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AgTech360

AgTech360

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This podcast takes a 360° view into emerging agriculture technologies by creating dialogue among stakeholders in academia, industry, growers, producers, Extension specialists, the overall agriculture sustainability community, and other important stakeholders. Join us with host, Adrian Percy, as we present this information in an engaging format encompassing multiple viewpoints and more as we explore AgTech together. @AgTech360 agtech360@gmail.com go.ncsu.edu/CERSA southernipm.org
 
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Agriculture is exposed to a complex tangle of laws, trade agreements, and competing visions of the future. For farmers, adjustments by legislators at any level of government can have an impact. So while policy is often an afterthought for operators in tech, the pressure for farmers to be engaged and represented in the formulation of new policy is r…
 
Back in May, we published an experimental bonus episode called “The Three Fears of Farm Data”. The conversation centered around the legitimacy of fears held by farmers about sharing their farm data, and kicked off with a particularly hot take: “We in agtech have completely f*****d farmers by making them afraid of sharing their data.” The episode go…
 
Autonomous farming equipment and robotics in ag is more crowded than ever. Every new acquisition from an incumbent or deployment of venture capital into the space creates more buzz to sort through in the inboxes of analysts, entrepreneurs, and farmers. With the industry growing so quickly, it’s helpful to have a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening,…
 
When it comes to designing carbon programs in agriculture, there is a very real tension between the science and the commercial realities of drawing down carbon at scale. Particularly, the question of how to incentivize on-farm practice changes is one that many companies in ag carbon have failed to answer. Working at the intersection of these tensio…
 
This week we're bringing you the final episode in our three-part series on the future of ag insurance. Our journey started with learning the ins and outs of how the sector currently operates (check out the ag insurance 101 episode here) and then talking to key players about new products and technologies entering the industry (check out Damon Johnso…
 
For a traditionally low innovation industry, things are starting to heat up in agricultural insurance. While it remains something of a black box for many people in agriculture, the forces of climate change and technological innovation are creating the right mix of incentives that could change how the whole industry approaches risk. This second epis…
 
Climate change will mean more frequent, extreme weather and more risk exposure for farmers around the world. This increased risk should be a driver for the business of agricultural insurers. But, it’s not easy to predict how climate change and digital-disruption might transform one of the world’s oldest industries. Actually, we’ve come to realize i…
 
Recently the whole team here at Tenacious Ventures had the chance to get out of town and on to the farm. And not just any farm – we visited Jigsaw Farms, home to sheep farmer and long-time friend of the show Mark Wooton and his wife Eve. While out at Jigsaw, Mark and Eve gave us an update on their vision for “sustainable intensification” and their …
 
It isn’t surprising that most farmers have to be expert planners and investors. But getting an inside view into how a farmer plans for the future of their business is a rare opportunity. In this episode, you’ll hear firsthand how Hallie Shoffner, a sixth-generation row crop farmer in the Mississippi Delta, makes decisions for her farm and company, …
 
Our latest bonus podcast episode is an experiment. Rather than organize the contributions that usually make up an episode, we decided to hit record on one of the conversations that are always happening internally at Tenacious Ventures. It’s a snapshot into how we think, form and test our assumptions, and decide on what might be next. It also captur…
 
There are many different views about the future of autonomous farming. One is that, out of the emerging autonomous equipment providers and established blue chip suppliers, there will be clear winners and losers in the battle for on-farm dominance. Another is that farming in the future will involve all kinds of autonomous solutions. This second poss…
 
Every decision made by founders, farmers, and leaders in agriculture shapes the future of our food system. Whether it’s the cost per hectare of a biological or the value of a ton of carbon sequestered, the different goals and outcomes that end up in business plans inevitably define how time, energy, and capital are spent. But there are many outcome…
 
Let’s talk about eggs. Hardly anything can match the egg for complete versatility. Eggs are a crucial ingredient that unlocks the tastes, textures, and experiences we take for granted in everything from the simplest home omelette to food manufactured on an industrial scale. So, how would you approach replacing the egg with a plant-based alternative…
 
Life is moving pretty fast for founders and investors working in agtech. Recent years have seen record flows of capital into agrifood, driven in part by agriculture potential to provide climate solutions. And the massive disruptions of COVID-19 meant developed markets received a historic taste of what changes will be needed in a world impacted by c…
 
Biologicals in agriculture have a wildly exciting future. It’s a segment responding to innovation in science, changes in markets, and the urgent pressures of adapting to climate change. New startups coming into the space are generating plenty of buzz, but there are also established players with products in the hands of farmers today. Ben Barlow is …
 
Sustainability in food and agriculture has come a long way. Far from being “the dirty word” it used to be in boardrooms and at farm-gates, it’s now business as usual to expect CSR policies, ESG strategies, and decarbonization targets from all major agri-food companies. But, according to Jessie Deelo, Chief Hub Officer at Vayda, sustainability is mo…
 
AgTech companies make promises to investors to grow fast and be quick to iterate or change direction. But they also make promises to customers who think more in seasons instead of product development cycles, and who value long-term relationships with a mutual investment. These are difficult pressures for agtech marketers to manage. In this episode,…
 
Balancing the desire to do good with the need to build a business that can scale is a challenge for every entrepreneur. Particularly in agriculture, finding strategies that solve for both the users of the product as well as beneficiaries of the solution is key. For Marissa Cuevas Flores, Founder and CEO of MicroTERRA, it took several iterations bef…
 
Managing the genetic quality of a herd can be a wicked challenge for Australian farmers. We’re a country with a small number of animals relative to the rest of the world, and formidable, complex biosecurity protocols. Fortunately, Belinda Cardinal, Founder of breeding and genetics company Caprotek and career dairy goat farmer, enjoys spending time …
 
The science and technology of soil is rapidly evolving, but translating it into a scalable business that can offer viable products to farmers has long been a tricky proposition. But it’s one that Adam Litle, the CEO of Sound Agriculture, has devoted much of his career to answering. Adam was part of the executive team at Granular, the farm managemen…
 
Originally released: 20 February, 2020 We’ll be back with new episodes in January 2022, but for the holidays we thought we’d bring back a favorite episode from the vault! Mark Ferguson or “Ferg,” is a sheep geneticist who’s paying attention to how both consumer demands and emerging technologies are impacting growers. He’s the co-founder and Directo…
 
It’s fair to say most entrepreneurs (and farmers!) aren’t big fans of government rules and regulations for fear of being slowed down by red tape and bureaucracy. However, the political environment in which a startup develops can have a big impact on its ability to find investment and support, especially in agtech, where ecosystems are still very ne…
 
Where are all the women founders in agtech, especially at later-stage startups? What does an acquisition really feel like, and when does it make sense? In this Bonus episode, we answer both these questions, as well as build on the key insights from our latest series: “Later-Stage Agtech Startup Lessons”. This episode features: Anastasia Volkova - c…
 
Farmers Business Network is one of the most well-funded startups in agtech. Just recently, they announced a $300M Series G round, bringing their total funds raised to $870M and their valuation to nearly $4 billion. So, where did it all begin? In this episode, FBN co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Charles Baron, explains how his Silicon Valle…
 
“When you say, ‘can I have your money?’ Then, people speak the truth.” Paul Lightfoot is a serial entrepreneur who has learned several lessons the hard way, from raising money to communicating purpose to hiring (and firing). After spending much of his career as a software CEO, Paul wanted to follow his “calling” to enter the world of sustainability…
 
CEO , Fiona Edwards Murphy, speaks about Apis Protect, an Ireland headquartered company that uses a combination of IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies to remotely extract and interpret data from beehives while keeping that data safe.https://apisprotect.com/โดย AgTech360
 
In this 3-part series, we’ll share the lessons from agtech startup founders who have grown their agtech companies from idea to at least 100 employees. We’ll be examining what’s worked (and hasn’t), differences between agtech and other industries, and what the founders have learned along the way about the industry and themselves. This episode, the f…
 
Venture investment into technology companies that have the potential to scale regenerative agriculture is accelerating. However, it is a relatively new domain for venture capital, and it comes with its own unique set of challenges. So what role can VCs play in the regen ag landscape? And what technologies and trends are VCs looking at to guide thei…
 
Naeem Zafar, Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Offer of TeleSense talks about an integral part of food production - the step after harvest and before shelving. TeleSense provides remote solutions for grain storage and transportation monitoring.  Their products use wireless sensors for temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide monitoring with …
 
Does the average citizen actually need to care about how their food is produced? This is the central question Australian author and journalist, Gabrielle Chan, set out to answer. Her latest book, “Why you should give a f*ck about farming” details her firm conclusion that, yes, if you eat food, you should in fact care about agriculture. While the ol…
 
The divide between farmers and startups can seem like a chasm. Tech culture and agriculture have evolved from completely different backgrounds, and even seem to have their own languages. So how can agtech bring together two very different groups? In this episode, you’ll hear practical tips from farmers and agtech experts on how to build mutually be…
 
Dr. Ken Henry became well-known in Australia for his bold economic reforms as the Treasury Secretary throughout the 2000s. His approach to conservation and agriculture is equally as bold, advocating for the natural environment to be valued, and even predicting “an explosion” in financial instruments to measure soil carbon, vegetation, biodiversity …
 
For our 100th episode (hooray!), we’ve brought back some of our most popular guests to check in on what’s changed in their businesses and in agtech since we spoke, and the new technologies and opportunities we can all be looking out for. These guests were popular for a reason: Mark Wootton - dubbed the ‘carbon neutral farmer,’ Mark is a pioneer in …
 
Ever wonder how the new technology that we talk about gets funded? In this episode we talk to Kirk Haney, the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Radicle Growth. Radicle Growth carefully selects innovative ag and food tech start-ups for investment, ensuring that powerful, disruptive technologies reach their full potential.Under Kirk’s leadership, Radi…
 
Loran Steinlage has been labeled a ‘regenerative’ farmer and branded a conservationist, yet as a farmer in Iowa, in many ways he’s far from the stereotypical image of either. He lives in the heart of the Iowa corn belt, but says he now doesn’t care whether he grows corn or not. In this episode, Loran shares how his drive for innovation has come fro…
 
Benson Hill is designing crops and ingredients for some of the world’s most popular plant-based food brands. But the company has no intention of becoming a brand itself. Instead, it’s focused on revolutionizing the entire food system, from how plants are grown, to what they taste like, to the range of crop varieties on offer. Founder and CEO, Matt …
 
The Silicon Valley model for innovation has worked famously for many software based companies, such as Facebook and PayPal. However, when it comes to agtech, the Silicon Valley template for startup success hasn’t translated very well. This template, of either “user is the customer” or “user is the product” is rather limited in agriculture, where th…
 
Red meat is increasingly seen as the “bad guy” when it comes to climate change. Undoubtedly, animal agriculture has an impact on the environment, with 10 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from livestock. But Australia's leading red meat marketing and R&D organization, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) says the negative environ…
 
For some, the concept of hands-free farming is terrifying; for others, the prospect is game-changing and exciting. But, is fully autonomous farming really possible? In this episode we chat with Kit Franklin, senior lecturer in agricultural engineering at Harper Adams University in the UK, who in 2016 set out to prove an entire crop cycle could be d…
 
Dr. Nick Hamon, CEO at Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) shares how his company repurposes chemistry that may have traditionally been used in agriculture and applies it to the public health sector while keeping in mind the constraints of return on investment, funding sources, resistance management, efficacy, and overall safety. His compan…
 
Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be. In agtech, this is a reminder that no matter how cutting edge the science or technology, when it comes to commercialization, functionality and novelty are simply not enough. This is especially true in the complex area of chemistry and the emerging industry of biologicals. This episode f…
 
Can capitalism be a force for good? David Lee left the traditional corporate world to work for some of the most bullish startup companies in agrifood tech, including Impossible Foods and AppHarvest, where he was appointed the company’s President earlier this year. David did this out of a belief that the levers of capitalism and consumerism are the …
 
Farmers are under pressure to shift toward lower chemical intensity production. Biologicals are touted as one possible solution, promising natural, chemical-free alternatives to inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. But biologicals also have a reputation for being ‘snake oil,’ with companies making claims that seem too good to be true, or that…
 
Agriculture in India has been thrust onto the international stage as the world watched and celebrities tweeted about the tens of thousands of farmers camped out in Delhi to protest against governmental reforms which loosen rules around the sale, pricing, and storage of produce. Farmers say these changes prioritize corporate interests and threaten l…
 
We’d all like to be able to predict what the next big technological disruption or trend will be. But while we can't exactly do that, we can look at signals happening today, and use them to drive our thinking about the future. In this bonus episode, Sarah Nolet presents five future forces shaping innovation in food and agriculture, and shares insigh…
 
Agrifood value chains are known for their efficiencies: they’ve been optimized to grow, process, and deliver massive amounts of safe food all over the world. But efficiency is no longer enough. Consumers and investors want supply chains that are climate resilient (or positive), sustainable & ethical, and free from waste. How can we deliver against …
 
Aidan Connolly, Chief Executive Officer at Cainthus and President of AgriTech Capital, gives his perspective on livestock agtech importance, and how seemingly simple tech can be revolutionary.https://www.cainthus.com/โดย AgTech360
 
Jana Hocken is a dairy farmer and “lean farming” consultant. After an international career in engineering and lean manufacturing at Toyota, Jana moved to a farm in New Zealand with her husband. At the time, she knew very little about agriculture. But, after witnessing inefficiencies on her own farm, such as people regularly making multiple trips to…
 
Ingrid Fung, Investment Director at Finistere Ventures, talks diversity in agriculture, consumer-driven Ag Tech, pharmaceutical inspiration in the Ag Tech space, and what she is most excited about moving forward with sustainable ag.โดย AgTech360
 
Nitrate leaching in New Zealand, largely driven by the rapid expansion of dairy, has left waterways so polluted that some are unsafe to swim in. But the government is on a mission to fix this and restore the country’s ‘clean and green’ reputation. To tackle this issue, as well as other environmental concerns, the government is mandating that all fa…
 
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