Labor recruiting and retention affects all Colorado produce farms.   Join CFVGA December 5, 2018 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, Aurora, Colorado in our first in-depth conference devoted to understanding the current condition, learning updates on current and new programs, and finding innovative solutions for Colorado fruit and vegetable growers.   The CFVGA Produce Labor Conference will feature live labor saving technology demos and a pitch and discuss session with labor solutions innovators.

This conference is generously supported by a grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture through the USDA’s Specialty Crops Block Grant Program.

Conference registrants: Download a PDF of the conference program to your phone


Conference Flyer

Conference location:  Arapahoe County Fairgrounds
25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora, CO  80016

Registration opens October 1.  Early registration ends Nov 27 at midnight
Member pricing:  $40 early/$50 late
Non-member pricing:  $60 early/$70 late
Click here for online registration

CFVGA has a small block of rooms until Nov 11 for $139 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites  Check out the conference hotel, located at 24192 E Prospect Avenue, Aurora, CO

Questions?  Marilyn Bay Drake   303-594-3827

Exhibitors and 2018 CFVGA Sponsors

Get your labor solutions in front of Colorado produce growers with a 10′ booth space.  CFVGA sponsors are eligible for a free to low cost booth space guaranteed if requested by Oct 1.

Space includes 6′ table, pipe and drape behind your booth, and two chairs and free wifi.  Electricity is available for free upon request.

Click here for the exhibitor space request form and submit it asap.  Up to 15 total spaces available.

Sponsors can register for free with or without an exhibitor booth. Contact Marilyn Bay Drake for registration code  303-594-3827

CFVGA seeks innovators to present at the conference!

Tech Demos RFP 
Do you have a product in the marketplace that solves labor issues on farm?  Submit your proposal by Oct 30 and CFVGA will select up to 4 companies for an exclusive opportunity to demo your product to a live conference audience in small groups for discussion and feedback.  All selected will receive a free booth, lodging for one night and free Dec 5 conference registration. The conference audience will vote on their top solution and the winner receives a 1 year scholarship with the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology valued at $3000.

Pitch and Discuss RFP
Got a great idea not yet in the marketplace that can help with labor supply, technology and management?  Submit your proposal by Oct 30 and CFVGA will select up to 6 to pitch their ideas then discuss in small groups with the conference audience for feedback.  All selected will receive free registration to the Dec 5 conference.  The audience will select a winner to receive free registration at the CFVGA Annual conference February 25-26, 2019 in Denver ($130 value).

Interested in farmworker issues?

CFVGA encourages you to attend the Colorado Agriculture and Farm Labor Summit
December 3 – 4, 2018 | Colorado Springs

In an effort to foster solutions for farmworkers and produce farm employers, CFVGA collaborated with conference planners in 2017 to seed deeper understanding.  In 2018, we are collaborating again to learn and explore ways to meet the needs of employees and employers.  Click here for more details and look under the “Conference/Events” tab

CFVGA does not endorse the products, services, opinions or positions of the presenters in its conference.  We invite you to examine these and discern for yourself if they have value to you regarding your work in produce farm labor.


Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018

1:00 – 5:00 pm

Exhibitor set-up option 1

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018

6:00 – 7:00 AM

Exhibitor set-up option 2

7:00 – 8:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast, Visit with Exhibitors

8:00 – 8:15 AM

Opening remarks with audience polling and interaction

Reid Fishering, CFVGA Treasurer and Labor Committee Chair

Reid Fishering works for Mountain Quality Marketing LLC, located in Montrose. He works on both operations and sales for the family run business.

Mountain Quality Marketing LLC is a harvesting, sales and logistical company that focuses on Olathe Sweet Corn. The Fishering Family has been in Montrose since the early 80’s, and has grown a wide variety of vegetables throughout the years ranging from broccoli, cauliflower, onions, raspberries and hops.

8:15 – 9:00 AM

Trends in U.S. Domestic and International Farm Worker Situation

Session description

Jason Resnick, VP and General Counsel for Western Growers, offers a perspective based on the Western Growers Labor Committee regarding factors and trends in availability of domestic and international farm workers.

Jason Resnick, Western Growers, Vice President and General Counsel

Jason Resnick joined Western Growers in 2003 as a staff attorney. Today as Vice President and General Counsel, he has responsibility for overseeing the organization’s legal affairs.  Jason works closely with the Western Growers executive team on legal, business and policy matters and he has primary staff responsibility for the Western Growers Labor Committee.

Prior to joining Western Growers, Jason was a litigator at a prominent Orange County law firm. His litigation experience includes trying jury and bench trials, administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies, and drafting appellate briefs to the California Supreme Court and state and federal courts of appeal.

Jason is a frequent speaker and magazine contributor on employment law and ag labor availability issues. He serves on the board of directors for the Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA) and is a past co-chair of the Agribusiness Committee of the State Bar of California.

Jason received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and his JD from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Domestic workers hard to find?  Learn how H2A solutions may work for both small to large growers.

Session description

Hear from a panel of professionals how to get the most out of H2A.  Whether you are a seasoned H2A employer or think H2A is not a fit for you, this session will give you actionable next steps and resources.

Kerry Scott, MAS Labor, Program Manager

Panel segment:  Joint employer H2A application for small farms

Kerry is Program Manager for MAS Labor, based in Lovingston, Virginia, the country’s largest supplier of H-2A and H-2B legal guest workers.  MAS provides H-2 services in 46 states and in virtually every agricultural sector from apiculture to viticulture.  Kerry originally made farm calls for MAS; advising clients on how to stay in compliance with the highly regulated H-2A program.  Kerry’s responsibilities now include business development for MAS, reporting directly to the owners of the company.  This work has him exhibiting and speaking to agricultural and horticultural groups all over the country.  Recent participants have credited Kerry as being the first speaker to leave them truly understanding the H-2A program.

Jason Resnick, Western Growers, Vice President and General Counsel

Panel segment:  Farm labor contractors and use of H2A workers

Eric Hanagan, Hanagan Farms, Owner

Panel segment:  Small employer success with H2A

My name is Eric Hanagan and I am a 6th generation farmer from the Rocky Ford area and Lower Arkansas Valley. We farm approximately 1500 acres. We grow various vegetable crops, Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, Watermelon, alfalfa and corn.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from Colorado State University. I am also a Director for Catlin Consolidated Canal Company, Catlin Augmentation Association, Rocky Ford Growers Association and Secretary of the East Otero Conservation District.

My wife Kim and I have three children. Mason is sixteen, Emma is thirteen and Luke is eleven years old. They attend school in the Swink School District and are active in sports, 4H and FFA.

Kerri Owen, Colo Dept of Labor and Employment, Foreign Labor Certification Coordinator

Panel segment:  Optimal H2A Applications

Kerri Owen is the Foreign Labor Certification Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and has worked in Workforce Development for 5 years. Kerri assists employers/agents with the H-2A and H-2B application process regarding job orders that must be placed in Connecting Colorado, housing inspections, and job referrals.

Susan McKitrick, Multi Family Housing Program Director, Colorado, USDA Rural Development

Panel segment:  New funding for H2A housing

Susan McKitrick is the Multi Family Housing Program Director for USDA Rural Development in Colorado.  She has over 20 years experiencing in the USDA RD Multi Family Housing Program and 30 years with the Agency.  Through her career she has provided loan origination and restructuring on over 100 Multi Family Housing transactions.  In addition, she has been responsible for regulatory compliance and provided asset management in Washington State through April 2015 and for the state of Colorado since May 2015.

10:00 – 10:30 AM

Visit with Exhibitors

10:30 – 11:30 AM

Colorado Ag and Farm Labor Summit feedback

Session description

Hear conference leads from the Dec 3 – 4 Colorado Ag and Farm Labor Summit in Colorado Springs, (a conference focusing on the needs of farm workers) regarding their participants’ thoughts on how to improve domestic farmworker recruitment, discuss in small groups, and offer grower feedback.

Betty Velasquez and Robert Sakata

11:30 – 12:30


12:30 – 1:30

Innovative solutions:  tech demos

Session description

Ready to see labor saving tech demos?  Participants break into small groups and see live demos of labor saving technologies up close and personal and then vote on the labor solution that could be most beneficial to their farms.  The winner receives a free one year scholarship to the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology.


Checchi & Magli – Grant Allen

Nova Packaging – Paul Wegman

Sebenza – Greg Wood

Volm Companies – Ethan Toland

1:30 – 1:45 PM

Visit with Exhibitors

1:45 – 3:00 PM

Grower/labor provider speed dating and Visit with Exhibitors

Session description

Not for romance, but in a speed dating format, participants meet and ask questions of various domestic and international labor providers such as farm labor contractors, H2A agents and contractors, mobile workforce providers, web based job finder services, etc.

Labor providers confirmed - currently recruiting for more!

Farm Labor Contractors:

Catarina Dominguez
JR Seasonal Harvest Inc.
Los Perez Contracting Co.
Tino’s Harvesting Contracting
McNeil Labor

H2A Agents:

MAS Labor
Snake River Farmer’s Association
Western Growers
Labor Consultants International
Farm Labor USA
Colorado Dept of Labor and Employment

Temp agencies:

Advance Services, Inc.

Workforce App:



3:00 – 4:00 PM

Innovative solutions: pitch and discuss

Session description

Hear innovators pitch up-and-coming solutions including but not limited to finding qualified ag labor, technology and management, discuss ideas with presenters in small groups, give feedback and then vote on a winner!  The winner receives free two day 2019 Annual Conference registration.


Profit Sharing – Alan Smith

Mobile Workforce – David Laskarzewski

DocuPots – Roger Hosea