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Organizers call virtual Almond Conference a success

Tim Hearden Almond Conference website
The Almond Conference website was designed as a virtual convention center.
Throughout the week, 3,213 people attended and engaged in sessions, visited the trade show and networked with fellow industry members.

Last week's virtual Almond Conference was a success, with 3,213 people attending and engaging in sessions, visiting the trade show and networking online with fellow industry members, organizers say.

"From general sessions featuring big names in U.S. trade, agriculture and policy to the science behind almonds and skin health, The Almond Conference 2020 had it all!" organizers said on the conference's website.

The annual event that typically draws 4,000 people to the downtown convention center in Sacramento was virtual this year because of COVID-19 restrictions that continue to force live events to cancel, postpone or revamp their venue.

“Going virtual will ensure we are able to gather with our friends and colleagues from around the world in a truly global event," Almond Board of California president and chief executive officer Richard Waycott said before the conference, which was held Dec. 8-10.

Waycott, joined by ABC Chair Kent Stenderup and Vice Chair Brian Wahlbrink, kicked off this year’s Conference with the annual State of the Industry address. During the address, Waycott, Stenderup and Wahlbrink discussed the current state and outlook for the California almond industry, including the challenge of marketing the 3 billion pound crop and how the Almond Board is investing in building demand and protecting the reputation of California almonds and almond growers around the globe.

In addition to the opening presentation, the conference included general sessions featuring former U.S. chief agricultural negotiator Darci Vetter, former USDA deputy secretary Krysta Harden, and noted political analyst Charlie Cook.

Recordings of more than two dozen conference sessions are loaded onto the California Almonds YouTube channel. The 2021 conference is set for Dec. 7-9 at the Sacramento Convention Center.

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