Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Huntley College Hosts Inaugural California Coffee Summit

Published Date: Jan 29, 2018 12:00:00 PM

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More than 60 people came to the inaugural California Coffee Summit at Cal Poly Pomona to learn about growing coffee in California.

The Huntley College of Agriculture hosted the all-day summit on Thursday, Jan. 18, at AGRIscapes.

The summit featured experts from the industry speaking about the challenges and opportunities of growing coffee in California. They included Jay Ruskey and Todd D’Alessio of Good Land Organics; Scott Murray, a San Diego County coffee grower; and Andy Mullins and Benjamin Myers of Frinj Coffee.

Among the topics covered were growing coffee, planting coffee with avocado trees, dealing with pests and diseases, processing methods, and marketing opportunities. 

Stuart Nakamoto and Andrew Kawabata from the University of Hawaii Extension spoke about Hawaiian-grown coffee, while Mark Gaskell, Ramiro Lobell, and Gary Bender from the University of California Cooperative Extension also spoke at the summit.

Cal Poly Pomona speakers included Valerie Mellano, Department of Plant Science professor and chair; soils lab technician Duncan McKee; and graduate student Chris Van Norden. They talked about conducting a trial project growing coffee on campus, testing to see which varieties will thrive. Van Norden and senior Keith Kittridge are conducting research as student projects toward their degrees.

Participants at the summit also sampled both Hawaiian and California-grown coffee.