Mariola Kopcinski holds Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology and biochemistry and conducted post-doctoral studies at Cornell University in Seed Biocontrol. She also holds MBA in finance from University of Rochester. Over her 25 years career in Agricultural Industry, she held several leadership roles in Europe and US in AgroChemical Product Portfolio and Business Management, Strategic Marketing, R&D Strategy Development, and Chemical, Seed and AgBio M&A at DuPont, Syngenta, FMC, and Plant Health Care. She served as the member of Credentials Advisory Council, Sustainability Institute at AICHE, Chairman of Sustainability Body of Knowledge Team for AICHE certification and CSTP and member of IFS Managing Board. Currently she leads Ingevity Agrochemical business globally. She is an author of several patents and articles.
Dr. Scott H. Jackson
VP of Regulatory and Government Affairsat
Dr. Scott H. Jackson is Vice President of Regulatory and Regulatory Science for Vestaron Corporation in Research Triangle Park North Carolina. Vestaron is an Industry leader in peptide technology focused on bringing producers state of the art crop protection solutions. Scott received his B.S. degree in natural resources from Humboldt State University, his M.S. degree in soil science from Fresno State University, and his Ph.D. degree in environmental science from Union Institute.
With over 25 years of research and management experience roles at companies such as BASF, Valent and Knoell, he adds to the leadership and technical experience brought to Vestaron’s Regulatory and Regulatory Science team.
Dr. Yebin Zhao
Head of Scienceat
Dr. Yebin Zhao currently works as Head of Science at Agoro. Yebin is responsible for carbon smart faring practices implementation and development. Yebin joined Yara as Director, Global Corn Solutions where he took charge of corn marketing solutions to drive premium product sales growth. Yebin had previously been the Chief Agronomist/Senior Account Manager with CF Industries since March 2013. With CF, Dr. Zhao had worked actively with NGOs and governmental agencies in improving global nutrient use efficiency; he also successfully managed nitrogen fertilizer sales in over 10 states in the US. Prior to joining CF Industries, he was an Agronomist at Enviro-Ag Engineering, where he took charge of large dairy farmers soil fertility and nutrient management planning. Dr. Zhao received his B.S. in Soil Sciences at Shandong Agricultural University in 2000; he earned his M.S. in Plant Science at South China Agricultural University in 2003 and Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Georgia in 2008.
Chief Innovation Officer, Business Developmentat
Tracy has a long history in agriculture biotech and a passion for addressing the biggest problems facing food production. In her past, she has successfully built discovery platforms and teams at Paradigm Genetics and Athenix Corporation. She received her BS in Biology from Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. in Biology from UNC Chapel Hill where she studied the role of cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis and rice. At AgBiome, she leads the business development efforts, critical in creating the broadest reach of the AgBiome platform into multiple markets. Tracy is passionate about innovation in agriculture and discovering solutions that will be foundational in alleviating the pressures on our environment.
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.
North America Account Managerat
Tammy Schweiner holds B.S in Biology from Texas Tech University and has been in the agrochemical industry for the past 14 years. She has started her career as a chemical technician at Huntsman before transitioning to sales. Presently, Tammy is serving as on the ASTM E35 executive board as Membership Secretary. Currently, she is the North American account manager for Ingevity’s AgChem business.
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officerat
Diane Allemang is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for FMC. She joined FMC in 2015 with the Cheminova acquisition. At Cheminova, she was Executive Vice President for North America. Ms. Allemang was with Cheminova for 14 years in various commercial and regulatory roles at the global and regional levels. Prior to that, she was a Vice President with the consulting firm of Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly, Inc., where she managed the firm’s pesticide practice and advised clients on pesticide regulatory matters.
Ms. Allemang served as Chair of the CropLife America Board of Directors from 2015-2017, the first woman to do so in the association’s 80-year history.
She holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.
Douglas A. Robinson
Douglas Robinson is a Principal with the law firm of Harness IP 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.
Vice President of Business Developmentat
As managing director of S Research Partners LLC, John Salmeron works with emerging agtech organizations to design and implement R&D strategies and monetize R&D assets. John draws on 30 years of experience at multinational and startup companies, and an extensive network of experts in agronomy, regulatory science, molecular breeding, genomics, patent law and other disciplines. Providing support in strategic planning, project management and business development, John works collaboratively with his clients to meet their growth objectives. John has worked with Innatrix for two years.
John completed an A.B. degree in Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, a Ph.D. in Botany and Genetics at Duke University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley. He is an adjunct professor in the Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is the program director for BioAg PRO, a USDA-funded workforce training initiative supporting the plant sciences.
Robert Kennedy, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officerat
With over 25 years of research management experience, Bob leads Vestaron’s molecular biology and chemistry development teams. Management positions in Fortune 500 companies (Pfizer), academic appointments (Columbia, Michigan) and start-ups add to the leadership and technical experience he brings to Vestaron’s Research and Development success.
Sr. Sustainability Strategist and Applied Scientistat
AWS Professional Services
Bio coming soon!
Thimmaiah Appachanda PhD
Senior Research Analystat
Lux Research Inc.
Thimmaiah (Tim) is a Senior Analyst at Lux and contributes to the Emerging Ecosystems in Agrifood and Health covering agriculture innovation. In this role, he will be focusing on the impact of agriculture innovation across the food system including circular economy, regenerative agriculture, food waste, and food loss. Tim has also contributed towards disruptive innovations, the development of national organic standards, assurance systems, waste management, policy interventions, and building partnerships.
Director for Strategic Partnerships in Food & Agriculture at
Microsoft Cloud for Industry
Claudia Roessler is Director for strategic partnerships in Food & Agriculture at Microsoft Cloud for Industry. She helps organizations on their digital transformation journey and enables them to build digital solutions for the Agriculture and Food value chain. Claudia is also serving on the Board of Ag Growth International. She is an ambassador for Women in Food and Agriculture and venture partner for Radicle Growth. Claudia Roessler joined Microsoft in 1992 in Germany. She held several international roles with focus on Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Business Strategy, and Industry.
USDA Economic Research Service
Maros Ivanic joined ERS in 2019. Previously, he worked at the International Finance Corporation and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, both members of the World Bank Group, where he analyzed global agriculture and poverty. His other appointments included Senior Expert at the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting in Qatar and a research position with the Center for Global Trade Analysis at Purdue University.
Syngenta Group Ventures
Jason Gabriel is a Managing Director for Syngenta Group Ventures and brings over 15 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Third Security, LLC, a $1B+ life sciences venture capital manager for 12 years. Jason began his career in investment banking and has experience in Fortune 500 corporate development and in middle market private equity. He graduated summa cum laude from Millsaps College and received an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
John Reich, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Directorat
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)
John Reich joined the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in February 2016, as a Scientific Program Director. John joined FFAR because he strongly believes that advancements in agriculture will be key to maintaining our quality of life, and that the right investments at opportune moments will provide us with the necessary tools to overcome future challenges in agriculture. At FFAR, John works on building partnerships between the public and private sectors that targets pre-competitive research to advance agriculture science including FFAR’s first multi-stakeholder consortium, the Crops of the Future, creating a model for FFAR consortia, and his most recently announced consortium, the Precision Indoor Plants Collaborative. John continuously works on developing partnerships and programs that catalyze new areas of research and build on current investments to benefit the public.
Trained as a biomedical scientist, John applies his background in genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry to broad range of topics that support food security, health, and economic opportunities through scientific advancement.
Directorate – General for Agriculture and Rural Developmentat
Bio coming soon!
Sara Olson, Ph.D.
Principal – FMC Venturesat
Biography Coming Soon
Ard van de Kreeke
Founder and Farmerat
Bio coming soon!
Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officerat
Bio coming soon!
Chief Executive Officerat
Bio coming soon!
Dr. Andrew Smith
Chief Operating Officerat
Dr. Andrew Smith oversees the research and farm operations at Rodale Institute and is passionate about growing the organic movement by providing science-based solutions to farmers and facilitating opportunities to expand the number of organic farmers and farmland across the globe. He has over twenty years of experience working in the organic industry as an agronomist, researcher, and farmer. While trained as an entomologist, his motive for entering the organic industry was to reduce the use of chemicals for food production that end up in our environment, food, and bodies. He now has the opportunity to support an amazing group of dedicated people working diligently on many projects to transform the food system and the way we farm to improve the lives and health of all people and the planet. He also continues to live and work on his own organic family farm.
Director Regulatory at
Jennifer Lilly is the Director Regulatory at Plant Response. She has nearly 20 years of experience working in agriculture, in both research and product stewardship where she has supported regulatory efforts for chemical, biological, and consumer products. Prior to ERM, Jennifer comes from the agriculture industry and has supported state, federal, and international regulatory at Bayer, Isagro, BASF, and most recently Indigo Ag. She is actively involved in ag industry groups and co-chairs the Biological Products Industry Alliance Regulatory Committee. Jennifer’s experience and knowledge includes US EPA and state regulations for pesticides, fertilizers, and biostimulants, as well as Canada PMRA and CFIA. She has expertise in regulatory strategy and creating pathways to market for new products, as well as supporting sustainability efforts.
USDA Agricultural Research Service
The overall goal of Dr. Walse’s research is to ensure the protection and quality of foodstuffs in global distribution channels, as such, the main foci include food security, food safety, and agrochemical residues. Research results directly enhance production, distribution, and safety of foodstuffs, promote, and retain access of United States-grown crops to domestic and foreign markets, and protect the United States and trading partners from the agricultural, ecological, and economic threat posed by quarantine and invasive pests.
Melissa Johnson is the leader of Product Science & Technology at Corteva Agriscience. Her team is responsible for development, scale-up, launch and support of innovative formulated products and packaging to meet the needs of crop protection markets globally. She has over 20 years of research and leadership experience in formulations and formulation ingredients across industries, including Agriculture, Coatings, Personal Care, Consumer & Industrial Products and Microbial Control. Melissa leads several teams across Corteva R&D in the development and implementation of goals and metrics for sustainable innovation. She is a current member of the Board of Directors for the Council for Agricultural Science & Technology (CAST) and is on the organizing board for the AgChem conference. Melissa holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University.