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The Opportunities & Challenges of Agricultural Biomass Utilization

​The Opportunities & Challenges
of Agricultural Biomass Utilization

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Agricultural Biomass Conference October 5-6, 2023

Mark your calendars for this two-day conference intended for local and state stakeholders including agricultural businesses, regulators, researchers and policymakers.

  • Hear from experts on agricultural biomass research and entrepreneurship 
  • Discuss the air quality benefits for alternative uses of agricultural biomass 
  • Take part in key policy roundtable discussions
  • Foster collaboration with other stakeholders during networking sessions
The Sacramento Valley Basinwide Air Pollution Control Council is putting on the Agricultural Biomass Conference to highlight the opportunity to utilize a ubiquitous, but underused commodity – agricultural biomass. Biomass from agricultural operations in the northern valley is a renewable and reliable resource, continually generated year to year and easily transported, making it ideal for the production of bio-products like biochar and biofuels. Diverting ag biomass for alternative uses instead of burning them would greatly reduce smoke impacts and contribute to clean air goals for northern valley communities. This conference looks to bring key stakeholders together to promote discussion and fuel positive action toward ag biomass utilization.


The Agricultural Biomass Conference is a two-day event and includes a field trip to a local biomass facility and an evening networking reception. Participants have the option to attend all or part of the Biomass Conference. To register, please click the button below:

Biomass Conference Registration

​Conference Location

Hotel Winters

Orchard Ballroom

12 Abbey Street

Winters, CA 95694

Website Link

If you are staying at the Hotel Winters, plan on reserving your room as early as possible. A discounted room rate is available by using this link: 

Reservation Link

​Agenda & Speaker Info

Thursday, October 5, 2023

8:00 am   Morning Refreshments & Registration

8:30 am   Welcome & Introductory Remarks

Angel Barajas, Supervisor Yolo County

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8:45 am   Opening Remarks  

Shannon Douglass, Vice President, California Farm Bureau Federation

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9:00 am   Morning Session 1: Why are we talking about agricultural biomass?

David Shabazian, Director, California Department of Conservation


Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President, University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources

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Alicia Adams, Supervisor, California Air Resources Board

Cara Morgan, Deputy Director, CalRecycle

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10:30 am   Morning Session 2: Big Picture Challenges & Solutions for Ag Biomass Use

Dr. George Peridas, Science & Policy Officer, ZuCO2


Karen Warner, Chief Executive Officer, BEAM Circular

Virginia Jameson, Deputy Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

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Dr. Amrith Gunasekara, Director of Science and Research, California Farm Bureau Federation

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David Shabazian, Director, California Department of Conservation

11:45 am   Lunch (Orchard Ballroom)

1:00 pm   Afternoon Session 3: Legislation & Policy on Biomass 

Sheraz Gill, Deputy APCO, San Joaquin Valley APCD

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Julee Malinkowski-Ball, Executive Director, California Biomass Energy Alliance

Michael Boccadoro, President, West Coast Advisors

2:00 pm   Afternoon Session 4: Logistical Challenges & Solutions for Ag Biomass Use

Mitch Sears, Executive Officer, Valley Clean Energy

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Matt Summers, Chief Operating Officer, West Biofuels

Wayne McFarland, CEO & Chairman, SynTech Bioenergy

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3:15 pm   Afternoon Session 5: Field Trip to SynTech Bioenergy / Dixon Ridge Farms

5:30 pm   Evening Networking Reception, Hotel Winters Railroad Courtyard


Friday, October 6, 2023

8:00 am   Registration & Breakfast 

8:45 am   Opening Remarks: City of Sacramento Vice-Mayor Eric Guerra

9:00 am   Morning Session 1: Opportunities & Successes of Ag Biomass Use

Dr. Somayeh Nassiri, Associate Professor, UC Davis

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Dan Pronsolino, General Manager, Dunnigan Hills Hulling and Shelling

Greg Giguiere, Director of Vineyard Operations, Matchbook Wines

Evan Edgar, Principal Engineer and President, Edgar & Associates, Inc.

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Josiah Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Biochar

11:00 am   Morning Session 2: Breakout Session -- Where do we go from here?

12:00 pm   Closing Comments

Grant Carmon, Glenn County Supervisor

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12:15 pm   Lunch on own (not included in conference registration)

1:30 pm   Basinwide Control Council Meeting (BCC Members; Open to the Public)

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