The UC Davis Olive Center is introducing a new class on olive growing, milling, and branding in June, bringing expert instructors together for a two-day immersion through classroom and field instruction.

We found that there was strong demand for a full day of information related to every step of olive production, supplemented by field discussions and demonstrations on a second day.- Dan Flynn, UC Davis Olive Center

The master class takes place June 8 and 9 in Davis, Calif. Dan Flynn, executive director of the Olive Center, said the class was developed in response to requests for such education.

“We found that there was strong demand for a full day of information related to every step of olive production, supplemented by field discussions and demonstrations on a second day,” said Flynn.

Paul Vossen will lead the first day of class. Vossen will discuss every aspect of the olive growing process, including siting, varieties, planting, irrigation, fertilization, pest management, pruning, and harvesting.

The second day focuses on fieldwork. Students will visit UC Davis’ Wolfskill orchard, where Vossen and olive tree expert Louise Ferguson will provide hands-on instruction.

As Flynn notes, quality fruit doesn’t automatically produce quality oil. To study this dynamic, David Garci-Aguirre of Corto Olive Co. will walk students through the production variables that affect quantity and quality.

The class will conclude with a branding lecture by marketing expert Alan Hillburg, who will offer guidance about distinguishing a brand from the competition.

Hillburg will “provide insights of a caliber more likely to be accessible to the Fortune 500,” said Flynn. “It is a real coup to be able to convey Alan’s remarkable insights to olive growers and processors.”

Registration is open on the UC Davis website.


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