Looking for the latest viticulture and technology research from the world's top experts?
The 2021 Sustainable Ag Expo features 6 weeks of virtual learning PLUS exclusive in-person gatherings throughout California’s beautiful Central Coast. Earn continuing education hours and improve your business all while networking with peers and agriculture companies.
Gain actionable tips from more than 40 of the world’s top experts and experienced growers who specialize in vineyard IPM, the Efficient Vineyard Project, regenerative agriculture, robotics & automation, weed management, rodent control, grape trunk disease, and soil health.
Liz Carlisle is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on food and farming. Born and raised in Montana, she got hooked on sustainable agriculture while working as an aide to organic farmer and U.S. Senator Jon Tester, which led to a decade of research and writing collaborations with agroecological farmers in her home state. She is the author of Lentil Underground and co-author, with Bob Quinn, of Grain by Grain, and she has written both popular and academic articles about food and farm policy, incentivizing soil health practices, and supporting new entry farmers. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology, from Harvard University. Prior to her career as a writer and academic, she spent several years touring rural America as a country singer.
Cooperative Extension Specialist Plant Pathologist
Dr. Akif Eskalen
Dr. Akif Eskalen is a Plant Pathologist, Cooperative Extension Specialist, and lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis. He received a Master's and a Ph.D. in Mycology and Plant Pathology. Dr. Eskalen worked as post-doctoral research in Dr. Doug Gubler's lab at UC Davis between 2001-2007. He was a CE specialist at UC Riverside before taking over Dr. Gubler's vacant position at UC Davis in September 2018. Dr. Eskalen's primary research interests include the detection, biology, epidemiology, and control of fungal pathogens on the grapevine, fruit trees, and small fruits.
Dr. Eskalen had the award of arboriculture research by the International Society of Arboriculture in 2016, and an outstanding education material award with his book chapter in California Master Gardener Handbook in 2015. He is the elected president of the American Phytopathological Society, Pacific Division.
Dr. Yu Jiang
Dr. Yu Jiang joined Cornell AgriTech as an Assistant Research Professor of Systems Engineering and Data Analytics for Specialty Crops in 2019 right after the completion of his Ph.D. degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Georgia. He leads the Cyber-Agricultural Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) lab and focuses on system engineering and data analytics for specialty crops. Currently, his lab is developing a robotic multimodal, multiscale system that enables data-driven research and management of grape diseases from lab to field. He serves as PI and co-PI on multiple projects that are funded by federal agencies such as USDA as well as industrial agencies such as New York Wine Grape Foundation and Pennsylvania Wine Marketing & Research.
Dr. Rodger Baldwin
Roger Baldwin is a Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist at the University of California (UC), Davis, specializing in human-wildlife conflict. Roger conducts his research and extension program primarily in agricultural and natural resource environments, with a special emphasis on mammalian species. Roger received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in various wildlife-related programs from Kansas State University, The University of Memphis, and New Mexico State University, respectively.
Dr. Katherine Bedard
Katherine Bedard enjoys removing barriers for the approximately $1.4 billion of California wine exports. Based in California (USA) Wine Institute’s Washington, D.C. office, she works with Wine Institute members and staff, the U.S. government, international industry organizations, and foreign governments to respond to international barriers and advance the U.S. wine trade agenda. Most recently, Katherine served as an International Trade Specialist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, focusing on eliminating trade barriers for processed agricultural products, including U.S. wine.
Jeff Bitter is a lifelong resident of California. Born into a family vineyard operation, Jeff has always had a passion for agriculture and specifically grape growing. Jeff is the President of Allied Grape Growers (AGG), a 500-member statewide grape growers cooperative marketing association. AGG markets nearly $100,000,000 worth of grapes annually to wineries, shippers, packers, and dehydrators. In addition to managing AGG, Jeff is a fourth-generation grape grower on land he and his wife own and operate.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from California State University, Fresno, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the same. Jeff is also a graduate of Class XXXII of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, a prestigious two-year fellowship program emphasizing leadership training and development for those involved in California agriculture.
Dr. Zihao Wang
Zihao Wang is an associate lecturer at The University of Sydney, researching Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical, and Mechatronic Engineering. He completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours Class 1) in 2014, and then a Ph.D. in Intelligent UAVs for Pest Bird Control in Vineyards in 2021. He is interested in autonomous systems and their applications. His current focus is to develop an autonomous UAV system for bird damage management in agriculture.
Dr. Karl Wyant
Dr. Wyant currently serves as the Vice President of Ag Science for Heliae® Agriculture and is responsible for overseeing internal and external trials and agronomy training. Before working at Heliae® Agriculture, Dr. Wyant served as an agronomist for a major agricultural retailer in the California and Arizona growing regions. Dr. Wyant earned his advanced degrees at Arizona State University (PhD - 2014) and Colorado State University (MS - 2008). Dr. Wyant is a Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) and also has his CA and AZ PCA licenses.