Ag Showcase 2018 Sessions


Day 1 (Monday, sept. 10th)

Agri-tech in the UK: A Global Partner for Innovation

Please join us for a special session to highlight the UK’s agri-tech research and innovation system, hosted by the UK Science & Innovation Network. Attendees will learn about opportunities for collaborative R&D, trade and investment with the UK, a global partner of choice for agri-tech innovation. The speaking lineup will feature a selection of the UK’s leading agri-food researchers and exciting new startups poised to disrupt farming and food production. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an investor, a researcher, or just want to learn more about the UK’s vision for the future of agriculture, this session is not to be missed.

For more information, please contact Kyle Dolan, UK Science & Innovation Network:
UK Science & Innovation Network on Twitter: @UKSINet
Follow our Ag Innovation Showcase hashtag #UKAgInno2018


10:30 - 12:00Pm

UK Science & Innovation Network








Opening Keynote

1:40 - 2:10PM

Dr. Mehmood Khan

Vice Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research & Development


From Table to Farm: The Modern Consumer's Reverse-Commute Across the Value Chain

In recent years, consumers of foods and beverages have installed themselves firmly in the driver’s seat

For decades, they were satisfied with tasty, affordable foods and beverages.  Today, they demand more.  Much more. They expect better nutrition, information about ingredients, visibility into supply chains, and guarantees that the foods and beverages they ingest are sourced humanely and sustainably.  

Against the backdrop, PepsiCo—which spends $2.2 billion annually on agriculture—strives to satisfy modern consumers’ needs, anticipate their future sustainability, nutrition and innovation expectations, and incent its business partners across the value chain to adapt to a food and beverage landscape that is now in a permanent state of disruption.

In discussing these issues and Pepsico’s commitment to agriculture, Dr. Khan will also identify the challenges ahead and the call for joint action in the community of farmers, innovators, investors and industry.

View From the farm

2:10 - 2:45PM

Chris Chinn

5th Generation Farmer

Director of Missouri Ag Dept






The Impact of Innovation on Missouri's Number One Industry: Agriculture

Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn is a fifth generation farmer that raises corn, cattle, pigs and soybeans with her husband in Clarence, Missouri. In her role as Director of Agriculture, she is focused on rethinking state government to better serve Missouri farmers, ranchers and every day citizens. In one way or another, agricultural innovation fits into each of the key pillars the Department has outlined: to feed, reach, connect and empower more Missourians. Today’s farms are using the most advanced technology available, making agriculture a front runner in innovation. As a farmer, she feels the positive impact of agriculture innovation on her farm each and every day. Through technology, Missouri agriculture has made food safer, more affordable and plentiful.


Genome Modification and Discovery

with Plastomics, Pathway Biologic, and Pivot Bio.

In this company presentation block, we showcase both the tools of biology for gene modification and the mining of naturally-occurring microbes.  In keeping with the 2018 Showcase theme of plant nutrition and nutritive capacity, these three companies have different approaches to improving plant performance and nutrition.  They address the genome of crop plants and the microbial science associated with the physiology of plants.

showcase company presentations

3:15 - 3:50PM


Pathway Biologic

Pivot Bio


showcase company presentations

3:50 - 5:00PM

Livestock Water Recycling



Aker Technologies





Plant nutrition: Protection & Nutrients

with Livestock Water RecyclingPhospholutionsTeralyticAker Technologies, and TERI


It is well-understood that managing inputs with great (and greater) precision will yield more effective financial and environmental outcomes.  Indeed, there is growing sophistication across the product spectrum of products and solutions to protect crops and plants from pests, and to enhance plant nutrition, soil health and the extraction and use of nutrients from waste product streams.  This group of companies offers a look into this spectrum of increasingly varies solutions to fundamental problems in agriculture and beyond.


Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept 11th)

Keynote Conversation

9:15 - 10:00AM

Stefan Fürnsinn

VP of Digital Farming



Mark Thompson

VP of Business Development




Charlotte Hebebrand

Director General

International Fertilizer Association



How to Most Effectively Implement the 4 Rs of Precise Plant Nutrition

We will hear from two leading global plant nutrition companies, Nutrien and Yara. Both companies are actively involved in working across the AgTech space inorder to offer more sophisticated plant nutrition solutions to growers to help them maximize yields and reduce nutrient losses to the environment. They will be exploring the future of plant nutrition and highlight their own companies' innovation and technology strategies.

Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner. Nutrien produces and distributes over 26 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products world-wide, complemented by the largest global ag input retail network of over 1,500 company-owned retail branches.

Yara’s comprehensive crop nutrition solutions and precision farming offerings allow farmers to increase yields and improve product quality while reducing environmental impact. Founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe, Yara has a worldwide presence with more than 16,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries. In 2017, Yara reported revenues of USD 11.4 billion.

Transparency. Traceability. Transformation. 

Today’s consumers are asking for more information about where their food is grown, how it’s produced and how big companies are transforming the system for a more transparent value chain. From grain elevators in Indiana to cocoa co-ops in the Ivory Coast, Cargill sits in the middle of many of the largest commodity supply chains in the world. Moving food from where it’s grown, to where it’s needed. Commodity supply chains have unique challenges that must be overcome to provide greater traceability, while balancing the need for cost efficient food solutions to feed a growing population. Cargill is committed to overcoming those obstacles while considering the environmental, social and economic dimensions from the farm to the consumer.

Featured Speaker

10:00 - 10:30 AM

Jill Kolling

Global Sustainability Leader


Toward a More Sustainable Agriculture: Delivering Solutions for Farmers

During his spotlight session, Neal Gutterson from the recently-formed Corteva explores the meaning of the name (derived from “heart” and “nature”) to assert a commitment to the health and vitality of the soil and the land. He will also discuss the company’s unique portfolio of crop protection, seed and trait and digital/software offerings. This combination provides a more complete set of solutions to enable farmers to be more productive and profitable while maintaining a focus on a healthier food supply, produced more sustainably.

Featured Speaker

10:30- 11:00AM

Neal Gutterson


Corteva Agriscience™


International Fertilizer Association & National Corn Growers Association

University Showcase

Agencia Argentina de Inversiones y Commercio


Note: full presentations will occur from 4:30 - 6:00PM.




Spotlights on India, China, and Africa

Join industry leaders from major multinational plant nutrient companies in three of the most important global agricultural markets—China, India, and Africa— as they highlight their perspectives on new opportunities for sustainable agricultural productivity growth.

·          Kingenta of China is the largest specialty plant nutrient producer in China and one of the world's largest slow/controlled-release fertilizer producers.

·            IFFCO of India is the world’s largest fertilizer cooperative and one of the largest Indian plant nutrient producers.

·          OCP Group, the world’s largest exporter of phosphates and among the top global fertilizer producers, is developing the largest plant nutrient distribution network in Africa.


11:50PM - 12:30PM

with Rakesh Kapur, Joint Managing Director, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO), India;

Zhai Jidong Executive VP, Kingenta Ecological Engineering Group Co. Ltd., China;

and Marouane Ameziane, Executive Vice President Strategy & Corporate Development, OCP Group, Morocco


company showcase block 3

1:30 - 2:30PM











CONSUMER DRIVERS: Food Products, Logistics, and Distribution




Grain Discovery


Usarium dba Planetarians


There is a growing consensus that better food, not more of it, is key to the challenges facing our food supply.  New sources of protein, including plant-based food, coupled with new and even revolutionary ways to track, trace and distribute food are a response to consumer demand for a greater focus on nutrition, and greater visibility into where food comes from and how it is produced and sold. This group of companies typifies the opportunities and the innovations in this sector.

A Tribute "In Memoriam" to John Sorenson, former CEO, Vestaron

Thoughts on a Pivot with Anna Rath, CEO, Vestaron and Andy Renz, VP Business Development

Featuring a tribute to John Sorenson, late former CEO of Vestaron

This spotlight features an accomplished alumnus, Vestaron. 

Andy and Anna will look back, to remember the late John Sorenson, who passed away in February 2018.  He was an exemplary leader in agriculture, a presenter, panelist and spotlight speaker at the Ag Innovation Showcase (the latter in 2017). 

They will look forward, to trace the journey of Vestaron, a leader in peptide-based biopesticides, a company retooling crop protection from synthetics toward sustainably-produced peptides for efficient pest control. 




2:30 - 2:45PM

Andy Renz, VP of Business Development

Anna Rath, CEO


Managing the Transition from R&D to Commercialization 

Successful transitions from R&D to commercialization require a dual focus on product development and financing.

The two are inextricably linked: While fueling the product pipeline with a breakthrough suite of products that solve real-world problems for agriculture, companies must maintain a robust outreach program to the investor community, which supplies the financial resources to fund and commercialize that product pipeline. Mr. Marvin will offer personal tips from his more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and CEO who has successfully raised more than $350 million for technology companies. Mr. Chambers will discuss how ATP became one of the largest plant nutrient suppliers in Canada.

Alum Spotlight


Donald Marvin, CEO, Concentric

Jarrett Chambers, President, ATP Nutrition



Tales from the Trenches: Looking Back to Look Forward

Showcase Alumni discuss the last 10 years, and what the next 10 might bring.

Six alumni from previous Ag Showcase editions reflect on what the long and winding road to commercialization meant to them, how they coped, struggled and survived, what the pitfalls and joys have brought to their journey, and what their innovative solutions mean for the push from "Farm to Table."


Innovations in Soil Health, and Soil and
Plant Diagnostics and Metrics for Optimum Nutrient Management


The two organizations behind this session – the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are advocates of sustainable agricultural systems and nutrient use efficiency, embodied by the “4 R,” which emphasize the need to use the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place in order to maximize plant uptake of nutrients and minimize nutrient losses to the environment.    Soil and plant health diagnostics and fertilizer recommendations based on these diagnostics are vital tools in the 4R toolkit, and this session will explore the latest innovations in this critical area of food production.










Special content Session 

4:30 - 6:00PM 


with Patrick Heffer, Senior Ag Director, International Fertilizer Association

Sally Flis, Director of Agronomy, The Fertilizer Institute

Greg Ruehle, President & CEO, Servi-Tech, Inc.

Nathan Fields, Director Biotechnology and Crop Inputs, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)

Scott McKee, President, Waypoint Analytical, Developments in (wet chemistry) soil testing

Frank D’Emden, Technical Product Manager, CSBP/Decipher

Meagan Hynes, Teralytic  (NPK Sensor)

Jin Jian, Purdue University (Leafspec)

Brad Van De Woestyne, Manager, Agronomic Innovation, John Deere

Terry L. Roberts, PhD, President
International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) 

University and Research Institution Showcase




Presenter: Jay Ham, Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences



Presenters: Kira Veley, Research Scientist, and Alex Harkess, Postdoctoral Fellow



Presenter: Randall Tosh, CEO, Phoreus Biotech



Presenter: Dirk Benedict, Marketing Coordinator, LSU AgCenter



Presenter: Kyung-Hwan Han, Professor



 Presenter: Hicham El Habti, Secretary General



 Presenter: Jian Jin, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Special Content Session 

4:30 - 6:00PM 

University Showcase






Argentina, ideas that feed the world


Come and see Argentina’s potential in AgTech. The world’s barn is developing an ecosystem, working closely through public-private projects that helps create solutions for the ag industry. With a human resources talent history of launching almost half of the LATAM unicorns, new laws to foster entrepreneurs based in Israel with success, and early adopter farmers across the nation, Argentina is working hard on accelerating the AgTech ecosystem.  The speaker lineup will feature a variety of startups, accelerators, big agro traditional companies and government representatives to explain why Argentina is becoming the LATAM leader in AgTech. If you seek to understand what’s happening in the south, do not hesitate in joining our discussion.




Special Content Session 

4:30 - 6:00PM 

Agencia Argentina de Inversiones y Comercio Internacional

Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 12th)

talk show: Precise Plant Nutrient Solutions

Environmental concerns, an evolving farm solutions value chain, and consumer demands are creating a new landscape for plant nutrients.  “Smart fertilizers, ” biologicals, biostimulants, mineral and bio hybrids and other plant nutrient related products are growing in use with traditional fertilizers.  This panel will discuss the future of plant nutrients as all stakeholders seek new heights of efficiency and profitability.

·         What new plant nutrient products are on the horizon to produce nutrient rich food efficiently, sustainably, and profitably?

·         How will they integrate into evolving farm nutrient management systems to achieve the 4R principles? 

·         What new technologies and innovations are emerging. to create the next generation products.  

Now to the Table, from Bytes to Bites: A riff on farm and food  

With this talk show, we ask:

Can we have cheap food and cheap nutrition? (A world beyond traditional carbs).

Will new tools to increase system accountability yield greater transparency?

Is the feed lot of the 21st century within plants, labs or in animals? How is the mix evolving?


The Consumer and the Future of Row Crop Profitability

  • Andrey Zarur, Greenlight Biosciences

  • Shoba Murali, Generation UCAN

  • Tony Michaels, Midwestern BioAg

  • Karn Manhas, Terramera

Transparency and Traceability

  • Anthony Zografos, SafeTraces

  • Will Babler, Mercaris

  • Angie Slaughter, AB InBev

  • Brennan Turner, FarmLead

The Future of Protein

  • Reese Schroeder, Tyson Ventures

  • Alan Hahn, MycoTechnology

  • Neil Renninger, Ripple Foods

  • Bernard Van Lengerich, (ret.) Chief Science Officer, General Mills & Advisory Board Member, S2G Ventures

Talk Show

9:45 - 12:15PM


Hosted by: 

Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director,  S2G Ventures 

Matt Crisp, CEO, Benson Hill




From “Needy” to “Greedy”, Now Feeding the “Needy”

Listen to a perspective of an animal farmer with government, public policy, and charitable global supply chain experience.

with Rebecca Doyle, Farmer; Co-Owner, Hickory Grove Pork Farm & Doyle Associates; Former Food Division Director, World Food Program. 




View From the Farm

12:15 - 12:30PM

Rebecca Doyle

Farmer & Co-Owner, Hickory Grove Pork Farm & Doyle Associates

Former Director of World Food Program