Deanna (Dee) Colby, Ph.D., Acting Chief Invertebrate & Vertebrate Branch 3, U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Dee Colby currently serves as the Acting Chief for the Invertebrate & Vertebrate Branch 3 in the Registration Division of the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. She joined the Registration Division in 2016 as an Entomologist where she worked as a Risk Manager for conventional chemicals and Efficacy Reviewer as a subject matter expert for pesticide products used against social insects. In 2019, Dee became a Senior Regulatory Specialist/Entomologist and her work focused on special assignments related to registration and efficacy, including pollinator issues. Additionally, Dee acted as a liaison with other Federal Agencies on jurisdiction matters around products for use in hives, devices and companion animal issues.
Dee has over 25 years of experience studying social insects and holds advanced degrees in Education, Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her research includes red imported fire ant and Formosan termite projects that integrated methods (e.g., cultural, biological, chemical, and emerging biotechnologies) for controlling these pests in agricultural fields, natural habitats, and urban landscapes. Other research focused on improvement of honey bee stocks for sustainable solutions to pathogens.
Co-Founder & CTOat
Raviv Itzhaky is the Co-Founder and CTO of Prospera Technologies, leading the company’s technical vision of transforming the way food is grown using data science and AI. He uses his expertise in algorithm development, mathematics and machine learning to solve real-world problems. Prior to Prospera, Raviv developed algorithms at cybersecurity company BioCatch, and served as a Signal Processing Engineer with the IDF. He holds a BSc in Physics and MSc in Applied Physics from The Hebrew University.
Regulatory, Research and Developmentat
Dr. Natalie Hummel recently joined UPL as Global Head of New Ag Technologies (NAT). In this role she leads the scientists at the OpenAg Center at 5 Labs and teams in France and Mexico. The UPL NAT team is collaborating with many partners to bring novel solutions to growers around the world. Natalie has more than 15 years of industry experience at the USDA, Land Grant Universities and Private Industry. Prior to joining UPL, she was the US Development Leader at ADAMA, the Director of Research Stations & University Field Labs at NC State University CALS, Global Project Leader & Product Development Manager at Bayer CropScience working in the North American and Global Headquarters. Natalie began her career as the Rice Extension Entomologist at the LSU AgCenter where she had the pleasure of working directly with growers to adopt IPM practices. A graduate of UC Davis, she is driven to create economically and environmentally sound agricultural solutions for farmers by leveraging partnerships and understanding customer needs to build innovative solutions. She and her husband live in NC and enjoy gardening, sawmilling, building things and caring for a flock of hens, a one-eyed cat named Tony and a Boxer named Desi.
Bio Coming Soon
Leanne M. Rakers
Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.
As a Principal with 17+ years of intellectual property law experience, Leanne Rakers’ technical skill ranges from chemistry to biotechnology. Her client portfolio includes large and small pharmaceutical, life science, chemical, biotechnology, biofuels, cosmetics, and food processing companies.
Founder and CEOat
Dr. Goldman is a results-driven genomic scientist and entrepreneur with a passion for developing innovative, self-directed people and teams that deliver superior results. As Chief Science Officer, Goldman develops scientific strategy for the next generation of microbial discovery at Pluton. Prior to founding Pluton, Goldman led the microbial testing pipeline for Indigo Ag and served as the Microbial Discovery Lead for Monsanto Company. He has a Bachelor of Science in Botany from the University of Washington and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Utah. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed studies and is an inventor on more than 10 patents.
Dr. William Hart-Cooper
Research Chemist, Bio Product Unit at
Dr. Hart-Cooper is a Research Chemist in the Bioproducts research unit un the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, CA. His work includes developing green chemistry and packaging from agricultural sources.
Global Director, Enterpriseat
Biography coming soon
CEO and Co-Founderat
Vive Crop Protection
I'm a strategic leader with an ability to work broadly across a wide range of disciplines. As co-founder and President of Vive Crop Protection, I led the development, regulatory approval, launch, and commercial success of the first nanotechnology-enabled products in US agriculture. I took over as Vive's CEO on July 1, 2019. Growing >2X annually for each of the last 3 years, Vive is well-suited to transform the crop protection industry in the US and abroad.
Douglas A. Robinson
Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.
Douglas Robinson is a Principal with the law firm of Harness Dickey with 16+ years of intellectual property law experience. He specializes in assisting companies in identifying potential IP assets, evaluating the proper form of protection for those assets, and managing their IP portfolios.
Dominic Arun Joseph
Varsha Bioscience and Technology Private Limited
Dominic is a Director of Varsha Bioscience and Technology India Pvt Ltd taking care of its international operations. He will be presenting this paper on behalf of the authors Dr. A. John Peter, Dr. E. Leo Daniel Amalraj, and Dr. Venkateswara Rao Talluri who are part of the technical/research team of the company.
Dr. Jerry J. Baron
Dr. Jerry J. Baron is the Executive Director of the IR-4 Project, a cooperative program in the United States of the state agricultural experimental stations, US Department of Agriculture, growers/commodity organizations, the crop protection industry and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The IR-4 Project is national in scope and it conducts research at 28 field research farms and 5 analytical laboratories to facilitate the registration of conventional chemical pesticides and biopesticides on specialty crops and specialty uses. As Executive Director, Dr. Baron is responsible for the day to day operations of the IR-4 Project with an operation budget of approximately $18 million US dollars and 125 full time scientists.
Dr. Baron has served as the IR-4 Project's Executive Director since September 2006. He started with IR-4 in January, 1986 as IR-4's coordinator of weed science research. From 2000 to 2002, Dr. Baron split his duties with the IR-4 Project and the administration of the IR-4 Project's host institution, Rutgers University. During this period he was Associate Executive Dean of Cook College, Rutgers University. Dr. Baron returned full time to the IR-4 Project in July 2002 when he was named Associate Director in 2002.
In 1998, Dr. Baron co-authored the second edition of Food and Feed Crops of the United States along with G.M. Markle and B.A. Schneider. Dr. Baron has authored nearly one hundred peer reviewed journal articles and several book chapters.
Vice President, State Affairs & Headat
Kelly Rahn specializes in the registration and ongoing compliance of pesticides at the US state and federal level, with an emphasis on antimicrobials and conventional chemicals for all major market sectors including agrochemical, consumer, structural pest control, and the industrial/institutional marketplace. She is also well versed in FIFRA's Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and 6a2 compliance.
Over her 30 year career, Kelly has combined her scientific background in chemistry with her wealth of industry knowledge to address and satisfy data requirements, resolve labeling and efficacy issues, assist companies with negotiating terms in enforcement situations, develop economically beneficial data compensation strategies and manage state product registrations. She has particular expertise in navigating the regulatory challenges associated with registering new active ingredients with EPA and California's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). This experience also leaves her well suited for the defense of older, complex chemistries, especially those undergoing EPA's Registration Review and DPR’s Special Review processes.
Kelly has a BS in Chemistry from the University of Dallas.
Research Scientist in Predictive Agricultureat
Bio Coming Soon
Allie White graduated from Clemson University in 2013 with a BS in Chemical Engineering and has been working for Ingevity ever since. The majority of her career has been as an engineer at Ingevity’s production facility in Charleston, SC. In 2018, she joined the Ingevity agrochemical commercial team where she has been able to apply her technical background.
Dr. Aman Desai
Aether Industries Limited
Biography coming soon
Founder and CEOat
Michael Ott is the founder and CEO of Rantizo, an agricultural tech company based in Iowa City and the first company legally using drones to spray for agriculture in multiple states.
Before Rantizo, Ott worked in corporate venture capital backed by Monsanto, Novozymes and Bunge and invented a patented technology that delivers tiny amounts of nitrogen on a rice seed as it grows. Ott has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Iowa and nearly two decades of experience in finance. He is an author on five patent applications and has raised over $150 million in investment over the course of his career.
He resides in Iowa City with his wife Anne, two sons Ryan and Quincy, and daughter Rosalie.
VP of Ag Technology and Innovationat
The Mosaic Company
Biography coming soon.
Robert Saik, an Agrologist, Certified Agriculture Consultant and agriculture entrepreneur, is founder & CEO of AGvisorPRO, a global connectivity platform providing instantaneous linkage between farmers and experts effectively putting advisors on the farm without being on the farm. Rob has international experience working globally in the farming and agriculture technology sector. He has authored two books, the latest being “FOOD 5.0 - How We Feed The Future” which tackles the question “how do we ensure agriculture is infinitely sustainable?”
Rob has founded/partnered in many ventures including Agri-Trend/Agri-Data (a consulting and data management network; now Trimble Ag) as well as partnering in a farming operation in Uganda. He has been involved in agricultural projects in Kenya, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Australia, South America and Europe. An agriculture thought leader, he has been sought as a keynote speaker on issues surrounding agronomy, sustainability, precision agriculture, robotics, data management, remote sensing and technology integration. His TEDx talk “Will Agriculture Be ALLOWED To Feed 9 Billion People” has been viewed over 162,000 times. He is also the founder and leader of the PowerFarm peer group providing business leadership to leading edge growers.
Regulatory consultant with over 13 years of experience in the pesticide industry with 11 of those years being directly involved in registering and maintaining pesticide products with the US EPA and the States. Expertise covers a wide range or pesticides including antimicrobial, conventional and biopesticide pesticides. Routinely assist clients with bringing their pesticide products to market, increasing their market impact through EPA amendments/notifications, registering establishments, maintaining regulatory compliance with various regulations, and other similar activities. Active in several industry trade associations.
Principal – FMC Venturesat
Biography Coming Soon
Jiarui Li, Ph.D., PMP, MBA, President & CEO: Dr. Li is an accomplished scientist and agtech industry leader with over 30 peer-reviewed publications, two patents, and five funded research proposals. His mixture of both scientific and business experience makes him a vital member of the Innatrix team and a key factor in the business development of the company.
Michael Vella is an Entomologist at Frontier Agricultural Sciences where he serves as an expert in mass insect rearing, insect diet development and manufacturing, and in-vivo recombinant protein expression. He has 13 years of experience in the entomology field with 9 years of industry experience in insect rearing and insect diet development. Michael has held operational and technical positions in the insect rearing and in-vivo protein expression divisions as a part of Frontier Agricultural Sciences and its predecessor.
Founder & Presidentat
Biography coming soon.
Senior Manager of Research and Development Operationsat
Kathleen DeBrota is the Senior Manager of Research and Development Operations at AeroFarms, a leading indoor vertical farming company transforming agriculture and championing innovation in the space. As a Certified B Corporation, AeroFarms was honored on Fast Company's World Changing Ideas list four years in a row and was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions.
In her current role, Ms. DeBrota builds mathematical models to describe growth patterns and other biological processes taking place on the farm. She spearheads the development and commercialization of new varieties of leafy greens, including microgreens, and leads experimental efforts to improve product quality and resource-use efficiency. Following her B.S. in biology from Indiana University, Ms. DeBrota earned both a Master of Science in environmental engineering from Georgia Tech, where she focused on aquaponic nutrient dynamics modeling, and a Master of Science in data science from Indiana University.