California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross is among 10 expert presenters that will speak at the 36th annual Agribusiness Management Conference from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno (2233 Ventura St.).

The conference will bring together members from the state’s agricultural business, economic, political and research sectors, as well as Fresno State faculty, staff and students.

This year’s theme is “California Agriculture: The View in 2025” and will include presentations on state, national and international economic forecasts and investment, automation, industry and political topics.

Ross will close the conference from noon to 1 p.m. with a luncheon talk entitled “The View from Sacramento into the Next Decade.”

Ross has served in the state government’s top agricultural position since 2011 after she served as national agriculture secretary chief of staff from 2009 to 2010. She is a former president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (1996 to 2009) and former vice president of the Agricultural Council of California (1989 to 1996).

Earlier in the morning, Dr. Terry Barr, a chief economist for CoBank, will give a national economic outlook. R. Dennis Moon, a national sales executive for Bank of America U.S. Trust private wealth management, will present on global agricultural investment.

A roundtable about the future of Central California agricultural automation will feature Jim Marderosian, president of Bee Sweet Citrus; Mike O’Hara, project management lead of JBT Corporation; David Stinson, vice president for Intelligrated western regional sales and operations; and Dr. Alex Alexandrou, chair of the Fresno State Industrial Technology Department.

George Soares, managing partner of Kahn, Soares and Conway, LLP, will host a panel discussing industry performance and opportunities related to politics that that will include George Radanovich, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association; and Rob Stutzman, president of Stutzman Public Affairs.

“This year’s conference will feature some of our most distinguished leaders in California agriculture, all of whom provide a valuable perspective on current and future issues facing our farmers,” said Dr. Bill Erysian, associate director of the Fresno State Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Early registration for the conference is $100 by Oct. 31 at Late or walk-in registration is $125, and pre-registered faculty can attend for $25.

More conference information is available at or 559.278.4405.

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