Featured Guests

Extend your experience with our in-depth breakout sessions featuring industry trailblazers.

Event Schedule

Meet with top ag industry partners to learn how their products and services can help you.

Hotel Info

Uncover new ideas and stretch your thinking all week long.

Sponsors

Make valuable connections with hundreds of your ag peers.

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Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food.

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Kristen Soltis Anderson

Kristen Soltis Anderson is the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up). She is a pollster and co-founder of Echelon Insights, a research and analytics firm. She was one of TIME’s “30 Under 30 Changing the World” and has been featured as one of ELLE’s 2016 “Most Compelling Women in Washington.”

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P.J. O'Rourke

PJ O’Rourke is the best-selling author of 17 books, including Parliament of Whores, Republican Party Reptile, Holidays in Hell, Holidays in Heck, Eat the Rick, and Don’t Vote—It Just Encourages the Bastards. With more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, O’Rourke has established himself as America’s premier political satirist.

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Sammy Duda, Western Growers 2017 Chairman

Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc. was established in 2006 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duda with production and shipping operations covering nearly 39,000 acres in the U.S. and 1,500 acres internationally. Sammy is currently serving as an advisory board member for the Center for Produce Safety. He is a past board member of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, a past chairman of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and past board member of the California Leafy Greens Research Advisory Board.

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Tom Nassif, Western Growers President and CEO

Tom Nassif took the leadership reins of Western Growers in February, 2002. His broad and distinguished leadership experience, along with his background as a labor attorney for the agricultural industry, made the former U.S. ambassador a natural choice to lead the fresh produce industry into a new era.

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Commissioner Don Brown

Don Brown was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2015. Brown, a third-generation farmer in Yuma County, has run several successful businesses while spending most of his career managing and growing his family’s extensive farm operations. He has also been active in water conservation, energy development and designing and implementing technological innovations within the industry.

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Craig J. Regelbrugge

Craig Regelbrugge serves as AmericanHort’s senior vice president, where he is responsible for industry advocacy and research programs. Regelbrugge serves in national leadership positions representing the horticulture industry on matters relating to the labor force, plant health, and trade. He co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, and is chairman of the board of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund.  He also serves on the executive committee of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, and chairs NCAE’s Immigration Committee.

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Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and most other major publications in the United States. His academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economic Affairs, the Fletcher Security Review, and Public Choice. Alex regularly appears on Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States. He is a coauthor of the booklet Open Immigration: Yea and Nay (Encounter Broadsides, 2014).

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Jeff Brothers

For almost two years, Mr. Brothers was the CEO of FLRish, Inc, a vertically integrated cannabis holding company comprised of retail, cultivation, nursery and value added services based out of Oakland CA. The well-known brand name “Harborside Health Center” is the retailer for the Holding Company. Mr. Brothers currently is a board member and Senior Advisor to FLRish, and is also advising a few other highly qualified entities navigate the cannabis space.

Las Vegas: Double-down on your success!

Event Schedule

Sunday-October 29th

9:00 a.m.

Registration and Guest Services

Western Growers staff will be available to help you get checked in for the event.

Location: TBD

6:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Attendees are welcomed in iconic Vegas style at Encore’s Braham’s Patio overlooking the resort pool. This one-hour networking event is the perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with colleagues and friends. Friendships are made and renewed while light refreshments are served along with a signature “Sin City Cooler” beverage. Light appetizers will be provided. We suggest you make dinner plans for after the reception.

Location: Braham’s Patio
Dress: Business Casual

Monday-October 30th

8:00 a.m.

Registration and Guest Services

Western Growers staff will be available to help you get checked in for the event.

Location: TBD

8:00 a.m.

Board Meeting

The Western Growers Board of Directors meeting is open to all members.

Location: Encore
Dress: Business Casual

10:00 a.m.

Breakout Session

Educational session – details to come.

Location: Debussey
Dress: Business Casual

12:00 p.m.

Chairman's Luncheon and Keynote

The Chairman of the Board, Sammy Duda, will present the Chairman’s address, followed by the keynote speaker Kristen Soltis Anderson.

Location: Encore
Dress: Business Casual

2:00 p.m.

Breakout Session - Healthcare

Guidance on providing effective and compliant healthcare benefits to your workforce during the ever changing landscape of healthcare in our industry.

Location: Debussey
Dress: Business Casual

6:30 p.m.

Chairman's Reception

Chairman Sammy Duda hosts all attendees for this reception featuring light appetizers and hosted bar.

Location: Encore
Dress: Business, Semi-Formal

7:00 p.m.

Western Growers Award of Honor Dinner Gala

Dine, celebrate, and laugh at this year’s Award of Honor Dinner Gala. Entertainment provided by Jim Gaffigan.

Location: Encore
Dress: Business, Semi-Formal

Tuesday-October 31

8:00 a.m.

Registration and Guest Services

Western Growers staff will be available to help you get checked in for the event.

Location: TBD

10:00 a.m.

Breakout Session - Cannabis

Will cannabis become the next new commodity? Join us as we discuss the growing popularity of legalized marijuana and what this means for our Ag community.

Location: Debussey
Dress: Business Casual

12:00 p.m.

PAC Lunch: "Off the Record" with P.J. O'Rourke

Western Growers Political Action Committee (WGPAC) has made a huge difference in protecting the fresh produce industry by providing critical support to the industry’s friends at key moments. Our leaders’ direct resources to support the elections of members of Congress, Senators and state legislators who step into the arena to help our industry on tough issues like immigration, water supply, environmental over-regulation and food safety. Our success depends on the actions of many and the Annual Meeting PAC Luncheon fundraiser is an opportunity to hear from excellent speakers and move ideas forward.

This year we have the honor of hosting P.J. O’Rourke. He has written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. His book about Washington, Parliament of Whores, and his book about international conflict and crisis, Give War a Chance, both reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. He is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, H. L. Mencken fellow at the Cato Institute, a member of the editorial board of World Affairs and a regular panelist on NPR’s, Wait. Wait. Don’t tell me.

Location: Encore
Dress: Business Casual

2:00 p.m.

Breakout Session - Immigration

Discussions on how members’ goals will be met with the new administration to ensure a legal and stable workforce.

Location: Debussey
Dress: Business Casual

3:30 p.m.

Breakout Session - AgSharks™

Innovations and specialized services designed to manage resources, overcome marketplace pressure, and deliver high-quality produce and more.

Location: Debussey
Dress: Business Casual

7:00 p.m.

Industry Partners Masquerade Ball

A tradition for over 90 years, the Industry Partner’s event is one of the most anticipated events at the Annual Meeting. This year’s event falls on Halloween so we are planning an unforgettable grand Masquerade Ball. Masked in mystery and draped in decadence, guests are encouraged to conceal their identities from one another until the “grand reveal” when we unmask and announce the grand prize winner of the Western Growers Foundation Raffle. Until then, guests will enjoy fabulous entertainment, games and a delicious banquet as we honor our loyal members.

The grand prize, a Haa Nee Naa fishing trip, was donated by Syngenta.

Location: Encore
Dress: Cocktail Attire

Wednesday-November 1

8:00 a.m.

"Tee it High, Let it Fly" Western Growers Golf Tournament

The 2017 WG Golf Tournament will be held at The Revere Golf Club, designed by Billy Casper and Greg Nash, just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The Revere presents a blend of beauty and challenge unlike any other in southern Nevada. Draped through the rugged desert canyons and valleys of the Las Vegas foothills, The Revere Golf Club offers unending, awe-inspiring views of the Las Vegas Skyline and mountains beyond, and the Lexington’s stunning 7,143 -yard, par-72 layout will test your shot making capabilities with classic risk/reward scenarios.  Prior to teeing off on this Las Vegas golf adventure, golfers can warm up their game at Revere’s expansive practice facility offering an all grass driving range plus two putting greens and short game pitching and putting areas.

The Western Growers’ Golf Tournament includes unlimited range balls, Revere GPS app, bottled waters on the cart, golf tees, golf towels, scorecards, bag handling, dedicated PGA Tournament Coordinator, and professional post-round scoring. Breakfast before tee-off and post tournament lunch is also included.  Contests for the longest drive, closest to the pin and longest putt will also be offered.

12:30 p.m.

Golf Tournament Lunch and Golf Awards

Celebrate after a morning of golf with lunch and awards.

Hotel Information

The Encore is a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Resort which continues the Wynn tradition of creating extraordinary interiors that elevate the guest experience with timeless design, impeccable restaurants, and exciting amenities. The rooms are elegantly appointed and equipped with advanced technologies, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views of the Las Vegas skyline.

Western Growers has negotiated a discounted group rate solely for registrants attending the 2017 Western Growers Annual Meeting.  Special rates for Western Growers’ Annual Meeting registrants start at $229. Once all the rooms in the group block have been reserved, the discounted group rates may not be available and any requests for new reservations will be based on availability and at the prevailing rate at the time of the reservation request. We encourage you to confirm your reservations early 

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Special Thank You to our Generous Sponsors

Sponsors and Donors are essential to the success of the Annual Meeting, without their financial support we would have to charge more for registrations and attending the Annual Meeting would be more expensive. They also help support us in delivering the best experience possible for our registrants by providing quality subject matter experts, moderators and by donating raffle gifts for the foundation.

Multi-Platinum

Platinum

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Industry Partners

Barkley Ag Enterprises Belli Architectural Group Blue Book Services Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Buckman-Mitchell Buttonwillow Warehouse Company Calpine Containers Famous Software
Frost, PLLC Fruit Growers Supply Grimmway Enterprises Holaday Seed Company, Inc.
J S Ag Packaging L&G, LLP Attorneys at Law Law Offices of Shawn E. Caine Mixtec Group
Ocean Mist Farms Progressive Packaging Group Sakata Seed America Southern Valley Chemical
Sturdy Oil Company The Growers Company Tuttle, Taylor, and Heron Vegetable Growers Supply Co

We are committed to offering a sponsorship program that will give you peak exposure while meeting your company goals. To join our family of generous sponsors and donors, or to learn more about how a sponsorship with the Western Growers’ Annual Meeting can help your company, please contact Lezlie Puglia.

Changing Workers’ Comp in the Ag Industry

Sponsored by Western Growers Insurance Services

The Western Growers workers’ comp program leverages more than 30 years of ag Industry expertise, giving us the insight required to offer WG members high-level solutions usually reserved for only the largest employers.