www.montereycountyweekly.com FEBRUARY 1-7, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 On Thursday afternoon, Jan. 25, a group of Chinese nationals, including government officials and representatives from several companies are walking through the Salinas warehouse of FarmWise, a tech company developing robotics for agricultural use. “To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time that China and the Salinas Valley have ever collaborated in any sort of agricultural exchange,” Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane says. The delegation spent three days in Salinas before heading to Fresno and Bakersfield. The City of Salinas, Salinas-based Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology and Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce quickly organized the itinerary. In addition to City Hall and FarmWise, the group also visited Hartnell College’s Alisal campus; Fresh From DeVine, a short-haul trucking company; and Organic Girl LLC, which specializes in prepackaged organic salad. At FarmWise, the group showed interest in automated tools designed to detect and eliminate weeds. One of them is Vulcan, a tractor-towed machine that uses artificial intelligence and has scanners, lighting and tiny blades to eliminate weeds without damaging crops. “We focused on the things that will be most impactful—largely robotics and mechanization along with technology and food processing and logistics,” McShane says. (The group didn’t get into the field because of rain and minimal ag production in the area this time of year, before harvest.) Members of the Chinese delegation came from companies including fast food chain Home Original Chicken Group, HeadSCM Supply Chain Management Group Co. and internet provider Beijing Zhide Intelligent Internet Technology Co. Huang Gang, chairperson and president of HeadSCM, says China can learn about logistics from America, from planting to distribution. Gang hopes there will be cooperation between China and both Salinas and Silicon valleys. He says China and Salinas produce many similar crops, but U.S. ag uses more technology; in rural China, it is mostly manual labor. There are also similar challenges when it comes to recruiting enough farmworkers in both places—in China, it’s because agricultural workers are aging. Chang says the Chinese government will invest trillions of dollars in the ag industry and bring electricity to rural communities in the coming years. “In the future, technology is definitely going to be a big hit in the industry,” Gang says, adding he wants to bring U.S. technology to China and adapt it to Chinese growers’ needs. Karin Moss, CEO of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, notes several businesses in Salinas operate at an international scale. Whether or not it leads to sales, exchanges like these make “the area more vibrant,” she says. “It just enhances the business climate.” Government officials discussed building a sister city relationship between Salinas and Anhui province. Interpreter Ye Zi contributed to this report. On Farm A Chinese delegation visits Salinas seeking to build collaboration and modernize agriculture abroad. By Celia Jiménez A Chinese delegation tours Hartnell’s Alisal campus, home to the college’s food and ag vocational programs such as produce handling, storage and transportation. NEWS “Technology is definitely going to be a big hit.” DANIEL DREIFUSS Sun - Thurs 12pm– 8pm Fri & Sat 12pm – 8:30pm 720 BROADWAY AVE. SEASIDE Call 831-899-1762 to order DINE IN / TAKEOUT / DELIVERY Great Dough Great Pizza is Thin crust & Sourdough pizzas Salads & Calzones • Pasta • Subs Draft beer on tap • Wine • Dessert Serving handmade pizzas with fresh, quality ingredients At The Oven, we believe 9 MONTH CERTIFICATE 5.29%APY 22 MONTH CERTIFICATE 4.50%APY SPECIAL LIMITED Time CERTIFICATes APY = annual percentage yield. Minimum opening deposit $10,000. Maximum opening deposit $999,999.99 Funds to open this certificate must be new to Monterey CU. New to Monterey CU means the funds must not have been on deposit with Monterey CU in the last six months. Limit one promotional share certificate per member. This offer is available for a limited time starting January 1, 2024, and subject to change or cancellation without notice. Early withdrawal penalties apply. Visit us at www.montereycu.com or call us at 831.647.1000