AgPLUS hosts small business workshop

News Release

January 31, 2017

MARYSVILLE, Calif. – AgPLUS continued its Small Business Workshops on Friday, January 27, in Marysville, Calif. Valley Vision , AgPLUS Sacramento Region lead, hosted the workshop geared toward food and agriculture businesses with under 50 employees in Yuba and Sutter counties.

The forum provided the opportunity for 49 growers, ranchers, processors, distributors, and others in the supply chain, to connect with resource providers. Welcoming remarks were provided by Congressman John Garamendi.

“As part of a nationally recognized agriculture manufacturing region that generates 68% of California’s overall on-farm agricultural value, the AgPlus Consortium is vital to the future of the 3rd District,” Congressman Garamendi said. “By connecting farmers and small business owners with the necessary business development resources through their Rural Small Business Workshops, AgPlus is helping our communities create more good-paying jobs to Make It In America. I look forward to carrying on our work in growing California’s agricultural manufacturing sector.”

Presentations on resources available to food and beverage manufacturers were provided by representatives from the USDA Rural Development of California, Small Business Administration (SBA), University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), Solano Small Business Development Center, First Northern Bank and Sacramento Area Council of Governments. The event ended with a group discussion on priority needs for the area.

In 2016, AgPLUS was awarded an USDA Rural Development California Grant for its AgPLUS Rural Business Resources Assistance Program. The program provides workshops and technical assistance to small and emerging rural businesses throughout the Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and North State regions. Additional workshops are planned into 2017.


AgPLUS News – January 2017

JANUARY 2017  VOL. 2  ISSUE 1 WWW.CVAGPLUS.ORG MAIL 6     calendar 4     PERSON 6

2017 Food Processing Expo


We are just two weeks away from the 2017 Food Processing Expo in Sacramento! To kick off the event, the California League of Food Processors has teamed up with AgPLUS to host the inaugural Food Processors Workforce Summit on February 7. The Summit will address many challenges food processors face in the Central Valley, including recruiting, training and retaining a strong workforce. Panel discussions will feature experts from industry, education and government. The focus will be on food processing industry workforce needs, where companies can find help in obtaining the best employees, and how human resource managers can keep up with various regulation requirements.

Keynote speakers will be Tim Rainey, executive director of California Workforce Board, and Matthew Roberts, dean of Field Operations for Workforce and Economic Development Division, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. The morning session will be moderated by AgPLUS executive committee member Trish Kelly, Valley Vision, Sacramento; afternoon will be moderated by Sany Fiack, Zenith Insurance.

Learn more about the event and to register for the Summit

To register for the Food Processing Expo, visit the official website:

AgPLUS business resource workshops

AgPLUS will continue to implement its business resource workshops throughout the year. The next one is scheduled for January 27, in Marysville, Calif. Lead for this workshop is Valley Vision, Sacramento. Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State (OCED) and Center for Economic Development at Chico State (CED) will begin implementing workshops in their respective regions beginning in February.

Be on the lookout for upcoming workshop schedules on the AgPLUS calendar.

WET Center kicks off Regional Innovation Strategies

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Fresno State President Joseph Castro opens the January 17 kick-off event for BlueTechValley and Regional Energy Innovation Accelerator projects.

The Fresno State Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center kicked off its BlueTechValley Innovation project and Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program on Tuesday, January 17.

In November 2016, AgPLUS partners at Fresno State comprised one of 35 organizations from 19 states awarded funding through the EDA Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program in the i6 Challenge category. Learn more about RIS. The $500,000 in funding received supports the Central Valley Regional Energy Innovation Accelerator Project (Project). This will generate significant new innovations and opportunities in Central Valley disadvantaged communities (DAC) by deploying an accelerator program for water, energy and agricultural technology startups. Furthermore, the Project will leverage existing Energy Innovation Cluster programs and infrastructure to support an estimated 19 companies and generate or retain a minimum 76 part-time and 37 full-time Central Valley jobs by completion. Learn more about the Project.

Register today!

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The 2017 Manufacturing Summit is hosted by San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance. Its members have been hard at work since last year to put together the best event yet!

As at past events, there will be numerous vendors featured as well as breakout sessions with industry experts. A variety of subjects and solutions will be discussed including:

  • New Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  • State of the Art Energy Efficiency Solutions
  • Apprenticeship Programs
  • Human Resources in Manufacturing
  • Export and Import
  • Vocational English Second Language (VESL) Program
  • Trends and Best Practices in Manufacturing
  • Plus much more … including a special Manufacturing Exhibit area!

The Summit will be at the Fresno Convention Center on April 20 – Manufacturing Alliance members receive a registration discount. Learn more about Summit workshops and sponsorship opportunities.

Interested in finding out more about the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and becoming a member? Visit Go to MEMBERSHIP on the toolbar. On the dropdown box, click on the Membership Application. Download the form. Fill out all information then follow instructions to submit to Sam Geil.

CalAsian Chamber hosts 2017 international trade shows

International work group member CalAsian Chamber of Commerce is hosting two international trade shows in March and May. The Shanghai HotelEX 2017 is in Shanghai, China, from March 26 through April 2. Seoul Food and Hotel 2017 is in Seoul, South Korea, from May 14-21.

CalAsian Chamber of Commerce has been committed to helping food and beverage growers/producers expand and export their products to the Asian market for the past five years. This has been achieved by organizing international trade missions, providing export training support, marketing research and business matching. CalAsian Chamber administers the China Direct and Korea Direct export programs under a cooperative agreement with the International Trade Administration Market Development Cooperator Program under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Stay up-to-date

We have a lot of exciting new projects in the pipeline for the New Year! Be on the lookout for news on future developments, and stay up-to-date on info and upcoming events. Visit

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AgPLUS Newsletter – November 2016


AgPLUS Quarterly Newsletter: 3rd Edition

A publication of the Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium
By Fresno State Office of Community and Economic Development

November 2016, Vol. I Issue 3
AgPLUS is working everyday toward accelerating economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley through the mentorship of established, emerging and future agriculture-related manufacturing businesses and their supporting industries.

AgPLUS, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designated initiative, fosters growth and creation of food and beverage businesses and middle-skilled manufacturing jobs while also seeking to optimize the value chain potential for regional producers by promoting the transformation of raw goods into value-added products.

Here at the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), our main objective is assisting in the expansion and sustainability of regional businesses and partner organizations. We invite you to contact us and take advantage of our public sector assets in your private sector endeavors.

To learn more about AgPLUS and its IMCP designation, as well as upcoming events, news and available grants, visit

EDA Awards $250,000 to Advance Central Valley
Ag Manufacturing

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Trish Kelly, Executive Director, Valley Vision and Congressman John Garamendi.
Central Valley AgPLUS was recently awarded $250,000 in funding through the EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant. The award supports the AgPLUS Implementation Plan throughout the 28 county Central Valley region. Through this funding, AgPLUS will be able to support new developments in each of the six pillars. For more information, click here.

AgPLUS attends 2016 IMCP Summit
Executive Committee members, Mike Dozier of Fresno State's Office of Community and Economic Development, Trish Kelly of Valley Vision and Dan Ripke of Chico State's Center for Economic Development attended the annual IMCP Summit in Washington DC this October. Learn more about the trip here.


Through AgPLUS, we are tasked with developing and executing strategies for increasing investments into six important pillars of our manufacturing ecosystem. Below is our established and new objectives for each strategic strategy and pillar.

1. Workforce Developmentelectrician-1080554_1920
Strategy #1: 
K-16 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Career Pathways
Strategy #2: Community College-Industry Curriculum and Training Alignment
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS was recently awarded a USDA Rural Business Development Grant, which will provide a series of workforce development workshops in rural areas. The workshops focus will include federal and state grant procurement, micro loan access and growth strategies. Sacramento region lead, Valley Vision will kick off the workshops on November 18 in Winters, CA, while OCED and Chico State will begin implementing workshops in their regions in early 2017.

Planning is well underway for a Workforce Development Summit on February 7, in partnership with California League of Food Processors (CLFP). Coinciding with the Sacramento Food Processing Expo, the event will include panelists from all four regions of AgPLUS to discuss issues and developments for their area's workforce.

In addition to panelist discussions, the event will also release the results of a survey put together by the CLFP to identify key current work training needs. The survey will be distributed to AgPLUS members and partners in Mid-November.


2. Supply Chainroad-train-1185254_1920 2
Strategy #3: 
Supplier Mapping and Match-Making
Recent Developments:
As part of funding through EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant, AgPLUS will begin exploring supply chain mapping activities. This project will provide required information to address critical data gaps and supply leakages while promoting the improvement of value chain integration opportunities.


3. Research & Innovationoffice-594132_1920
Strategy #4: 
Central Valley AgPLUS Research Partnership
Strategy #5: Central Valley Innovation Hub (iHub) Network
Recent Developments:
Fresno State partners were awarded a $5 million dollar grant through the California Energy Commission to promote efficiency in water and energy by identifying entrepreneurs in research and development fields. The award provides resources, services and infrastructure for innovative entrepreneurs to deploy and commercialize new technologies in water and energy that will directly benefit disadvantaged communities. The Valley provides water to 8 million acres of farmland while creating 80 percent of the state's agriculture; this project will provide major benefits to food and beverage manufacturers throughout the IMCP designated area. More information can be found here.

4. Infrastructureconstruction-664705_1920
Strategy #6: 
Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) Planning Tools
Recent Developments:
Through the EDA funding, AgPLUS will provide site location and infrastructure assessments for food and beverage manufacturers. This action will help identify ready to use facilities for food and beverage processors and help communities become better prepared for site location opportunities that will greatly improve value chain integration.


5. International Tradeshipping-containers-1150062_1920
Strategy #7: 
Central Valley Export Training Program
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS partner, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, was a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce 2016 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). Recipients are chosen based on a proposal featuring innovative new projects that will generate exports conducive to the creation of new jobs. Learn more about this here.

AgPLUS has been meeting with the French based West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance on a partnership to bring more foreign investment into the Central Valley. The Executive Committee will host a tour for West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance members of the AgPLUS region in January.


6. Capital Accessfarmer-880567_1280
Strategy #8: 
Regional Finance Fund (Funds of Funds)
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS continues to explore the feasibility in providing a regional finance fund that can be easily accessed by food and beverage manufacturers. Through funding from the EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant, the Consortium will begin planning for a Funders Forum to be held in mid-2017. The Forum will help identify investment opportunities while mobilizing investment in the Valley for food and beverage manufacturing firms.

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The Office of Community & Economic Development at Fresno State is a co-leader on the Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium Executive Committee, providing operational support for the IMCP Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium.
Contact Us | Phone: 559-278-0721 |

EDA Awards $250,000 to Advance Central Valley Ag Manufacturing

For Immediate Release
Sep 22, 2016

EDA Awards $250,000 to Advance Central Valley Ag Manufacturing

Sacramento, Chico, Fresno, and Central Sierra partnering regions lead AgPLUS Initiative

SACRAMENTO, CA – Valley Vision Managing Director Trish Kelly was notified today by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) that California’s Central Valley will be awarded $250,000 to carry out implementation activities as part of the Valley’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).

Click here to view entire news release

AgPLUS Consortium hits a home run

Valley Vision
By Trish Kelly, Evan Schmidt and Adrian Rehn

March 16, 2016

On March 2nd and 3rd Valley Vision trucked down Highway 99 (and saw beautiful wildflower blooms along the way!) to Fresno, California.

As you may know, the Central Valley – 28 counties from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south – was designated as an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) region by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Regional partners formed the Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium (AgPlus) to implement the region’s IMCP strategy for accelerating the growth of manufacturing in the Valley.

Click here for full story at Valley Vision