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On-site Technical Visit

Taking place in California’s Central Valley, May 2-5, 2024, this year’s on-site technical visit will offer students an invaluable 4-day experience. By visiting orchards, and processing plants of top industry leaders, students will learn first-hand what makes this quintessential producing region tick. The course is now open to students of the Academia Full Program, Academia Alumni and Congress participants. Read on to find out more about the amazing visits we’ve got lined up! 

SUN-MAID GROWERS OF CALIFORNIA

VINEYARD AND PROCESSING PLANT 

Sun-Maid Growers of California has a rich history that stretches back more than 110 years. A farmers’ cooperative, Sun-Maid is privately owned by hundreds of grower families who farm thousands of acres of raisin grapes in sunny central California. Sun-Maid’s 640,000-square-foot processing plant sits on more than 100 acres in Kingsburg, 20 miles south of Fresno. As the world’s largest raisin processor, Sun-Maid processes over 100 million pounds of raisins a year. The Kingsburg plant serves as Sun-Maid’s international headquarters, while the corporate headquarters is located in Fresno. Best known for selling raisins packaged in the iconic red box, Sun-Maid has an extensive product portfolio that also encompasses various dried fruits —including apricots, prunes, dates and figs— as well as yogurt-covered and organic options.

ALMOND BOARD OF CALIFORNIA

SALIDA REGIONAL ALMOND VARIETY TRIAL   

The Almond Board of California (ABC), a non-profit established in 1950, is dedicated to representing and advancing the interests of the state’s almond growers and processors. Through collaborative efforts with farmers, handlers, and stakeholders, the ABC focuses on research, marketing, and education to ensure the sustainability, profitability, and global competitiveness of California’s almond industry. This includes investing in research to enhance production practices, global marketing initiatives to increase almond consumption, and educational programs for industry support. The ABC plays a crucial role in shaping the industry’s future by fostering innovation, sustainability, and collaboration. The organization has a rich history of funding almond variety development research, conducting regional trials to assess performance under different conditions, and planting ongoing trials to help growers select optimal varieties based on their individual needs and resources. In this visit, we will learn more about ABC and its current regional variety trial.

DIAMOND FOODS

PROCESSING PLANT  

Diamond Foods is a global leader in culinary nuts proudly participating in the branded retail, food service, ingredient and international markets. The company’s long history dates back to 1912, when a group of walnut growers incorporated and introduced the Diamond of California brand. Over the subsequent decades, Diamond built upon its reputation for quality, food safety and reliability with its industry innovation. Diamond was the first brand with national advertising, the first brand on television, and the brand driving category development with a full retail line of culinary nuts. During our visit, we will tour Diamond’s main processing facility in Stockton, CA. After a significant, multi-year investment, Diamond has expanded it beyond culinary nut processing, producing added-value innovations in snack nuts, trail mixes, salad toppers, and more.

POMONA FARMING

ORCHARD 

Pomona Farming is a multilateral agricultural enterprise committed to sustainable farming practices with a strong focus on delivering outcomes that yield nutritious and clean food. Their regenerative farming practices are meticulously designed to efficiently promote ecological health, conserve precious natural resources and cultivate a positive community impact. Spanning over 33,000 acres, their diverse range of crops includes premium California almonds, pistachios, olive oil, raisins, walnuts and more. The farming operation stands at the forefront of shaping the future of sustainable agriculture through the implementation of efficient irrigation techniques, biophilic pest control and low-impact harvesting methods that maximize water conservation and reduce carbon footprint. During our visit to Pomona Farming’s Delta Ranch, we will visit a field enrolled in the company’s Regenerative Conventional Farming Plan. The visit will showcase various sustainability features, including biodiversity preservation (ecosystem integration), employee fairness and development, healthy soils (composting, cover crops, soil compaction and disturbance, soil health monitoring and technology, whole orchard recycling and winter sanitation), integrated pest management methods, and resource and waste management.

TOMRA SORTING

MACHINERY DEMO 

TOMRA is excited to support the nuts and dried fruit industry by hosting the 2024 INC Academia class at its modern facility in West Sacramento. Participants in this program will get a hands-on learning experience with TOMRA’s high-tech equipment designed specifically for sorting nuts and dried fruits. They will see up close how TOMRA’s innovative solutions improve both efficiency and quality in sorting these products. This event is more than a technology display; it’s a chance for industry experts to share knowledge and network. Through this initiative, TOMRA aims to encourage collaboration and develop future industry leaders, in line with its goal to lead the resource revolution, transforming how we all obtain, use, and reuse the planet’s resources, and helping to achieve a world without waste.

QCIFY

MACHINERY DEMO 

At the Qcify showcase, attendees can explore the latest advancements in quality control automation and data analytics. The mobile demo trailer will feature demonstrations of Qcify’s lab environment and in-line quality control system. Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to observe the functionality of Qcify’s deep-learning fueled optical sorter. The showcase will also delve into the practical applications of Qcify’s technology in connecting different aspects of processing facilities, emphasizing the integration of data and optimizing operational efficiency.

THE HULLING COMPANY

PROCESSING PLANT

For over 25 years, The Almond Company has been marketing almonds for the Harris Family and their valued growers. Processing over 100 million pounds of almonds, The Almond Company has positioned itself as a leader in the industry specializing in the packing and shipping of both inshell and brown skin almonds domestically and across the globe. Once almonds are received from the huller/sheller, The Almond Company sorts, sizes and grades inventory. Through extensive experience, they are able to work efficiently and take advantage of economies of scale. The Hulling Company was established in 2001 when the company hulled and shelled a total of about 8 million pounds of almonds. In a short nine years, 8 million pounds grew to 58 million pounds. Today The Hulling Company is proud to process nearly 100 million pounds of high-quality almond sources, from approximately 125 growers for distribution worldwide.

Copyright notice: Images sourced from The Hulling Company website.

To safeguard the businesses involved in the program of the INC On-site Technical Tour, please note that individual companies reserve the right to deny admission to any person.

On-site Technical Visit

Visits&Lectures

Taking place in California’s Central Valley, May 2-5, 2024, this year’s on-site technical visit will offer students an invaluable 4-day experience. By visiting orchards, and processing plants of top industry leaders, students will learn first-hand what makes this quintessential producing region tick. The course is now open to students of the Academia Full Program, Academia Alumni and Congress participants. Read on to find out more about the amazing visits we’ve got lined up! 

SUN-MAID GROWERS OF CALIFORNIA

VINEYARD AND PROCESSING PLANT 

Sun-Maid Growers of California has a rich history that stretches back more than 110 years. A farmers’ cooperative, Sun-Maid is privately owned by hundreds of grower families who farm thousands of acres of raisin grapes in sunny central California. Sun-Maid’s 640,000-square-foot processing plant sits on more than 100 acres in Kingsburg, 20 miles south of Fresno. As the world’s largest raisin processor, Sun-Maid processes over 100 million pounds of raisins a year. The Kingsburg plant serves as Sun-Maid’s international headquarters, while the corporate headquarters is located in Fresno. Best known for selling raisins packaged in the iconic red box, Sun-Maid has an extensive product portfolio that also encompasses various dried fruits —including apricots, prunes, dates and figs— as well as yogurt-covered and organic options.

ALMOND BOARD OF CALIFORNIA

SALIDA REGIONAL ALMOND VARIETY TRIAL   

The Almond Board of California (ABC), a non-profit established in 1950, is dedicated to representing and advancing the interests of the state’s almond growers and processors. Through collaborative efforts with farmers, handlers, and stakeholders, the ABC focuses on research, marketing, and education to ensure the sustainability, profitability, and global competitiveness of California’s almond industry. This includes investing in research to enhance production practices, global marketing initiatives to increase almond consumption, and educational programs for industry support. The ABC plays a crucial role in shaping the industry’s future by fostering innovation, sustainability, and collaboration. The organization has a rich history of funding almond variety development research, conducting regional trials to assess performance under different conditions, and planting ongoing trials to help growers select optimal varieties based on their individual needs and resources. In this visit, we will learn more about ABC and its current regional variety trial.

DIAMOND FOODS

PROCESSING PLANT  

Diamond Foods is a global leader in culinary nuts proudly participating in the branded retail, food service, ingredient and international markets. The company’s long history dates back to 1912, when a group of walnut growers incorporated and introduced the Diamond of California brand. Over the subsequent decades, Diamond built upon its reputation for quality, food safety and reliability with its industry innovation. Diamond was the first brand with national advertising, the first brand on television, and the brand driving category development with a full retail line of culinary nuts. During our visit, we will tour Diamond’s main processing facility in Stockton, CA. After a significant, multi-year investment, Diamond has expanded it beyond culinary nut processing, producing added-value innovations in snack nuts, trail mixes, salad toppers, and more.

POMONA FARMING

ORCHARD 

Pomona Farming is a multilateral agricultural enterprise committed to sustainable farming practices with a strong focus on delivering outcomes that yield nutritious and clean food. Their regenerative farming practices are meticulously designed to efficiently promote ecological health, conserve precious natural resources and cultivate a positive community impact. Spanning over 33,000 acres, their diverse range of crops includes premium California almonds, pistachios, olive oil, raisins, walnuts and more. The farming operation stands at the forefront of shaping the future of sustainable agriculture through the implementation of efficient irrigation techniques, biophilic pest control and low-impact harvesting methods that maximize water conservation and reduce carbon footprint. During our visit to Pomona Farming’s Delta Ranch, we will visit a field enrolled in the company’s Regenerative Conventional Farming Plan. The visit will showcase various sustainability features, including biodiversity preservation (ecosystem integration), employee fairness and development, healthy soils (composting, cover crops, soil compaction and disturbance, soil health monitoring and technology, whole orchard recycling and winter sanitation), integrated pest management methods, and resource and waste management.

TOMRA SORTING

MACHINERY DEMO 

TOMRA is excited to support the nuts and dried fruit industry by hosting the 2024 INC Academia class at its modern facility in West Sacramento. Participants in this program will get a hands-on learning experience with TOMRA’s high-tech equipment designed specifically for sorting nuts and dried fruits. They will see up close how TOMRA’s innovative solutions improve both efficiency and quality in sorting these products. This event is more than a technology display; it’s a chance for industry experts to share knowledge and network. Through this initiative, TOMRA aims to encourage collaboration and develop future industry leaders, in line with its goal to lead the resource revolution, transforming how we all obtain, use, and reuse the planet’s resources, and helping to achieve a world without waste.

QCIFY

MACHINERY DEMO 

At the Qcify showcase, attendees can explore the latest advancements in quality control automation and data analytics. The mobile demo trailer will feature demonstrations of Qcify’s lab environment and in-line quality control system. Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to observe the functionality of Qcify’s deep-learning fueled optical sorter. The showcase will also delve into the practical applications of Qcify’s technology in connecting different aspects of processing facilities, emphasizing the integration of data and optimizing operational efficiency.

THE HULLING COMPANY

PROCESSING PLANT

For over 25 years, The Almond Company has been marketing almonds for the Harris Family and their valued growers. Processing over 100 million pounds of almonds, The Almond Company has positioned itself as a leader in the industry specializing in the packing and shipping of both inshell and brown skin almonds domestically and across the globe. Once almonds are received from the huller/sheller, The Almond Company sorts, sizes and grades inventory. Through extensive experience, they are able to work efficiently and take advantage of economies of scale. The Hulling Company was established in 2001 when the company hulled and shelled a total of about 8 million pounds of almonds. In a short nine years, 8 million pounds grew to 58 million pounds. Today The Hulling Company is proud to process nearly 100 million pounds of high-quality almond sources, from approximately 125 growers for distribution worldwide.

Copyright notice: Images sourced from The Hulling Company website.

To safeguard the businesses involved in the program of the INC On-site Technical Tour, please note that individual companies reserve the right to deny admission to any person.

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