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Agenda

We are pleased to announce the 2022 agenda! This event featured expert presentations from USDA, AWS, SC Ventures LLC, BPS Agriculture LLC, Delta Analytical Corporation, Ingevity, Syngenta Group Ventures, and many more!

Registration and Opening Remarks
Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Chelsea Kertes, Conference Producer, Smithers
Session I: State of the Industry & Current Trends
<Session Description>
To start out the conference, we will have a state of the industry address to highlight what is currently happening in AgChem as well as a USDA talk on postharvest trends.
Agrochemicals in Global Trade: Postharvest Trends
With the onset and expansion of a globalized economy, has come the need to disinfest and disinfect foodstuffs and refugia based on criterion established by the importing countries, and ultimately their citizens. Consumers demand year-round access to inexpensive goods that are safe from the perspective of food safety and security, as well as environmental and human health.  Yet, consumers are becoming increasingly wary of any chemicals used to guarantee their demand(s).  Postharvest treatments yield control in relative proximity to consumption, and with relatively certain reproducibility, at least when compared to production-based control measures.  Recent research on postharvest treatments is discussed in light of the consumer and regulatory trends, particularly postharvest fumigation strategies that will likely be a fixture in global agriculture for the next decade as the pursuit to meet the “chemically impossible” consumer demand evolves.
Spencer Walse | Research Chemist, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Networking & Coffee Break
Session II: Understanding the Regulatory Path
< Session Description >
This session will address important updates in the regulatory space and discuss in detail what is going on with Farm to Fork both near and far within the industry.
Panel: Farm to Fork - A Deeper Conversation
This discussion will begin with a short presentation by Gijs Schilthuis giving an overview and any updates to discuss on Farm to Fork. Then, this will lead to a panel that will explore multiple perspectives to get a clearer image of any updates on the matter, what the current outlook means, and exploring what the future holds.

Panelists:
  • Maros Ivanic | Agricultural Economist, USDA
  • Gijs Schilthuis | Directorate – General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
  • Ard van de Kreek | Founder and Farmer, Growy
  • Additional panelists to come!
Session III: Microbiomes, Biostimulants, and Emerging Technologies
Discovery and Development of BASIN® a novel peptide based bioinsecticide
BASIN® is derived from a family of agatoxins isolated from the Eratigena agrestis spider (Hobo spider) that has previously been shown to possess potent insecticidal activity by direct injection to lepidopteran pests but lack insecticidal activity when presented orally to the same target species. Engineered variants with improved stability to gut proteases possess potent oral insecticidal activity in laboratory and field trials. Further additional variants that lack a yeast glycosylation site that allows for industrial-scale production of the peptide as a commercial bioinsecticide. Lastly, evidence indicates that the engineered peptide acts as positive allosteric modulator of the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) at a site distinct from current commercial modulators and agonists of the nAChR.
Robert Kennedy, Ph.D. | Chief Scientific Officer, Vestaron
Networking Lunch
The Valley of Death: Where VC Investment Fears to Tread
Venture Capital stands at the precipice of the Valley of Death for biotech investments. Billions of dollars are going to fund Seed and Series A investments into synthetic biology applications. Soon those investments will go beyond the lab and need to stand up capital-intensive demonstrations at the 10,000 to 150,000 liter scale. An incredible growing shortfall of contract fermentation capacity means biotech startups and their VC investors can no longer bank on passing off this capital requirement to CMOs. Building new capacity or one-off facilities is fraught with problems, and this necessary intermediate scale ($40-60M in CapEx is not where the strategics of the world ($100M+) like to put their money. Many quality startups will die on the vine unless venture capital can change and seize the true opportunity before them.
Jason Webber | Principal, SC Ventures LLC
Session IV: Working Together to Improve the Industry
<Session Description>
This session will explore ways that companies, organizations, and the AgChem community have come together to collaborate and build the future of the industry.
What it takes to digitally transform the Agriculture & Food system
Digital Transformation bears the promise of making better decisions based on data & insight. However, analytics & insight feed of good data, relevant and sufficient enough data. This session explores how public and private can build sustainable agriculture analytic solutions, that take data privacy and data sharing principles into account.
Claudia Rössler | Director for Strategic Partnerships in Food & Agriculture , Microsoft Cloud for Industry
Why Soil Is One Our Best Weapons To Fight Climate Change
There is a lack of scientific consensus about the degree to which sustainable farming practices can sequester sufficient atmospheric carbon to have an appreciable impact in mitigating climate change. In my presentation, I will explain:
  • Scientific and agronomic justifications of SOC sequestration and its impact to global warming
  • Factors affecting SOC sequestration and our solutions
  • Limiting factors of SOC storage and its permanence
There many several approaches in quantifying SOC and net GHG removals. Some use soil sampling only, some combine sampling with process-based modeling, and others use only modeling and remote sensing. These different methodologies lead to the risk of creating credits that are not equivalent or even comparable. So, in my session here I will also give an overview of SOC measurement, traditional and new technologies and their challenges. I also want to give an outlook of carbon measurement tools/technology needed for the carbon industry.
Session takeaway--
SOC sequestration is nature-based solution for global warming. Paying farmers to sequester carbon is one of the best approaches out there because it helps improve farmers income, soil health and mediate global warming issues. However, a credible and cost effective MRV protocol or technology is essential for building trust and confidence in the credits generated.
Dr. Yebin Zhao | Head of Science, Agoro
Networking Break & Coffee
The Better Half: How Corporates & Start-ups Can Partner for Success
In the age of innovation ecosystems, how can multinational companies and agile start-ups work together to unlock the next big thing in Ag Tech? Our session will tackle four key themes: Fit, Expectations, Structure, and Execution. How can we get relationships off on the right foot to build long-term partnerships? Can two companies work together even if they may not be a perfect cultural match? What are realistic expectations for timing and communication? And when it’s time to go from interesting proof-of-concept to executing a deal, how can we set each other up for success? We’ll explore these questions and more at the Smithers AgChem Summit in the session led by BPS Agriculture.
John Appel | President and Board Member, BPS Agriculture
Session V: AgChem Pitching Hour
< Session Description >
Speakers will have 5 minutes to pitch their company, introduce their technology or product, and explain their needs before taking questions from the audience. Following the Pitching Hour, the networking reception will begin in the main exhibit hall where you will have a space to display your technology/product to the delegates and further engage with your audience in real time.
Pitching Hour Introduction
Mycologics LLC Presentation
Every year, 25-30% of all food and feed crops produced by the world are wasted due to fungal infections and fungal toxins (mycotoxins). With the current climate change and the need to feed a rapidly increasing global population, the problem is an imminent threat to agricultural sustainability. Mycologics' solution to this problem is a new line of affordable antifungal biologics that will be safe for the environment and human health and will protect multiple crops against multiple fungal diseases.
Anindya Chanda | Chief Executive Officer, Mycologics LLC
Additional Pitching Hour Presentations
Closing Remarks
Networking Reception
Registration and Opening Remarks
Registration & Breakfast
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Chelsea Kertes, Conference Producer, Smithers
Session VI: Product Testing
< Session Description >
This session will address how to register your product, updates in regulations, and how to introduce your product to the market and the challenges that come with a new product, certifications, and licensing.
Panel: Let’s Talk About Registration & Certification
This panel will address updates and challenges with registering new products within the biologicals, microbials, and synthetics spaces. It will detail the process, what certifications are necessary, and highlight any important information to be aware of moving forward.

Panelists:
  • Jennifer Lilly | Director, Regulatory, Plant Response
  • Douglas A. Robinson | Principal, Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.
  • Megan Priest | Senior Regulatory Analyst, Delta Analytical Corporation
  • Dr. Scott Jackson | Vice President, Regulatory and Regulatory Services, Vestaron
Improving the Sustainability of Crop Protection Formulations with Bio-Based Coformulants
The need for more sustainable crop protection products is rapidly increasing with regulatory requirements and societal pressures. To meet these needs, pine-based chemistry provider Ingevity continues to innovate and develop high-performing agricultural co-formulants made almost exclusively from renewable resources.
Some of the keyways Ingevity’s dispersants, solvents, adjuvants, and oils positively impact the sustainability of formulations include:
  • Utilizing biogenic carbon
  • Providing biodegradable alternatives to microplastics
  • Increasing soil carbon sequestration
  • Providing lower carbon footprint alternatives than fossil fuel-based materials
  • Reducing water consumption for ULV applications
  • Maintaining viability of biological species
Co-Presenters: Mariola Kopcinski, Ph.D. | Global Business Manager AgroChemicals, Ingevity and Tammy Schweiner | North America Account Manager, Ingevity
Networking Break
Session VII: Sustainability in the Sector
Presentation Coming Soon!
Fork-to-Farm: Working Backwards to a Sustainable Future
The demand for sustainability in agriculture extends from cradle-to-grave. But what makes agriculture sustainable, and how do we get there fast? In this presentation, we’ll narrow in on a functional definition in order to explore case studies in cross-sector partnership for value-driven sustainability, from fork-to-farm. Moreover, these case studies highlight the power tech-sector collaboration has to accelerate innovation and bring emerging technologies to bear on some of the biggest challenges. The demand for sustainability in agriculture extends from cradle-to-grave. But what makes agriculture sustainable, and how do we get there fast? In this presentation, we’ll narrow in on a functional definition in order to explore case studies in cross-sector partnership for value-driven sustainability, from fork-to-farm. Moreover, these case studies highlight the power tech-sector collaboration has to accelerate innovation and bring emerging technologies to bear on some of the biggest challenges.
Patti Carroll | Sr. Sustainability Strategist and Applied Scientist, AWS Professional Services
Embedding Sustainability Throughout Discovery, Development, and Manufacturing of Crop Protection Products
We will describe differentiating criteria and sustainability metrics that are being used from the earliest stages of discovery through development, launch and post-launch of crop protection products. Embedding sustainability throughout will be illustrated with examples and case studies.
Melissa M. Johnson, Ph.D. | Product Science & Technology Leader, Corteva Agriscience
Networking Lunch
Session VIII: Controlled Environment AG
“New” Agricultural Production Systems and Regional Food Systems
Regional food systems are essential for feeding people through the production, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of food in both urban and rural settings. However, these systems do more than feed people - they drive economic development, provide ecosystem services, and impact overall population health. As “new types” of agriculture are increasingly developed and expanded (cell-based agriculture, vertical agriculture, etc.), understanding how these production systems can complement current agricultural production, and how they fit into a regional environment where it must compete with other sectors for resources such as land, water, and energy will be essential to fully realize their potential.
John Reich, Ph.D. | Scientific Program Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)
AeroFarms - Elevating Agriculture
AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and business as a Certified B Corporation. AeroFarms proprietary technology is able to grow indoors using up to 95% less water with up to 390X greater productivity per square foot than the traditional field farm annually. Having grown over 550 different crops, AeroFams enables local commercial production as well as global R&D to solve broader supply chain and growing challenges for the broader agriculture industry. Learn more about AeroFarms public and private partnerships leading to breakthroughs. 
Marc Oshima | Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, AeroFarms
Session IX: The Future of the AgroChemical Industry
< Session Description >
This session will address new opportunities in the agrochemical industry, food safety, IoT, AI, integration methods, precision agriculture, solution-based approaches and more.
The reality of regenerative opportunities for the agchem industry
The agchem industry is faced with turbulence and uncertainty due to the international pressure to improve safety, transparency, while reducing external environmental impacts and improving the quality of land and food. In addition agriculture’s impact on rural communities and small holders is undeniable and critical to the social and economic well-being of these communities. Recently, the new to industry but old to food production concept of regenerative practices has gained considerable momentum driven by the potential to impact nearly all of the aforementioned challenges and starting with soil. However, at the core of regenerative agriculture is the need to understand complex agroecosystem processes, monitor them efficiently, develop products and business models that support regeneration, and report outcomes transparently. The question pervading the industry is what is the appetite for regenerative practices and what emerging technologies provide opportunities to decrease risk and enable adoption? The presentation discusses how agrochemical companies can transform the challenges into opportunities and drive growth in the changing food and agriculture landscape.
Thimmaiah Appachanda PhD | Senior Research Analyst, Lux Research Inc.
Panel: Where are We Going? New Technologies and The Future of the Ag Industry
This panel will address how new technologies are changing the future of the agrochemical industry and plant health. The panelists will dive into innovations, products, and where they see the future heading. Additionally, they will close the loop on key touchpoints and hot topics that were discussed throughout the event.

Moderator: Sara Olson, Principal – FMC Ventures, FMC Corporation

Panelist:
  • Dr. Andrew Smith | COO, Rodale Institute
  • Jason Gabriel | Managing Director, Syngenta Group Ventures
  • Tracy Raines | Chief Innovation Officer, Business Development, AgBiome
Closing Remarks and Farewell

Interested in joining the Pitching Hour?

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