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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Monday Jun 26, 2023

More than 34 million people, including nine million children, in the United States are food insecure. It’s a staggering reality that has become a call to action for innovators seeking new approaches to better connect food supply to food demand. Today’s guest is a pioneer in innovating to improve access. Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, Chief Health Officer of Elevance Health gets into the criticality of better nutrition to drive positive health outcomes and innovative, digital worlds colliding to create an ecosystem where food is medicine (and is accessible to all).   As a country so well resourced, how do we address a growing problem that is food insecurity? Shantanu gets into our HungerTech Innovation Challenge, digital connections creating better access to food and nutrition and it being a part of the Elevance Whole Health toolkit for their users. He also talks about nutritious food as a right in America, kicking the stigma surrounding SNAP and how Elevance Heath views innovation in nutrition security. To learn more about Elevance Health’s investment in food and nutrition security, click here.   

24. One percent feeds 100%

Monday Jun 19, 2023

Monday Jun 19, 2023

Forty chances – that’s the number of times a farmer has in his or her lifetime to optimize growing a crop. It’s also a title of a great book by Howard G. Buffet who describes the realities, challenges, maximization of profit and preservation of legacy that go into the decisions farmers make each season. Critical to optimizing those calculations and managing the complexity, is ag retail or co-ops. And joining us today is the leader of one of the largest coops in the Midwest is Jeff Troike, CEO of Ceres Solutions.   Jeff talks about the consolidation of co-ops and the evolution of meeting the needs of farmers to fuel growth. He also gets into innovations driving profitable growth, being a source of decision-making for farmers and areas ripe for new opportunities when it comes to development and innovation. So many changes have come in the last ten years – what comes in the next five? Jeff gets into automation, efficiency and systems of accuracy to make sure that the one percent focused on growing and producing food can make that happen for 100% of the population. 

Tuesday Jun 13, 2023

The power of technology to transform how America serves its hungry is the focus of the HungerTech Innovation Challenge. Presented by Elevance Health and supported byShipt, TechPoint and AT&T, this year’s winners join us today to share how they are harnessing the power of innovation and technology to connect food supply with food demand.   GreenBasket developed CropSpots, a click-and-collect model that delivers farmer’s market goods to areas of frequent community engagement instead of homes. With delivery costs not being covered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), participants can opt-in for group deliveries that allow that cost to be divided and much more manageable. GreenBasket’s team is comprised of IUPUI students Shreyas Patel, Drishti Dinesh Jogadia, Nisarg Hiteshkumar Rajpura and Aditya Suresh Nair.  South Bend, Ind.-based Cultivate Food Rescue received a runner-up prize of $5,000 co-sponsored by AT&T and TechPoint. Their platform, ShelfLife, is a customer-facing software solution intended to connect the upstream food supplier and donor in the value chain with a Food Hub central organizer that can easily connect to downstream distribution centers (food pantries) and ultimately the pantry end-user. The company’s model is already in use and has helped to expand the amount of food rescued and distributed to over 2 million pounds per month. Cultivate Food Rescue’s team includes Jim Conklin and Maxxamillion Hamm.  Learn more about AgriNovus Indiana’s HungerTech Innovation Challenge here.  

Monday Jun 12, 2023

Sustainability investments have gained headlines and attracted support and ire of many across the country and around the world. However, one of the leading global animal health companies is proving that innovation is making it possible for sustainability and profitability to coexist. Today we are joined by Katie Cook, Vice President of Farm Animal Global Innovation and Marketing at Elanco. From growing up on a Michigan farm to launching her Elanco career out of college, she talks leading farm animal innovation strategy, what the company is doing today and looking ahead to the future of animal health. Katie talks about Elanco’s growth into pet health, the opportunity for innovation in farm animal to create a positive sustainable impact and the industry’s shift from treating farm animals to preventing disease.  The conversation also dives into sustainability and profitability going hand-in-hand, especially during a time of high input prices for the farmer and examining the “must-haves” versus the “would be nice to haves” when it comes to innovation and remaining profitable. What’s on the horizon for animal health? Katie gets into Elanco’s investment into sustainability across species, providing farmers and ranchers the data tools to make more informed decisions and changing the conversation around food animal production and environmental impact.  

Monday Jun 05, 2023

Unlocking the power of data science is a relatively new endeavor for many across the economy. However, one industry was literally built on the concept generations ago; gleaning insights from troves of data, using it to calculate and project risk is the very underpinning of insurance and today’s guest is a veteran of that industry and brings his data-centered approach to agbioscience. Wes Sprinkle, CEO of Indiana Farmers Insurance, joins us as the premiere sponsor of the podcast to dive into data informing decisions and creating opportunities for the innovation economy to solve the biggest challenges farmers face regularly. He also talks on-farm trends backed by data, technology’s role in making farms safer and how collaboration can help manage risk in the future. 

Tuesday May 30, 2023

The innovation economy and the broader global economy runs on capital and the underlying banking system has experienced significant challenge of late. Since March 2023, three regional banks have failed; most notable: Silicon Valley Bank (a bank with deep connections to venture capital and tech companies). Today we are joined by Aaron Gillum, Senior Vice President at 50 South Capital, to help us make sense of what’s happening and what it means for the future of agbioscience. He gives us an understanding on how the banking system functions and what broke to put us in the position we are in today. Aaron also talks about bank collapses being more common than we realize, the ripple effects of one collapse paving the way for more instability and what is ahead for the macro economy (and venture capital).  

BONUS: Food security + the farmer

Wednesday May 24, 2023

Wednesday May 24, 2023

Farming is a vocation, a calling that for generations has fed, clothed and fueled the world. As innovation continues to advance and supply chains become even more globalized, the role of the American farmer has never been more important to the future of our economy and our national security. Today we are joined by Indiana Farm Bureau’s executive director of administration, Megan Ritter, to examine serving rural communities and their role in advancing the future of our food system. She also talks about innovation and its connectivity to the farmer, the intersection of food security and national security and its ability to create a better, more politically stable world. What challenges and complexities do farming operations face on a daily basis? Megan dives into that challenging question and the opportunity for new innovation to address those hurdles in the future.  

Monday May 22, 2023

Would it really be May in Indiana if we DIDN’T talk about milk? Each year, Indianapolis is flooded with race fans from around the globe to watch The Indianapolis 500 and its winning driver be presented with a cold glass of milk by an Indiana dairy farmer at Victory Circle.  The state is home to over 700 dairy farms and, together, provide a home for more than 174,000 dairy cows (generating more than 4.5 billion pounds of milk per year). Today we are joined by Jenni Browning, CEO of American Dairy Association of Indiana, to talk all things nutrition, consumer-focused innovation and the diversity of product and technology found on the state’s dairy farms. Jenni also gets into innovation on dairy farms as she sees it today, how it’s feeding growth to the industry and its potential for transformation in the future. Lastly, she talks the platform of Indiana dairy farmers, being an upfront feature and tradition for The Greatest Spectacle in racing a la The Indianapolis 500 and how dairy can and will continue for future generations.  To learn more about the tradition of dairy at The Indianapolis 500, click here. 

Monday May 15, 2023

According to Capital Market’s database, Pitchbook, more than 100 agtech companies were acquired in 2022 and this year is on pace to top that total. The market isn’t far from historic levels, but the question remains: is 2023 the year that agtech consolidation accelerates? On the heels of their own acquisition, Intelinair CEO Tim Hassinger joins us to talk the agbioscience’s biggest hurdles, how those are driving innovation and introducing a new wave of talent to the sector. He also gets into Intelinair’s recent acquisition of Aker Technologies, the winner of AgriNovus’ 2022 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge and what they bring to the company’s technology platform. As agriculture moves through another cycle, what opportunities lie ahead for agtech and this new wave of innovation potentially being equally balanced between quality of product and farmer adoption rate.  Read more about Intelinair's acquisition of Aker Technologies here.

Monday May 08, 2023

Cooperatives have long been an integral part of the production ag system and agricultural economy. Today that role remains and is rapidly evolving as precision agriculture, technology and new entrants like biologicals and biostimulants become increasingly important in the pursuit of farm profitability and yield. Today we are joined by Co-Alliance Chief Strategy Officer, Phil Brewer, to talk about the co-op's rise to the 80-location powerhouse it is today, identifying innovations that hold promise for the farmer and keeping pace with the speed that innovation trickles into the agbioscience economy. He also talks about driving net farm income through data-driven insights, managing risk and the role of the organization in the future to ensure farmer success.  

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