The Almond Board of California's 32nd Almond Industry Conference is scheduled for Dec. 1-2 at the Modesto Centre Plaza in downtown Modesto.

This is the largest almond-related conference of its kind and attracts industry members throughout California's Central Valley who together produce more than 85 percent of the world's supply of almonds.

The conference theme is “Strength in Numbers” and it will focus on the environmental and food safety challenges in the almond industry.

This event offers the most up-to-date almond production research available with almost 50 researchers presenting their most recent findings. Attendees will learn more about air quality regulations, food safety issues, and additional environmental issues.

Continuing education credits will be offered both days.

There also will be a trade show for industry suppliers.

The 2004 Speaker roster includes:

  • Michael Deaver, vice chairman, Edelman Public Relations and former deputy chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, addressing attendees of the Wednesday, Dec. 1 dinner regarding the importance of trust and reputation.

  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, the nation's top epidemiologist, appearing with Chris Tuffli of Paramount Farms, and Jeff Farrar of the California Department of Health Services to offer insight into the May food safety incident.

  • Dale Darling, industry member and climber of Mount Everest addressing attendees of the Dec. 1 luncheon regarding the importance of teamwork and discipline when facing challenges.

  • A.G. Kawamura, secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture addressing attendees of the Thursday, Dec. 2 luncheon regarding the evolving environmental challenges facing California almond growers and handlers.

Conference attendance is free. Lunch is available on both days and dinner on day one for a nominal fee. A complete conference schedule, hotel reservation information and registration form can be obtained at http://Conference.AlmondBoard.com or by calling (209) 549-8262.