Speakers

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Travis Bayer
Co-founder and CTO
Sound Agriculture
Travis Bayer is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sound Agriculture. Sound uses a drug discovery approach to create climate resilient crops, enhancing harvest yields for growers and building a sustainable future for agriculture. Prior to Sound, Travis was an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, where his research group focused on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. Travis was awarded the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ‘Innovator of the Year’ award in 2015 for his work on improving crop production in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Dale Edgington
Purchasing & Production Manager
Advanced Micronutrient Products
Dale Edgington gained his BS degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and began his career in the fertilizer industry in 1985. The first half of his career was spent in retail operations, marketing fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and related services to farmers in Michigan.

In 2003, Dale transitioned to the micronutrient fertilizer manufacturing business where he has been ever since. Responsibilities include purchasing and formulating various fertilizer products with the elements nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron, iron and zinc. The business was owned by Agrium, U.S. Inc. until April of 2015 when it was sold to another long standing micronutrient manufacturer, Cameron Chemicals from the state of Virginia.
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Jane Fife
Chief Science Officer
3Bar Biologics
Jane Fife joined 3Bar Biologics as Chief Science Officer in 2016, where she leads R&D and new product development to improve bioformulation and delivery of beneficial microbes for more effective plant growth and biological disease control. 3Bar Biologics is an early stage startup spinout of The Ohio State University dedicated to improving yield and productivity in agriculture. Prior to 3Bar Biologics, Jane managed technology development in agribusiness at Battelle Memorial Institute. Jane has a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University, with research interests in applying innovative technologies for more targeted delivery of agricultural inputs and smarter, more sustainable agricultural production.
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Jon Leman
Commercial Vice President
Italpollina USA, Inc.
Jon Leman is the Commercial Vice President for Italpollina USA, Inc. In December of 2013, he opened the North American market to the Italpollina brand of products. Since that time, he has helped to solidify the company’s global leadership position by leading an impressive year-over-year growth in sales via a widespread sales and distribution network. Additionally, he has overseen the opening of what is now one of the world’s largest production facilities of 100% vegetal-based biostimulants for use in agriculture. Jon knows very well how to drive sales, and he believes that in addition to a solid vision, it takes great relationships, providing the right product for the need, and having a passion for the purpose. Helping today’s farmers overcome the complex challenges of food production with innovative solutions that are more natural is inspiring to him.

Jon is an agribusiness professional who has spent 25 years identifying new product opportunities for the sector, driving new product development, and getting large scale distribution to the fields. Much of that time was as National Marketing and Sales Manager, Branded Products with agribusiness giant, Wilbur Ellis Company. Jon attended Franklin College and is a graduate the University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ Executive Program for Strategic Marketing.
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Christopher Perrella
Analyst — Chemical Equity
Bloomberg Intelligence
Christopher Perrella is an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique research platform that provides context on industries, companies, government policy, litigation and the economy, available on the Bloomberg Professional service at BI . Mr. Perrella specializes in chemical end markets and companies including paints and coatings, agricultural chemicals, industrial gases, alternative energy, and diversified chemical companies. Prior to joining Bloomberg Intelligence, Mr. Perrella was a junior analyst on an Institutional Investor Ranked U.S. Chemicals research team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2009 through 2014. Before his experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mr. Perrella worked as a junior on a Shipping and Transportation team during 2008. Mr. Perrella earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Bucknell University. He then went on to complete his Master of Business in finance from Michigan State University. He is certified in FINRA Series 7, 63, 86/87.
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Justin Stewart
U.S. Marketing Leader, Nitrogen Stabilizers
Dow AgroSciences

Justin Stewart is the U.S. Marketing Leader for Nitrogen Stabilizers for Dow AgroSciences. Justin joined Dow AgroSciences in 2007 and has experience in a wide range of markets and businesses including Turf and Ornamental, Structural and Post-Harvest Commodity Pest Control, Small Grains, and Nitrogen Stabilization.

Since taking over as the Marketing Lead for Nitrogen Stabilizers, Justin has been responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business. Responsibilities include analysis of current and future market opportunities, business development, and strategy implementation.

Justin holds a BS degree in Agronomy and MS in Plant Pathology; both from Purdue University. He also holds a MS in Industrial Administration from Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.

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Mark Taylor
Director of Industrial Sales
AGI - Yargus
Mark Taylor is the Director of Industrial Sales for AGI - Yargus, a division of Ag Growth International (AGI). AGI - Yargus is located in Marshall, IL and is a bulk material handling and blending equipment company providing solutions for the agriculture, fertilizer, mining and industrial markets around the world. Prior to Yargus, Mark owned and operated a private waste and recycle services company located in the Midwest. Mark has three children and lives in Terre Haute, IN.
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Russell Taylor
Vice President
Live Earth Products Inc.
Russell Taylor is the Vice President of Live Earth Products Inc. and the President of the Humic Products Trade Association. Mr. Taylor has spent 20 years in the mining, extraction, and marketing of humic acid based products. Areas of experience with the humic isolates include: agriculture, turf management, organic fertilizers, animal feeds, and soil reclamation. His knowledge of humic acid processing and isolation put his company on the forefront of the humic acid manufacturing industry. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and raises organic beef for a hobby.
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Chris Underwood
Director of R&D and Formulation Services
Hocking International Laboratories
Dr. Chris Underwood received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida in 2006 specializing in natural product derivation and synthesis. He then attended Clemson University and received both his MS in Chemistry in 2010 (specializing in bioinorganic chemistry) and his PhD in Chemistry in 2013 (specializing in crystal growth and synthesis).

Chris then worked for AgroLiquid from 2013-2018 as their Product Development Manager, where he oversaw all QA/QC measures at their manufacturing facilities, as well as created over 30 different experimental products and oversaw their development, including the PrimAgro line that includes biologicals into liquid fertilizer products.

Chris then joined Hocking International Laboratories in May 2018 as the Director of R&D and Formulation Services, where he oversees all QA/QC measures at their manufacturing facilities, as well as oversees all research and development for the company.
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Nick Young
Supervising Special Investigator
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
Nick Young is the Supervising Special Investigator for the California Department of Food & Agriculture's Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program. Nick has been with CDFA for ten years and was instrumental in the development of the inspection protocol for their Organic Input Material Program implemented worldwide. His role involves education and outreach, as well as regulatory enforcement of fertilizing materials. Nick currently serves of the Board of Directors of Association of American Plant Food Control Officials. Nick has a degree in Plant Science from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, where he also taught as an adjunct professor, as well as a degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nick lives in Orange County, California with his wife, seven year-old daughter, and two year-old son.
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Brian Petersen
Specialty Sales Representative
Simplot Agribusiness
Brian Petersen is a Specialty Sales Representative for the J.R. Simplot Company in the intermountain region with additional responsibilities for specialty product management. He grew up in eastern Idaho surrounded by Agriculture. He received a B.S degree in Agribusiness from Utah State University and began his began his career as an assistant manager for an IFA dealer in northern Utah. From there he was able to move back to Idaho to work for Green Valley Fertilizer as a fertilizer applicator, which quickly led to the position of Plant Manager, overseeing the daily operations, blending and inventories of 20,000 tons of liquid fertilizer annually. In this capacity he gained experience in logistics while managing fertilizer blending, transportation, and application personnel to meet the demanding needs of local farmers. He began his career at Simplot in Eastern Idaho managing the purchasing and distribution of plant protection products in eastern Idaho, but has since relocated to the Treasure Valley. He has been involved in specialty product development both on the retail and wholesale side of the business and continues to use his skills to benefit Simplot wide footprint in the agricultural markets. He has been involved with development, distribution, and growth of specialty fertilizer products most of his career and has been influential in their success. He has been with Simplot for 15 years, the last four in his current position. He is lives in the Boise, ID area with his wife and wonders what will be next as his children are heading off to college and beginning to get married.
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Rick Lutz
VP Business Development and Marketing
GroGenesis
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