(Jan. 31) Three seminars focusing on helping grower-shippers and marketers compete in the global market have been scheduled in connection with the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.

The seminars, sponsored by the Fresno Center for International Trade Development, are on Feb. 12.

“The seminar on China’s food quality could be a little bit controversial because there are some questions about quality control in China,” said Frank Nunez, program development assistant at the center.

The roundtable discussion focuses on quality control issues in China and how they might affect U.S. consumers. Those on the panel include Aaron Ormond, director of science at Global Food Technologies, Hanford, Calif., and Michael Payne of the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security at the University of California-Davis.

Another session seeks to guide fresh produce industry representatives through U.S. free trade agreements.

Constance Jackson, associate administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Eduardo Torres, director of the Fresno Export Assistance Center, are scheduled to speak.

A third seminar, presented by Mechel Paggi, director of the Center for Agricultural Business at California State University-Fresno, provides an overview of the global competition facing U.S. grower-shippers. Paggi will reveal opportunities that domestic grower-shippers cannot afford to miss, Nunez said.

The center’s opening and closing seminars focus on the domestic and international biofuels industry.


Attendance for the 41st annual World Ag Expo, Feb. 12-14, is expected to top 100,000, with 67 countries represented, said Beth Sequeira, the expo’s communications director.

More than 1,700 exhibitors are registered and will display field and packinghouse equipment, communications tools and other technology and chemicals. There will be more than 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, Sequeira said. World Ag Expo is the largest farm show in the U.S., she said.

Those registering after that date may print a confirmation to be surrendered for an entrance badge at the gate. The expo’s Web site, which includes registering information, is www.worldagexpo.com.