The Southwest Agricultural Summit is just around the corner – March 7-8 in Yuma, Ariz. 

This industry event will include two packed days of educational experiences targeting agricultural professionals, industry representatives, and educators. 

This year's event will be held at the University of Arizona's Yuma Agricultural Center, Pivot Point Conference Center, and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

The summit will kickoff March 7 at 7 a.m. with field demonstrations at the University of Arizona's Yuma Agricultural Center showcasing the latest and greatest equipment and agriculture practices at work. Breakfast burritos will be served. 

Tim Bradley, the Ultimate Shooter, Team Benelli U.S.A., will demonstrate his sharpshooting abilities. After the field demonstrations the Jacob Louis Daily golf tournament will be held at the Desert Hills Golf Course followed by the opening reception at the Pivot Point Conference Center.

Thursday's schedule will kick-off with a sponsor breakfast and the keynote speaker, Mike McCarty, CEO, Helena Chemical Company, at the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

McCarty has a lifetime of experience in agriculture. Helena Chemicals employs 3,000 people at more than 350 sales locations across the country. McCarty’s presentation will include insight into the future of the industry. 
Breakout sessions will be held throughout the day at the Pivot Point Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn. 

Topics will include pest and disease management, desert alfalfa production, fresh produce safety, immigration and regulations, cotton production, and agricultural business management.

A complete schedule of events and descriptions of the breakout sessions are available online at www.swagsummit.com.

Monte Lake, Partner, CJ Lake LLC, Washington, DC, and Tamar Jacoby, CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA, will lead a panel discussion on agriculture labor and immigration reform. 

The lunch keynote speaker is Howard Buffett, Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Buffet will be interviewed by Max Armstrong, Farm Progress director of broadcasting, on issues surrounding food security and the impact of outsourcing food production along with potential proposals. 

The Harvest Dinner will conclude the summit and serves as a kickoff for Yuma Lettuce Days. Hosted in partnership with the Yuma Visitors Bureau, the dinner is a tribute to agriculture and the relationships Yuma has with other agriculture communities. 

A homegrown menu prepared by a collaboration of local chefs, an "ag stroll" display, visiting with old friends, entertainment, and more are the highlights of the event. The dinner supports the Yuma County Ag Producers Scholarship Fund.

Arizona and California CEU and CCA hours are available. CEU registration will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. March 7 at the University of Arizona's Yuma Agricultural Center, and Thursday, March 8, at the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. 

The pre-registration cost for the summit is $50. The cost is $65 at the door.

For more information, visit www.swagsummit.com.

Contact Brenda Letendre, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, at (928) 783-9355 or yumafresh@swagsummit.com