designs for controlled agricultural environments, how our panel of utility leaders address cost-effectiveness in this new market segment, how they interact with new government regulations, and how they plan to verify savings amidst the variety of cultivation settings and methods. 

Rosemary Jojic, D+R International

Joe Sullivan, Cultivate Energy Optimization
Doug Oppedal, Evergreen Consulting

Fran Boucher, National Grid

Gary Corlett, Southern California Edison 

Coronado Room: First Floor

Powering the future, renewing agricultural models: Solar, storage & microgrids

How are indoor cultivation facilities reducing their carbon footprints while increasing their energy independence? These market actors will share their perspectives on a range of issues, including how to size a renewable energy commitment to how to obtain carbon-neutral backup power. Hear their case studies on indoor cultivation facilities that are recapturing CO2 from industrial facility neighbors, and join in the debate about the feasibility of a net zero energy indoor cultivation facility.

Travis Graham, Schneider Electric 
Duncan Campbell, Scale Microgrid Solutions
Mike Mattioli, Leaf California 


Newport Room: First Floor


4:45PM                    Conference Wrap Up: Next Steps

John Morris, D+R International


5:00PM                     Adjourn

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