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Washington Conference Education

September 20-22, 2021 | Washington, D.C.

Choose from a variety of United Fresh Washington Conference concurrent educational sessions throughout the week to prepare to advocate for your business during virtual Congressional Meetings with the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Advocacy in a Virtual Environment
Just like your own business, our work in Washington DC doesn’t stop just because we’re not in person. COVID-19 has created challenges with advocacy but also unique opportunities to engage with elected leaders in a virtual setting. Congressional meetings, committee hearings, and constituent engagement have all been reframed to allow for education and advocacy in a new way. Learn from experts on effective ways to create productive sessions with elected leaders and administration officials. Discover how to bring these officials into your operations and build a positive education opportunity in real time 365 days a year.


  • Dana Culhane-Brennan, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc
  • Alex DiNovo, President & COO, DNO Produce
  • Kim Durcho, Vice President, BIPAC
  • Mollie Van Lieu, Senior Director, Nutrition Policy, United Fresh Produce Association

What We Can Learn From Other Food Sectors
While we’re all tackling the fresh produce industry’s challenges, what can we learn from other sectors? Let’s visit with other food sectors to understand how they are managing their supply chain from the initial chaos of a nationwide shutdown to the “new normal” as the country begins to slowly open back up.


  • Dave Carlin, Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Jonathan Eisen, Senior Vice President, Government Relations International Foodservice Distributors Association
  • Kedrin Simms Brachman, Director of Government Relations, National Fisheries Institute

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | 3:00 -4:00 pm

What’s the Future of Federal Nutrition Programs?
This impactful session focuses on how schools are adapting their eating environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, how our industry can sustain the gains of fresh produce consumption in nutrition programs in the age of COVID, whether school salad bars can ever come back, and whether COVID-19 might actually lead to new importance for fresh produce in federal nutrition programs.


  • Mark Munger, VP, Sales & Marketing, 4Earth Farms
  • Jacqlyn Schneider, Deputy Chief of Staff, Senate Agriculture Committee 
  • Katie Wilson, Executive Director, Urban School Food Alliance 

Managing Workforce Challenges in a COVID-19 Environment 
The produce industry faces challenges in workforce availability, worker safety, and increased government requirements at the federal, state, and local levels. This session will highlight the most successful tools industry leaders have used during the pandemic and how we can continue to create a safe and stable work environment.


  • Jon DeVaney, President, Washington State Tree Fruit Association
  • Colby Pereira, Vice President, Operations, Braga Fresh
  • Toby Purse, Chief Farm Officer, Lipman Family Farms 

Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 3:00 -4:00 pm

International Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
COVID-19 is a global crisis, affecting produce industry members around the world. Learn from key international companies how agriculture and food systems in their countries have addressed COVID-19 and how it has impacted global trade.


  • Montserrat Duarte, CEO, Agros Produce 
  • Eric Olafson, Director, Global Trade & Business Development, Port Miami 
  • Matias Pinto Pimentel, Head of Economic Department/Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Chile 
  • Viviane Schappo, Senior Director, Supplier Latam, Apeel 

Partnership with FDA and the Fresh Produce Industry
The fresh produce industry and the FDA have a unique and critical relationship that should be celebrated. Working together, we continually learn about best practices to reduce risk, improve traceability, and mitigate impact when the unthinkable, but inevitable, happens. Learn about the crucial relationship FDA has with our industry around creating guidance, understanding FSMA regulations, addressing outbreak investigations, and navigating the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker: Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, FDA

For more information, contact Amanda Griffin, Vice President, Education & Program Management, at 202.303.3412.