2019 Agenda

Monday, May 13 | 10 am – 4 pm

 

Field Day at Agricenter International – Added Value Day

Agricenter International is the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South. It hosts more than 1.3 million visitors annually, has 1,000 acres under cultivation for research purposes and has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region. Through its work with agribusiness, university systems, and government and non-government organizations, the Agricenter provides a professional forum for the unbiased development, evaluation, demonstration, education, and marketing of the latest and most advanced agricultural technologies and products. We’ll tour the facility, enjoy lunch there, and get to see in-field demos featuring innovative agtech startups. This optional add-on trip will also include a tour of the nearby national headquarters of conservation organization, Ducks Unlimited.

Companies doing field demos:

Agrela Ecosystems
Agricenter International Student Demo
Autonomous Pivot
Aware Vehicles
EarthSense
GroGuru
Rabbit Tractors
Rantizo
Sentera
Shepherd

Downloadable Field Day Agenda

5:30 PM

Opening Reception at Old Dominick Distillery, 305 S Front St., Memphis

Conference Sessions

Tuesday, May 14 | Peabody Hotel  | 8 am – 5 pm

7:00 AM

Breakfast and Registration

8:00 AM

Opening Remarks    

The year is 2030.  Autonomous vehicles are alive and Facebook is dead.  The “Peak Food” crisis was averted, but we didn’t just produce more.  Food is no longer measured by calories and fat content. Nutritional density and microbiome score have emerged as the standard.  What does that mean? Hundreds of Billions have been saved in American healthcare, but not due to any new drugs or devices. Production of corn and sugar are in decline, supplanted by peas and hemp.  Food and agriculture are on the cutting edge of human health. Producing the right foods has led to a resurgence in farmer profitability. The industrial revolution has finally hit the farm as technology has reduced labor and inputs while improving the quality of the output.  And Agriculture is being praised for its contributions to the environment. The world has changed, but how did we get here?

Carter Williams – CEO, iSelect Fund

8:15 AM

Governor Bill Lee, State of Tennessee

8:25 AM

The Convergence of Food and Health

Diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders. What if they all had to do with the food we consume? Today’s research already shows that cancer patients with the correct nutrition can increase their life expectancy by 6-12 months. What if the $500 billion to $1 trillion spent annually to treat chronic disease was spent on healthy food? Is Big Food’s next step to buy a healthcare insurer

Nancy Roman, Partnership for a Healthier America

8:35 AM

Conversation:

Governor Bill Lee, State of Tennessee
Nancy Roman, Partnership for a Healthier America
Moderator: Paul Noglows, Executive Producer

8:55 AM

The Consumer of the Future

Millennials and Gen Z together represent over half of the population by 2030. Ranging in age from 25 to 50, they will dictate much of how the world will operate. They are culturally diverse, well-educated and technology-oriented. Millenials are particular about their food. Fearful of GMOs. Fearful of chemicals. This momentary fear of BigCo in control has slowed progress, as rapid progress in yield in the 80s and 90s have led to a stalemate over technology in 2018. But emerging markets and Gen Z are changing all that. Gen Z is embracing CRISPR. They are biohacking. Liberated from privacy and fanatical for data, Gen Z has had their microbiome sequenced, going well beyond just DNA. They innovate. It is only a matter of time before Silicon Valley integrates 23 and Me, blockchain, Amazon Basic, and Fitbit to personalize food to the individual’s Xome and Microbiome. Perfect traceability of every ingredient. An integration of food, health, and social justice. Will “organic” stand the test of time? Does the GMO argument go away?

Bryan Archambault, EVP, WPP Health
Jennifer Hickman, WPP Wundermann

9:25 AM

Networking Break

9:45 AM

Future of Food

No one cares about organic or non-GMO anymore.  All anyone can talk about is personalized nutrition.  Swipe left for heatlhy and nutritious. Swipe right for a Type 2 diabetes menus. Want a menu to lower inflammation? Choose your ingredients, your snacks, your meals based on your personal or family goals.  No more guesswork associated with which diet to follow. Get the one customized for you as simple as a few clicks.

Mani Gopalakrishnan, VP Digital Innovation, Kraft Heinz Evolv Group

10:00 AM

Designer Food

But what if we really did know what to eat? What if you could customize your diet to eliminate obesity, reduce disease and improve happiness? Let’s take it a step further. How about if I told you I could customize your diet to help you learn how to play the violin or become a master at chess? The $500 billion to $1 trillion available to the food industry from chronic diseases now seems like chump change. What do you think people would really pay for personal optimization?

Dr. Bruce German, Professor, University of California, Davis

10:15 AM

Undiscovered Nutrition

Today’s diet impairs our metabolism, exposing us to the dangers of chronic disease. Nature has evolved a wealth of natural compounds that promote health and wellness, yet only 0.1% of the plant kingdom’s compounds have been explored.  What if the solution to our nutritional problems is out there, but we just don’t know it yet?

Dr. Lee Chae, CTO, Brightseed

10:30 AM

Food Fight!

Is Congress to blame for our health problems? For most Americans, the likely answer is yes, but not for the reasons you may think.  In the late ‘70s, Congress began exploring the links between diet and health, due to significant issues with heart health. It culminated in the publication of the first US Dietary Guidelines in 1980 and every 5 years since. They concluded fat was bad and carbohydrates were good. As a result, they traded heart disease for obesity and diabetes.  We now know too much refined carbs and sugar can make us fat, but it also leads to inflammation which has been linked to numerous chronic diseases that cost us billions to treat. What is less obvious is the impact on the microbiome. A diet too high in sugar can cause the composition of the microbiome to change, overpopulating certain microbes that feed on the sugars. These microbes then signal to the brain that they need more sugar, causing us to consume even more. And these bad bugs play a role in conditions as diverse as depression and diabetes.  The foods being sold in the mass market today are not consistent with the new science. There is a massive infrastructure built around selling cheap calories. How can we go about changing that system?

Mani Gopalakrishnan, VP Digital Innovation, Kraft Heinz Evolv Group
Dr. Bruce German, Professor, University of California Davis
Dr. Lee Chae, CTO, Brightseed
Lucy Stitzer, Chairman, Dirt to Dinner
Moderator: Carter Williams, CEO, iSelect Fund

11:30 AM

Lunch

11:45 AM

Welcome to Memphis and the Delta: Alive and Growing 

John Santi, Founder AgCounsel & Organizing Partner

11:50 AM

Eric Miller, SVP, Economic Development, Greater Memphis Chamber

11:55 AM

Chris Caldwell, Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority

12:00 PM

Conversation between Eric Miller and Chris Caldwell

Eric Miller, SVP, Economic Development, Greater Memphis Chamber
Chris Caldwell, Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority
Moderator: Lyman Aldrich, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Memphis in May

12:20 PM

Networking Break

12:30 PM

Designing a Plant-Based Protein from the Seed Up

Kathy Flores, VP Supply Chain, Benson Hill 
Ken Dallmier, Ph.D., President and COO, Clarkson Grain
Deanie Elsner, CEO Charlotte’s Web and former executive Kellogg’s and Kraft
Bryan Archambault, Executive Vice President, Wunderman Health

1:15 PM

How Can Innovation Serve the Farmer? Is Guaranteed Outcome the Innovation that Saves the Day?

We’ve heard from the consumer, and they want transparency, personalized nutrition, and super crops. They wanted sustainability too, but farmers don’t seem to be getting paid for being sustainable. Why should they expect that consumers will pay for these benefits? If farmers aren’t getting paid for it, what incentive do they have to change? Does a marketplace develop where they find opportunities to grow new crops? Can fragmentation lead to de-commoditization? Transparency requires technology. But which technology wins? Is it technology that delivers transparency, or is it technology that helps the farmer lower the cost of their supply chain and deliver transparency too?

Barry Knight, SVP, Indigo
Jeff Tarsi, VP Retail, North America, Nutrien
Moderator: Rob Dongoski, Global Agribusiness Lead, EY

2:00 PM

New Sources of Protein

If it is not from an animal, it can’t be called meat, can it? Yet, there is the Impossible Burger. Milk comes from cows, but not if its Ripple. Mom no longer needs to tell you to finish your peas. Cricket bars – that might be where I draw the line, but you can buy them. Are new sources of a “perfect” protein emerging? How do you determine whether the protein should be turned into a consumer brand, a food ingredient, or a feed ingredient? Heck, chickens probably like crickets.

Virginia Emery, Founder & CEO, Beta Hatch
Peter Hawthorne, Managing Partner, P. Chandler Partners
Laura Zaim, Venture Partner, New Crop Capital / Unovis Partners
Moderator: Rob Trice, Founder and Partner, Better Food Ventures

3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:15 PM

Innovation Showcase & Start-up Presentations

The conference seeks to draw together the key entrepreneurs, investors, early adopter customers, and proven leaders, with a single idea: information. What do customers want? What are investors looking for? What startups are driving innovation? The innovation showcase highlights the leading thinkers in food system innovation. And while we are at it, we offer sixteen 15 Min presentation opportunities. For a startup looking for an investment or maybe an early adopter customer. For a CPG product manager looking for technology. For an Investor looking for thought leaders. If you are ready to lead the food system revolution but need money, customers, or talent, spend 15 mins letting the conference attendees learn what you have to say.

  • AgLaunch 
  • Heart 2 Heart Farms 
  • Agrela Ecosystems 
  • CoverCress 
  • AgriDigital 
  • Rebound Technologies 
  • Savor Health 
  • Nanoguard Technologies
  • Bonumose 
  • TerViva 
  • Kula Bio 
  • Beta Hatch 
  • Sentera 
  • Crop Enhancement 
  • Amfora 
  • FamilyFarms Group
  • CropMetrics

View All Innovation Showcase Participants

5:00 PM

Cocktails

Wednesday, May 15 | Peabody Hotel | 8 am – 5 pm

7:00 AM

Breakfast & Registration

8:00 AM

Opening Remarks

Craig Herron, Managing Director, iSelect Fund

8:10 AM

The Paradoxes Defining the Global Food System

Rob Dongoski, Global Agribusiness Lead, EY

8:30 AM

A Realistic Perspective on Global Food Security

US needs are not the same as the needs globally. Much of the food crisis and lack of food security is in Asia, India and Africa. How are their needs the same? How do their needs differ? How do we work together to ensure that innovations in the food system improve the health and welfare of the global population?

Dave Farley, Executive Chairman, Matrix Commodities
Robb Fraley, former CTO, Monsanto
Moderator: Natalie DiNicola, Chief Communications Officer, Benson Hill 

9:15 AM

Challenges Farmers Face Today

We hear everyday about all the things keeping farmers awake at night – weather, yield, labor, financing, inputs, crop protection, commodity prices, trade, profitability, regulation, conservation, too much data, not enough data . . .  And, there are seemingly a thousand new solutions that pop up. But, what are the areas that could really help to move the needle? What are the key attributes a solution needs to have? What does a farmer need to see in order to consider adopting? Hear the farmers’ perspective as to what their problems are and how solutions need to be structured to get them to adopt.

Tim Woods, President, G. M. Lawrence and Co.
Gary Wishnatzki, CEO Wish Farms, Co-Founder, Harvest CROO Robotics
Craig Ratajczyk, CEO, Illinois Soybean Association
Moderator: Kevin Van Trump, CEO, Farm Direction

10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM

Existing Protein

Meat demand is growing. As the global middle class continues to grow, they demand more animal-based sources of protein.  Yet, meat is under attack. Animal protein is bad for you. Plant protein is good. Livestock production is cruel. LIvestock are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.  Manure runoff is ruining water tables. If we didn’t have to feed all those animals, how much more food would we have for humans? Antibiotic usage is leading to human antibiotic resistance. We are overfishing our oceans. You name it and there is a complaint about it.  

Traditional proteins are being put “out to pasture”.  So by 2030, is meat no longer on the menu? Or, will innovation save the day?  From the 1950s to present, there were 12 different periods where corn production increased more than 40% over a 12-year timeframe while also reducing the number of inputs.  What if technology could humanely increase cattle production by 40% with no more land required, reduce the amount of grain needed per cow by 20%, make the beef healthier than chicken, AND eliminate 90% of methane emissions all at once?  What happens if that extends to other traditional protein production? What happens to the alternative proteins market?

What are the challenges for the existing Protein markets?

David Farley, Executive Chairman, Matrix Commodities
Peter Hawthorne, Managing Partner, P. Chandler Partners
Kathy Flores, VP Supply Chain, Benson Hill 
Moderator: Connie Bowen, Executive Director, The Yield Lab Institute

11:30 AM

Lunch

11:50 AM

Lunch continues and St. Jude Presentation

Rick Farmer, Executive Chef, St. Jude

12:20 PM

Sustainability and Soil Health – Is Agriculture the solution to our environmental problems?

The American farmer is under attack.  Runoff from farms is forming silt in lakes and rivers.  Fertilizers are linked to algal blooms. Cows are the leading source of methane.  But, farmers have no incentive to pollute but do they have an incentive to conserve?.  If they are not stewards of their land, who is?. Conservation can reduce cost and risk, but is that enough of a financial incentive?  Organic equals Sustainable, or was it Regenerative? Why isn’t more being done? Do they have the right tools? What is the right metric? Is the supply chain doing enough?

Jerry Lynch, VP, Chief Sustainability Officer, General Mills
Dave Stanko, Head of Agrible, Nutrien Ag Solutions
Lee Scheufler, Farmer
Moderator:  Michael Doane, Global Managing Director, Sustainable Food & Water, The Nature Conservancy

1:00 PM

De-commoditization of Agriculture

How do I differentiate myself? Contract farming to a CPG? Growing seed for a Big 4? New crops (peas, chickpeas, hemp, duckweed, cannabis)? How about high protein corn for Tostitos? How about high protein sorghum for an ethanol plant? How about high protein wheat? Why are we not planting crops that people want to buy?

Travis Potter, Tractor Soda
Kellee James, CEO, Mercaris
Shari Rogge-Fidler, CEO, Family Farms Group
Moderator: Rob Trice, Founder & Partner, Better Food Ventures

1:45 PM

Networking Break

2:00 PM

Where is the Exit: BioTech? Food? Agtech?

Seed, A, and sometimes B round capital is readily available. What about the C and beyond round? Going public? Am I a food company? Am I a biotech company? Am I an agriculture company? Who is going to step up and lead this charge?

Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director, S2G Capital
Lindsay Carlson, Director, William Blair
Matt Crisp, CEO, Benson Hill 

2:45 PM

Recap of the past 2 days and Closing Remarks

Carter Williams, CEO, iSelect Fund

3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:15 PM

Innovation Showcase & Start-up Presentations

The conference seeks to draw together the key entrepreneurs, investors, early adopter customers, and proven leaders, with a single idea: information. What do customers want? What are investors looking for? What startups are driving innovation? The innovation showcase highlights the leading thinkers in food system innovation. And while we are at it, we offer sixteen 15 Min presentation opportunities. For a startup looking for an investment or maybe an early adopter customer. For a CPG product manager looking for technology. For an Investor looking for thought leaders. If you are ready to lead the food system revolution but need money, customers, or talent, spend 15 mins letting the attendees learn what you have to say.

  • University of Memphis 
  • Kyle’s Campaigns for Change 
  • Aware Vehicles 
  • P&P Optica 
  • NATIVE 
  • Victory Hemp Foods 
  • AcreTrader 
  • TradeLanes
  • Holganix 
  • Autonomous Pivot 
  • SafeTraces 
  • Mercaris 
  • Plastomics 
  • Agribody Technologies 
  • Ceres Wave 
  • Rabbit Tractors

View All Innovation Showcase Participants

5:30 PM

World Famous Memphis in May Barbeque Competition

Deep Dives – Added Value Day

Thursday, May 16 | Peabody Hotel | 8am – 2pm

Pick 1 of 2 concurrent sessions

Indoor Farming (Option A)

Vertical and indoor farming are among the fastest growing segments of the agriculture industry, valued at $106 billion as of 2017 and expected to grow at 3.4% annually going forward. Right now, North America accounts for more than 44% of the market. But consumer demand is the key to unlocking this market. How do farms make certain they are producing what consumers demand? What do cities, grocery stores, restaurants, private equity, and developers interested in the coming boom in indoor farming need to know today? In this Deep Dive you’ll learn about:

  • Best practices in indoor farming that are helping control costs
  • Leaders and innovators at the forefront of the industry
  • Technology on the horizon that will help increase yield, improve nutrition, and deliver addictive flavor
  • The factors that are holding back access to expansion capital for indoor farmers, startups, and other innovators.

2pm – Bar-B-Que

View Speakers and Agenda

Hemp (Option B)

The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill changed the game for hemp farmers in this country, effectively legalizing an industrial crop that has for years been sidelined due to its association with cannabis. Hemp is cannabis, but it offers so much more — it is a renewable source of raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products, and its seeds and flowers can be used in a range of health foods, body care products, and other nutraceuticals. Even before legalization, hemp was a $620 million market in the U.S. and that’s only expected to grow. Is now the time to get involved? In this Deep Dive you’ll learn about:

  • What municipalities, regulators, producers, and businesses that want to get into cannabis and hemp need to know
  • The many uses and farming benefits of hemp
  • The potential for new hemp-based products, including Cannabidiol (CBD), protein, fiber and more
  • The technologies involved in hemp production today, including genetics, agronomics and processing

2pm – Bar-B-Que

View Speakers and Agenda