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

1. Determining our destiny

Tuesday Jan 02, 2024

Tuesday Jan 02, 2024

From his cowboy boots to his tall stature, Governor Eric Holcomb is a presence. You’ve likely heard him, though not like this. How did Indiana’s leader come to be? He joins us today to tell his story, to dive into his sense of urgency headed into the final 12 months of his administration and to talk about, of course, agbioscience. More specifically, its critical role in securing Indiana’s economy of the future. 
Indiana has evolved rapidly under his leadership and Holcomb has established a new approach to economic development – from the READI program and the LEAP concept just north west of Indianapolis, to name a few. How do these assets shape our future? Holcomb talks about being ready for what's coming and making sure we’ve not put our eggs in one industry basket. He also talks leadership, having a plan and being ready to keep eyes and ears open to adapt to the moment. 
Heading into the fourth turn (a little IndyCar reference), where is Holcomb focused? This is our time, he says, and carpe diem. And because we like basketball in Indiana – it's time to step up to the line, block out the boos and knock down those important shots to make great things happen. 

Tuesday Dec 26, 2023

From food security as national security to innovation as sustainability, we covered a lot of ground on Agbioscience in 2023! Here are the top five most downloaded episodes of the year. We look forward to seeing you in 2024. Happy holidays! 

50. A look back at 2023

Monday Dec 18, 2023

Monday Dec 18, 2023

What a year it’s been! The team at AgriNovus Indiana wants to thank you for listening to Agbioscience in season 6 and to let you know – there are still plenty of episodes to go. Season 7 will kick off on January 2. 
In the meantime, take a walk back through 2023 with us – from agtech consolidation to new companies emerging, Indiana has a lot to celebrate. We talk about the big themes in agbioscience over the last year, how the industry is evolving and emerging trends we feel are here to stay for a while. You’ll hear from past guests and get a glimpse on what to expect in the new year.  

Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

In partnership with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance, the 2023 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge tasked companies, entrepreneurs, students and innovators with creating new revenue streams from current on-farm processes to increase efficiency and return on investment for producers’ operations. 
FiberX, the winning team of this year's challenge, works with corn growers to source and convert corn stover into a feedstock for the chemical and materials sectors. The company’s product portfolio includes natural fiber-reinforced plastic polymer pellets and fiber for the plastic injection molding industry, focusing on customers producing durable products for long-term use such as outdoor furniture. Their team, comprised of Dave Skibinski, Wade Lange and Tom Santelli, has already received a Manufacturing Readiness Grant from Conexus Indiana and an Innovation Voucher for Elevate Ventures. As winners of the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge, FiberX receives $25,000 to help accelerate commercialization of their solution. 
Dave Skibinski joined us following the winners announcement to talk about how the FiberX team will use their $25,000, creating new revenue streams for the farmer and what's ahead for their company.

49. The next giant leap

Monday Dec 11, 2023

Monday Dec 11, 2023

A law signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 created the cornerstone for America’s leadership in engineering and agriculture. Known as the Morrill Act, the law established land grant universities in states across the country, including Purdue University in Indiana. Since the university’s launch in 1869, it has become a research powerhouse becoming the only university in the country to have both a top 10 ranked college of agriculture and college engineering. Its graduates include 27 astronauts, 3 World Food Prize laureates, 2 Noble Prize winners and the pace continues to quicken. Today we are joined by Purdue’s Executive Vice President of Research, Dr. Karen Plaut, to share how the university is building on its momentum to advance research and create the economy of the future. 
Asking “what if” has been the cornerstone of Karen’s career and she talks all things innovation at Purdue and where they see their greatest opportunities for impact – from agbioscience to aerospace. As the former dean of the College of Agriculture,  she explores the idea that technologies across different disciplines have meaningful effect on food. Karen also talks research influencing legislation, commercializing and conducting basic research that will drastically improve lives in the future. 
So, what are the next gigantic leaps for Purdue? Karen talks about students being at the core of the university’s success, new intersections for driving change and agbioscience’s critical role in the future. 

Monday Dec 04, 2023

Global venture capital deal volume has fallen by 50% worldwide since peaking in the first quarter of 2022 – that’s according the global analyst firm CB Insights. Despite the decline, companies are raising capital. Today’s guest is here to share more about the current fundraising environment and what it means for innovation.  Audre Kapacinskas, principal with S2G Ventures – the second most active agtech investor in America – joins us to talk investment across the entire value chain.  
The daughter of an immigrant, Audre found her love for the food space when her mother opened up a bakery. That love took her on a professional journey to s2g Ventures where she focuses on helping their nearly 100 portfolio companies in food and agriculture thrive. She gets into solutions that create more balance across the value chain, removing the brunt of risk and cost to the farmer and aligning financial incentives to drive impact. Audre also talks about the importance of having farmers at the discussion table when it comes to innovation and what she’s seeing in terms of valuation, time to close and how entrepreneurs and investors are working together during a tumultuous time; she stresses patient capital in the agbiosciences as being important. 
So what will the capital landscape look like in the future? Audre talks big corporate investment, aligning incentives for all stakeholders to drive innovation and how she sees the agbiosciences evolving from an era of great moderation to one of great volatility. 

Monday Nov 27, 2023

Discussion around the energy transition often focuses on electrification, but one Indiana company and thousands of Indiana farmers are working together to create new options in that transition – specifically around biofuels. Today’s guest is a long-time energy leader and the chief executive of one of Indiana’s largest privately held companies. Matt Smorch, CEO of CountryMark, joins us to talk the continued emergence of biofuels, diversifying for the farmer and answers a question that most won’t know: where exactly does our fuel come from? 
How will farmers play a role in the new innovative energy sources coming to market? Matt talks about lessons learned from E-85 and how changing the gasoline standard could open up a wide array of new options for fuel (and agriculture). He also looks ahead and how CountryMark will continue to innovate to stay reliable and serve the farmer. 

46. We have to talk turkey

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Monday Nov 20, 2023

An estimated 88% of Americans will consume turkey this Thanksgiving – that equates to more than 46 million turkeys! It’s big business for farmers across the country, including here in Indiana where the state has become the fourth largest producer of turkey in the country. Becky Joniskan, president of the Indiana State Poultry Association, joins this week to share more about Indiana’s turkey production and the innovation making it possible. 
Becky talks all things poultry in Indiana – ranging from key innovators like Miller Poultry and Maple Leaf Farms – to the well-informed at-home farmer with a smaller flock. She also dives into turkey’s growing presence in many forms (deli meats, sausage links and more) on your grocery store shelves, With poultry demand on the rise, where are the opportunities for innovators to disrupt the industry? Becky talks nutrition, genetics and environment as spaces ripe for new discoveries and how poultry farmers approach adoption of new innovations. She talks about the critical role of Indiana corn and soybeans to poultry farmers’ success and what’s ahead for the industry. 

Monday Nov 13, 2023

Parvovirus – a potentially deadly disease in puppies – has been called the world’s most common canine infectious disease. The viral infection is one that has long been battled through a preemptive vaccine regimen and treated by managing the clinical signs of the infection. However, a new innovation from Indiana-based animal health giant Elanco is transforming canine care through science. This week, we are joined by Elanco veterinarian and veterinarian technical marketer, Dr. Jennifer Miller, to talk about the newly approved monoclonal anitibody treatment for canine parvovirus. 
What is parvovirus, how is it caused and what were the treatment options before Elanco’s breakthrough monoclonal antibody? Dr. Miller talks about its severity, its commonality and why this innovation was so critical for puppy owners. She also gets into the years it takes to bring innovation to market and the rewarding feeling of watching it save lives in clinics across the country.  
How does this become the next wave of innovation at Elanco? Dr. Miller talks about the transferable opportunities to other animals and to human health. She also gets into the collaborative spirit working to advance the innovation ecosystem and what she sees as the future of animal health. 

Monday Nov 06, 2023

Approximately 6% of the U.S. population are veterans – those who have served in the U.S. military. Leaders who have donned the uniform have gone on to serve in roles that are now shaping the future of the food and agbioscience economy. Today’s guest is doing just that. W US Army COL (retired) Mark Purdy joins us to talk about his journey through the military and into agbioscience, what Aimpoint does and how he sees food and agriculture innovating for the future. 
What exactly is wargaming and how can it impact agriculture? Mark talks about its nexus of art and science, understanding the industry better today – and tomorrow. Geopolitical tension continues to spread across different parts of the globe. How will uncertainty drive innovation? Marks lays out our opportunities, science creating new efficiencies and asking a really important question: who are the farmers of the future? And what will they require of us? 

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