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Future of Agriculture

This show explores the people, companies, and ideas shaping the future of agribusiness. If you are curious about innovations in AgTech, rural entrepreneurship, agricultural sustainability, and food security, this is the show for you! For more details on the guests featured on this show, visit the blog at www.FutureOfAg.com. Make sure you’re subscribed so you can catch another fascinating ag innovator next week!
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Now displaying: April, 2022
Apr 27, 2022

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Merck Animal Health Ventures! https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/

Floating Farm: https://floatingfarm.nl/

Vence: https://vence.io/ 

We have a fascinating story today about the world’s first floating farm. To some of you that may sound far fetched or maybe even like a gimmick, but I assure you it’s anything but. And it can open our minds to new possibilities for what and where a farm can be. Even a livestock farm. 

Today's episode features both Peter and Vincent van Wingerden. Peter has a background in engineering and started his company to build large buildings on the water. His experience in New York City in 2013 prompted him to focus full time on the concept of a floating farm. He’ll talk more about that in the moment. Joining Peter is his son Vincent, who also happens to work in agtech with Microsoft. Vincent is a Technical Architect for data and AI and ag is one of the sectors he is working in. It was so great to have both Peter and Vincent on the interview to talk about the floating farm, and about agricultural technology and sustainability more broadly. 

Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a short profile on Vence, a company we featured by in 246 and has since become a portfolio company of Merck Animal Health Ventures. 

Support the Future of Agriculture podcast by joining the FoA community! www.Patreon.com/agriculture 

Apr 20, 2022

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Merck Animal Health Ventures! https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/

Unfold website: https://unfold.ag/

John Purcell LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jppurcell/

Unfold Twitter: https://twitter.com/Unfold_Ag 

John Purcell, Ph.D. has worked in agriculture for over 30 years, including  long career at Monsanto and then Bayer. For the past dozen or so years before leading Unfold he worked in their vegetable seed division. His earlier work led to innovations for crops such as corn, cotton, and wheat. John earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the USDA before going into industry. He is also part owner of a family ranching operation in Montana. 

John started thinking about genetics for vertical farming while still at Bayer, but they decided that the vertical farming industry was so different, it not only needed it’s own products, but it’s own company focused on it. It was at that time that Bayer and investment company Temasek formed Unfold as it’s own independent startup focused exclusively on vertical farming. John was tasked with building this company from scratch. 

**JOIN THE FOA COMMUNITY: www.patreon.com/agriculture

Apr 13, 2022
Thank you to our presenting sponsor Merck Animal Health Ventures! https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/

StockCropper website: https://thestockcropper.com/

StockCropper YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheStockCropper

Zack Smith Twitter: https://twitter.com/zebulousprime

Today’s episode really speaks to the core of what this podcast is all about. We look at the current trajectory of where agriculture is headed, identify some of the negative outcomes associated with that trajectory, and explore how people and technology can play a role in creating a better future. I’m excited to share with you today’s conversation with farmer and Stockcropper co-founder Zack Smith.

If you’ve listened to the episode with Joe Bassett, or the recent episode with Paul Greive of Pasturebird, or if you spend any time on ag twitter or ag youtube, you probably have an idea of what the StockCropper is all about. But today’s episode goes deeper into why these types of innovations are important. We talk about consolidation in ag and its impact on rural communities. Zack shares about his journey into soil health and how that’s changed his operation and led him to the point that he felt it was critical that he find a way to incorporate animals onto his crop land. And we talk about these two diverging paths of being the low cost producer vs being a value added producer. A lot of great stuff in today’s episode. 

It used to be common practice for farmers to raise a diverse mix of animals and crops in a somewhat integrated system. Over the years through technological and policy changes, most farmers became more specialized, and today the majority of our crops and livestock are produced separate from each other. However, this creates other challenges that Zack will talk more about, and there is a growing push to try to integrate crops and livestock more for the sake of soil, the environment, and rural economies. StockCropper is creating a system to help with this. Their first product is the world’s first multi-species, solar-powered, electrically-driven, autonomous mobile grazing system, called the ClusterCluck. Zack’s going to talk a lot more about the system and what it represents for the future of agriculture.

 

 

Apr 6, 2022

Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor Merck Animal Health Ventures: https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/

I’m very pleased to welcome the leader of the Merck Animal Health Ventures Team, Stephen Murray, joining me on today’s episode. Originally brought up on a sheep and beef farm in New Zealand, Stephen spent the first part of his career as a dairy veterinarian in that country. He decided to leave private practice for industry, which led him through a series of roles and acquisitions to working for Merck Animal Health in 2011. Stephen built the animal health ventures group from its foundation in 2016 - developing the team, ways of thinking and processes that are needed to invest, partner and work with young technology businesses that are of strategic interest to Merck Animal Health. 

Today’s episode covers how an established industry leader embraces technology as a core competency, what the acquisition of Antelliq meant to that end, the role of strategic investors in the early stage startup ecosystem, and his thoughts for where the future of animal agtech is headed.

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