Session
Title: Cultivating Ag Tech
Date: Thu Jul 25, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Moderator: Adam Bergman
Fireside Chat: Illinois Soybean Association on Midwest AgTech and Farmer Adoption

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has launched new programming and initiatives focused on agtech, innovation, and the future of agriculture.  Learn from Director of Ag Innovations and Technology Transfer Linda Kull, PhD, and farmer board member Elliott Uphoff about ISA’s view on developing an agtech ecosystem in Illinois, the cross-industry relationships needed for adoptable solutions, and the farmer perspective on new tech. 

Linda Kull (speaker)
Director Ag Innovations and Technology Transfer
Illinois Soybean Association (ISA)
Bloomington, IL 61704
US
Linda Kull is Director of Agriculture Innovations and Technology Transfer with the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA). Linda is responsible for establishing relationships with the soybean value chain, public and private organizations, and venture capital firms interested in new and emerging technologies and soybean quality and value relevant to farm enterprise profitability and regenerative agriculture. Prior to joining ISA, Linda taught botany and biology at Eastern Illinois University and was senior research coordinator for the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany and plant physiology from Eastern Illinois University and completed a PhD at the University of Illinois in plant pathology and crop sciences. Linda and her husband live on a 12-acre horse ranch in central Illinois.
Elliott Uphoff (speaker)
ISA District #10 Director and Shelbyville, IL Farmer
Illinois Soybean Association (ISA)
Shelbyville, IL 62565
US
Elliott Uphoff raises corn and soybeans as a fifth-generation farmer near Shelbyville Ill., with his wife, Hailey. He is a district director for the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), sits on the ISA Marketing Committee and represents ISA on the Soy Transportation Coalition. He also is a seed salesman who holds a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Uphoff participates in the Shelby County Farm Bureau Young Leaders program having served as secretary and is a basketball official.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Building a Digital Agriculture Innovation Cluster

The University of Illinois is a land grant University that was established to aid in education and research with the potential of economic growth from agriculture and mechanics. Now, 150 years after the establishment of the University, once again there is industrial revolution of agriculture modernization, but now with fusion of computing and agriculture. The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a cluster of innovation in agriculture digital technology. Large agriculture companies across the value chain have established innovation centers to harness computing, artificial intelligence, and data sciences to drive new products and increased production. New startup companies are commercializing research at the convergence of computing and agriculture. This session will highlight company examples from the growing cluster of agriculture technology innovation in Champaign-Urbana and new models for students employment to drive technology adoption. 
 

Laura Frerichs (speaker)
Director
University of Illinois Research Park
Champaign, IL 61820
US
Laura Frerichs oversees the University of Illinois Research Park, entrepreneurship activities at EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, and supports the University’s economic development efforts. There are 120 companies at the Research Park in a development including 17 buildings on the University campus. EnterpriseWorks incubator clients have raised more than $1Billion in venture capital and capture 25% of the state’s SBIR/STTR federal small business awards annually. Laura helped attract large corporate centers including innovation centers for Abbott, Abbvie, ADM, BP, Caterpillar, Yahoo, Synchrony, John Deere, Capital One and more. She is on the board of the Association of University Research Parks, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Technology Association, and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, P33 Business and Culture Committee, and the ChicagoNEXT council. She served as Governor Rauner’s Innovation Council Co-Chair in 2015 and Co-Chair of Governor-Elect Transition Committee on Job Creation in 2018. She is a graduate of the Edgar Fellows program at the University of Illinois and the College of Media.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Thinking Bigger: What's Emerging at Purdue

With a top ten College of Agriculture, top ten College of Engineering, and a market-oriented president, Purdue is busting the sod to reveal deep, fertile soil for new technologies, initiatives, and startups. Central to all this are many cross-pollinating collaborations, including the 400 acre purpose-driven smart community Discovery Park District, 10-county Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, and the statewide AgriNovus.

Scott Henderson (speaker)
VP and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer
Purdue Foundry
West Lafayette, IN
US
A human spark plug and world-class connector, Scott can turn "something" into "something amazing" through grassroots collaboration and old school perseverance. Growing up with Meatballs, Bad News Bears, and Stripes as his formative narratives, he embraces outsider and underdog roles with zeal. He's at his best when he is a pirate captain in service of the crown. His career arc includes raising charitable donations for universities, running a capital campaign consultancy, creating digital strategies for brands and nonprofits, leading social and entrepreneurial movements, and helping to connect the highest concentration of students, startups, corporate innovators, and researchers in the entire southeastern US. Ask him about his jun (green tea and honey) kombucha, sour dough bread, and beekeeping adventures or how he started the Nebraska chapter of the National Walnut Council while in high school. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs and German from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's of business administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
The Farm Centric Innovation Model: Farmers in the Middle of AgTech Development

Why are farms the last stop for agtech innovations? AgLaunch has developed a model that brings farmers to the center of the innovation pipeline, collaborating with producers to build more impactful technology. By positioning the farmer as a crucial partner in agtech, we can also position farms as incubation sites and rural America as the ultimate place for agricultural innovation.

Schuyler Dalton (speaker)
Director, Farmer Network & Entrepreneurship
AgLaunch
Memphis, TN
US
Schuyler manages AgLaunch365, a year-long farm-centric innovation platform, and the Farmer Network, engaging farmers directly in incubating new innovations and value-chain opportunities. Prior to AgLaunch, Schuyler worked for non-profits in agriculture and education and has worked on farms both domestically and abroad. She holds a degree in Agricultural Science from Cornell University.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Building Early Adopter Grower Innovation Community – Keeping Midwest Growers Globally Competitive

This project will create a new platform for linking grower/producer communities in the Midwest states with Agtech innovation that is driven by grower’s unmet needs. By building a network of early adopter growers of Agtech innovation, our region will have a new asset that enhances commercialization of Ag technologies by providing an additional path to market for Agtech innovators.

The Early Adopter Grower Innovation Community (EAGIC) will identify growers interested in new innovations and committed to pilot adoption in their operation. EAGIC will determine the unmet needs of these early adopter growers and using its global sourcing network, EAGIC will source solutions and facilitate pilots between the growers and innovators by establishing rigorous evaluation and reporting channels for the pilot projects.

By building a grower-centric and global innovation sourcing platform, EAGIC will make Midwest growers globally competitive.

Vijay Chauhan (speaker)
GlobalSTL Lead
BioSTL
St. Louis, MO, NA 63105
US
Vijay Chauhan is an experienced Corporate Business Development Executive and a startup CEO of multiple companies in the Life Sciences space. He is leading BioSTL’s initiative, GlobalSTL (www.globalstl.org) to recruit leading Agtech companies from over 12 international countries to St. Louis that can deliver business value and competitive advantage to St. Louis corporations, research institutions and investors in the Agri-business value chain including Midwest farmers. GlobalSTL’s strategy is to leverage the buying power of St. Louis’ world-class corporate and innovation ecosystem to deliver strategic partners and drive business growth in North America for the international companies it recruits to St. Louis. Vijay worked at Monsanto in St. Louis, MO. As Vice President, General Manager, Nutrition and Consumer Sector, where as an intreprenuer he developed a new business in the areas of consumer health/functional foods. He also worked on multiple M&A transactions investing over $5 billion towards the implementation of Monsanto’s Agriculture Biotech and Life Sciences strategy.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Cultivating Ag Tech Panel Discussion
Laura Frerichs (speaker)
Director
University of Illinois Research Park
Champaign, IL 61820
US
Laura Frerichs oversees the University of Illinois Research Park, entrepreneurship activities at EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, and supports the University’s economic development efforts. There are 120 companies at the Research Park in a development including 17 buildings on the University campus. EnterpriseWorks incubator clients have raised more than $1Billion in venture capital and capture 25% of the state’s SBIR/STTR federal small business awards annually. Laura helped attract large corporate centers including innovation centers for Abbott, Abbvie, ADM, BP, Caterpillar, Yahoo, Synchrony, John Deere, Capital One and more. She is on the board of the Association of University Research Parks, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Technology Association, and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, P33 Business and Culture Committee, and the ChicagoNEXT council. She served as Governor Rauner’s Innovation Council Co-Chair in 2015 and Co-Chair of Governor-Elect Transition Committee on Job Creation in 2018. She is a graduate of the Edgar Fellows program at the University of Illinois and the College of Media.
Scott Henderson (speaker)
VP and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer
Purdue Foundry
West Lafayette, IN
US
A human spark plug and world-class connector, Scott can turn "something" into "something amazing" through grassroots collaboration and old school perseverance. Growing up with Meatballs, Bad News Bears, and Stripes as his formative narratives, he embraces outsider and underdog roles with zeal. He's at his best when he is a pirate captain in service of the crown. His career arc includes raising charitable donations for universities, running a capital campaign consultancy, creating digital strategies for brands and nonprofits, leading social and entrepreneurial movements, and helping to connect the highest concentration of students, startups, corporate innovators, and researchers in the entire southeastern US. Ask him about his jun (green tea and honey) kombucha, sour dough bread, and beekeeping adventures or how he started the Nebraska chapter of the National Walnut Council while in high school. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs and German from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's of business administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Schuyler Dalton (speaker)
Director, Farmer Network & Entrepreneurship
AgLaunch
Memphis, TN
US
Schuyler manages AgLaunch365, a year-long farm-centric innovation platform, and the Farmer Network, engaging farmers directly in incubating new innovations and value-chain opportunities. Prior to AgLaunch, Schuyler worked for non-profits in agriculture and education and has worked on farms both domestically and abroad. She holds a degree in Agricultural Science from Cornell University.
Vijay Chauhan (speaker)
GlobalSTL Lead
BioSTL
St. Louis, MO, NA 63105
US
Vijay Chauhan is an experienced Corporate Business Development Executive and a startup CEO of multiple companies in the Life Sciences space. He is leading BioSTL’s initiative, GlobalSTL (www.globalstl.org) to recruit leading Agtech companies from over 12 international countries to St. Louis that can deliver business value and competitive advantage to St. Louis corporations, research institutions and investors in the Agri-business value chain including Midwest farmers. GlobalSTL’s strategy is to leverage the buying power of St. Louis’ world-class corporate and innovation ecosystem to deliver strategic partners and drive business growth in North America for the international companies it recruits to St. Louis. Vijay worked at Monsanto in St. Louis, MO. As Vice President, General Manager, Nutrition and Consumer Sector, where as an intreprenuer he developed a new business in the areas of consumer health/functional foods. He also worked on multiple M&A transactions investing over $5 billion towards the implementation of Monsanto’s Agriculture Biotech and Life Sciences strategy.
Linda Kull (speaker)
Director Ag Innovations and Technology Transfer
Illinois Soybean Association (ISA)
Bloomington, IL 61704
US
Linda Kull is Director of Agriculture Innovations and Technology Transfer with the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA). Linda is responsible for establishing relationships with the soybean value chain, public and private organizations, and venture capital firms interested in new and emerging technologies and soybean quality and value relevant to farm enterprise profitability and regenerative agriculture. Prior to joining ISA, Linda taught botany and biology at Eastern Illinois University and was senior research coordinator for the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany and plant physiology from Eastern Illinois University and completed a PhD at the University of Illinois in plant pathology and crop sciences. Linda and her husband live on a 12-acre horse ranch in central Illinois.
Elliott Uphoff (speaker)
ISA District #10 Director and Shelbyville, IL Farmer
Illinois Soybean Association (ISA)
Shelbyville, IL 62565
US
Elliott Uphoff raises corn and soybeans as a fifth-generation farmer near Shelbyville Ill., with his wife, Hailey. He is a district director for the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), sits on the ISA Marketing Committee and represents ISA on the Soy Transportation Coalition. He also is a seed salesman who holds a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Uphoff participates in the Shelby County Farm Bureau Young Leaders program having served as secretary and is a basketball official.
Length (approx): 20 min