Western Growers Names Walt Duflock as Vice President, Innovation
Western Growers announced Walt Duflock has accepted the position as Vice President of Innovation. The association represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in AZ, CA, CO, and NM.
In this role, Duflock will be focused on accelerating agtech for member companies and expanding the footprint of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology. He says he wants to make sure the technologies being commercialized are meeting the needs of the grower.
Duflock… “How do the growers look at labor and look at food safety? Because we know what the outbreaks cost and the recalls costs; those are really expensive. So how can we work together to solve those faster? And how do the farmers, how do the growers look at food safety costs on an annual basis and where can innovation save some of that and solve some of that? Same thing with labor. And labor might be even more interesting to watch from a baseline perspective, because we know that labor, if you look at minimum wage. You look at the break rules. You look at the heat rules. You look at the overtime rules. I mean, labor is forecast to go up 70% over the next five years. And so how has the grower modeling for that? Because that's going to have an impact on the innovation, adoption, and the level of interest.”
Duflock is from a multigenerational ranch in Monterey County and brings with him over 25 years of experience in agriculture and technology, with an emphasis on startup development.