Agbioscience

This weekly podcast dives into the agbioscience sector, where agriculture, life sciences innovation and cutting-edge technology converge. Agbioscience is an in-depth conversation with leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs across food, animal health. plant science and agtech. Learn more about industry innovation and where it's heading from those leading the way.

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Episodes

4 days ago

We are bringing you something new with this episode: a look back at February’s news in agbioscience including Elanco’s sale of their aqua business, a new partnership between Corteva and John Deere, Indiana as a top ag state and the current operating environment for the farmer.   
Show Notes: 
QUADRANT is coming 3/6. Register here: https://agrinovusindiana.com/quadrant/ 
HungerTech Innovation Challenge registration closes 3/12: https://agrinovusindiana.com/hungertech/ 
Kristen Owen, Oppenheimer + Co. Episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bonus-ai-moving-from-hype-to-help/id1412179095?i=1000641950597 

7 days ago

We are days away from guidance from the federal government on how it will calculate the carbon intensity of corn production for ethanol and how that will impact farmers, ethanol producers and the economy at large. Kevin Summers, North American Carbon Sustainability Lead for Trimble, joins us to talk about the Wild West that is the current carbon market structure and Trimble’s Connected Climate Exchange as a voice of reason platform in it all.  
Originally launched in Canada, Kevin talks through CCE’s 5 million tons of ag carbon offsets, the $50 million dollars for Canadian farmers and how Trimble plans to roll this program out in the United States. From data security to education, he also talks about the challenges of carbon markets today and their potential for growers and CPG companies in the future.  
In the launch of Connected Climate Exchange, what has Trimble learned? Kevin says it’s about keeping the grower first in mind, connecting sellers and buyers in the marketplace and continuing to tell the story of its measured impact on the climate. 

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Today’s guest is an entrepreneur who got her skills in organizing business systems where any young talent might consider learning efficiency: the Chick-fil-a drive-thru. Sarah Hinkley, CEO of Barn Owl Precision Ag, actually helped to build the fast-food chain’s drive-thru system as we know it today (alongside her brother). Watching a major company leverage technology to solve problems really inspired Sarah and from that, a company was born. 
Sarah gets into Barn Owl’s inception, creating new innovation to supplement a massive labor problem and listening to what growers need today, tomorrow and what would be nice in the future. She dives into how a Barn Owl robot functions and what factors are driving the need for more agility on-farm. As a serial minded entrepreneur, Sarah also provides insight into launching an idea into a business, creating solutions to problems and making a difference through your work (even when it hurts).  

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Ryan Priest is no stranger to hard work and servant leadership, assets that have been integral to his role as COO at Premier Ag Cooperative today. And as someone that has done many jobs – from welding to executive leadership – he identified a problem that needed a new, fresh idea to solve: developing an emerging workforce that’s equipped with the tools to understand farmers, the broader agbioscience economy and the technical knowledge required to be successful in the industry. 
Ag equipment today has more in common with an airplane than a pickup truck and there is an under-appreciated level of knowledge required to operate this machinery. Ryan talks about Premier’s cutting-edge work-based training program with Ivy Tech designed for workers to better understand and function in high-tech agriculture. He notes the ripple effect of talent starting in the program and learning more about the industry, and the earning potential for someone in the program. 
Mitch Frazier recently joined Ryan’s podcast, The High Ground, which can be heard here.

Monday Feb 05, 2024

Matt Bechdol fell into a class on remote sensing during his time as a student at Indiana University and what was initially a requirement for environmental science turned into a love affair. Specifically, he fell in love with the intersection of business, agriculture, technology and the environment – close to the definition of agbioscience, right? That love took him to graduate school, an ag research gig at NASA and ultimately becoming the CEO of GRYFN in 2019. 
GRYFN focuses on remote sensing and spatial data to help automate business processes and bring objectivity to time-intensive, human work like plant breeding. Matt gets into the question they’re always asking: what else? From defense to oceanography, he talks about a creating a wide swath of tools to create multiple insights that solve problems across different industries. 
As a CEO, Matt gives us his entrepreneurial leadership lessons, too. He talks about providing clarity on your value proposition, pricing discipline, knowing what you’re good at and hitting base hits rather than home runs.  
Listen to Matt’s past episode of Agbioscience here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-30-asking-new-questions-on-using-big-data-in-ag/id1412179095?i=1000433274065 

Monday Jan 29, 2024

Telling the real story behind agbioscience innovation and what’s happening on farms requires a willingness to bravely sit at tables where you might be misunderstood. Michelle Miller, The Farm Babe, found seats at those tables over a decade ago and has become one of the most influential voices and advocates for modern, high-tech agriculture. From The Today Show to Forbes and People Magazine, Michelle has been breaking myths about where our food comes from and helping consumers better connect to their food through her moniker – The Farm Babe. 
But her advocacy wasn’t always on behalf of the farmer. Michelle talks about her time on Rodeo Drive, her once belief in the misinformation surrounding agriculture and how life changes also changed her mindset. Whether it’s biotech or artificial intelligence (AI), she talks about how she’s approached those topics with consumers – hint: it starts with empathy for those who are trying to learn more.  
What excites Michelle about the future of agbioscience and modern agriculture? From animal health to plant science, she talks about the future of our food and how farmers will continue to do more with less. 

Monday Jan 22, 2024

Ask new CEO of AgReliant Genetics about his career journey and you’ll get an interesting take from him: it’s not at all what he expected. But whether he’s been launching, fixing or changing products, systems and processes, agbioscience innovation has been the fabric of his story. This week, Brian Barker joins us to talk about making the leap into leadership of AgReliant’s longstanding reputable brands. 
From global turbulence to urban sprawl and a growing population, how does AgReliant view their next wave of innovation to meet the demands that evolve globally? As Brian says, that corn kernel is more like a microchip than anything else and getting everything you can out of the plant will remain their focus. From gene editing to analytic tools, the new wave has just begun.  
What’s ahead for AgReliant Genetics? Brian says it starts with AgReliant’s people and doubling down on what they do best. 

Wednesday Jan 17, 2024

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become synonymous with innovation and that was certainly the case in Las Vegas last week as agbioscience brands like John Deere, Kubota and more flooded the tradeshow floor. Kristen Owen, executive director of equity research at Oppenheimer and Co., joins us to talk about innovation’s ability to create impact in a tightening economy and what she sees ahead as major shifts in industry trends. 
One of the big ones from CES? Artificial intelligence (AI). With the cost of capital still high, AI has a chance to move from hype to help. Kristen examines where it can impact productivity in agriculture – from equipment to the bio-economy – to reduce variability for farmers’ operations. 
As we brace for economic turbulence, what does Kristen see ahead for the broader food and ag economy? She talks about the investment landscape that will impact the next wave of agbioscience innovation, austerity creating opportunity and the one big trend she sees for the industry in 2024. 

Monday Jan 15, 2024

AgroRenew’s story begins where most good ideas form: at the kitchen table. Founders Brian and Katie Southern join us to talk about a new transformation in agbioscience – unused watermelon byproduct (rinds) becoming eco-friendly bioplastics. Based in Knox County, Indiana, AgroRenew announced plans at the end of 2023 for an $83 million investment in the form of a processing facility, a business that will ultimately employ nearly 250 people. 
All the right factors came together to make this new company possible. Knox County is known for specialty crop production (watermelons, cantaloupe, pumpkins) and the Southerns have worked closely with The Pantheon to bring this idea to life. Brian and Katie talk about the science behind the product, their long-term vision to blend with other crop waste streams and contributing to a circular economy that generates more sustainability in the agbiosciences. 
So what comes next? Brian and Katie discuss their long-term objectives and potential, adding value to the farmer’s operation and the timeline of getting AgroRenew plastics in stores. 

Monday Jan 08, 2024

What’s in a name? For the world’s second-largest animal health company, Elanco, its name bears roots from Eli Lilly and Company.  More than an acronym for a name, though, the company is on a growth trajectory, an innovation engine looking to create a positive impact for the world’s animals. And for Dr. Tyre Grant, Vice President of Global Product Development and Project Management, the name defines her 19-year career as a scientist (a resume she calls a privilege).  
Tyre joins us today to talk about how Elanco thinks about innovation for both farm animal and pet health, what the company is uniquely positioned to solve and how that mindset focuses her team when it comes to bringing new products to the market. She also gets into the importance of partnerships when it comes to innovation, spinning out technologies and striking the right balance to create the most value to farmers and pet owners.  
As a career scientist, what has Tyre seen as the biggest advances in the industry over the last two decades? And how do those set the tone for the next 20 years and what’s to come? Tyre talks automation and the intersection between human and animal health solutions. She also gives advice to future scientists looking for their role in the agbioscience industry. 
Listen to Dr. Jennifer Miller’s episode on Elanco’s monoclonal antibody for Parvovirus in puppies here.

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