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Ag Bio Conference 2019
Ag Bio 2019

March 27, 2019

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Danville, VA

Virginia and North Carolina are uniting to transform the agricultural industry. We are combining strengths for an exceptional one-day conference to bring forth innovative bioscience and technology to the farms! Providing a toolkit of essential tools and proactive solutions to increase efficiency and yields - creating healthier plant crops, animals and bringing full circle to the health of the human.

It is a remarkable convergence of multi-state agricultural bioscience, technology, industry partners, farmers, policy makers, agribusiness stakeholders, universities, veterinary medicine and public health.

Teaming together we multiply our opportunities and cultivate partnerships to plow forth industry success, all under one roof.

Come join us!

Ag Bio logo

Wednesday, March 27

Agenda Topics:

  • New Generation of Leaders of Thought Leaders in Ag Bio
  • New Discoveries & Innovations | Creating an Impact
  • Drivers of the Solutions to Tackle the Challenges in Ag Bio
  • Ag Bio Touching All Our Lives and Our Health
  • Beneficial Industry Partners - Public and Private Resources to Advance Ag Bio
Registration, Breakfast and Networking
Welcome Remarks

Virginia Bio

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Joint Keynote - Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Bettina Ring and Kaleb Rathbone, Director, Research Stations, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Sally Rockey, Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) - Setting the VISION

From the Executive Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture, entity out of 2014 Farm Bill, discussing cultivating innovation. Plowing forth innovation and collaboration needed to drive Ag solutions.

FFAR seeks partnerships and provides funding dollars to support innovations that address today’s food and agriculture challenges. Introducing areas ripe with scientific opportunity to create a more productive, sustainable food and agriculture system.

New Way of Thinking - Thought Leaders in Ag Bio

Thought Leadership disrupting the food supply with new advancements. Stretching our current thinking of agriculture to improve the lives of the producer and the consumer.

  • Alexandre Zocche, Phytobiotics
  • Scott Lowman, Plant Endophyte Research Center, IALR
Networking Break
Drivers of the Solutions to Tackle the Challenges in Ag Bio

The drivers of beneficial enzymes and microbial solutions - increasing plant and animal nutrition, creating efficient feed conversion in aquaculture, natural pest control, alternative systems for feed stocks, lessen usage of animal antibiotics, avenues for waste water treatment and much more.

  • Robert Gibson, Novozymes
  • Edward Goyette, American Biosystems
Beneficial Industry Partners and Agribusiness Stakeholders

Ag industry companies on a national level partnering with farmers and ag bio R&D - fostering beneficial relationships while providing innovating programs and services to help protect the health of plants and animals supporting sustainable food supplies.

  • Richard Rheingans, Appalachian State University
  • Wendelyn Jones, Corteva
Spotlight - Global Marketplace - BIO Ag Policy Group - You have a Voice!
  • Matthew O'Mara, BIO

Lunch and Open Networking
New Discoveries, Technologies & Innovations | Creating an Impact for Farmers

Pioneering the next generation of novel nanotechnologies, natural chemistries, and biological solutions setting a new standard to improve crop yields and animal health.

  • John Dombrosky, Boragen
  • Hannah Webb, Borgen
  • Doug Eisner, Agrospheres
SPOTLIGHT - Microbiomes Advancing Agriculture
  • James Kremer, Ph.D., AgBiome
  • The Paradigm Shift in Agriculture

    James Olds, Ph.D., George Mason University, previous National Science Foundation Spotlighting the extraordinary innovations to address the fundamental changes in agriculture with increase pressure to promote sustainable practices.

    Regenerative Farming Increasing Yields-Improving Health - Farmer in Action!

    Global leader in clean food and regenerative agriculture.  "Carbon Farming" front and center to exponentially increase yields, reduce resources and combat stressors, natural disasters and disease.

    • Ron Joyce, Joyce Farms
    Networking Break
    Smart Farming – Pulling in the Experts

    North Carolina company providing cutting-edge digital tools across the U.S. – learn how to leverage your farm’s own soil while harvesting data to build custom management zones ensuring maximum efficiency. “Manage your farm to make you a better farmer.”

    Virginia Agriculture and Natural Resources Initiative creating the SmartFarm Innovation Network. Industry and state partnerships to develop and deploy innovative technologies increasing efficiency, resilience and sustainability of food, agriculture and natural resources.

    • Steve Valencsin, Growers Ag
    • Alan Grant, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
    Important Conversations to Bring to the Table – Ag Bio Touching Our Lives

    Captain Casey Barton Behravesh, Director, One Health, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta joining us to discuss the One Health Initiative. Dedicated to enhance the integration of animal, human, and environmental health for the benefit of all. Learn what role farmers and ag bio R&D have in control and prevention of animal disease leading to prevention of human disease. We must work together to combat public health threats of the 21st century.

    Closing Remarks

    Cassandra Isley, Vice President of Strategy, Virginia Bio

    Networking with Behind the Scenes Tours - See first-hand where we bring the Lab to the Farm!


    Bettina Ring
    Bettina Ring, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Commonwealth of Virginia

    Kaleb Rathbone
    Kaleb Rathbone, Director, Research Stations, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs

    Sally Rockey
    Sally Rockey, Ph.D., Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)

    James Olds
    James Olds, Ph.D., Professor at George Mason University, previous Head of the Biological Sciences Directorate for National Science Foundation

    Capt. Casey Behravesh
    Captain Casey Barton Behravesh, One Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)

    Alan Grant
    Alan Grant, Ph.D., Dean of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech

    Scott Lowman
    Scott Lowman, Ph.D., Director of Research, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

    Doug Eisner
    Doug Eisner, CEO, Agrospheres

    Steven Valencsin
    Steven Valencsin, Founder & CEO, Growers

    Robert Gibson
    Robert Gibson, Regional Commercial Manager, Novozymes BioAg

    Wendolyn Jones
    Wendolyn Jones, Global Leader, Food Chain and Brand Protection, Corteva Agriscience, Ag Division of Dow DuPont

    Matthew O'Mara
    Matthew O'Mara, Vice President, International Affairs, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)>

    Edward Goyette
    Edward Goyette, President, American Biosystems and Leone Bioventures

    Hannah Webb
    Hannah Webb, Director of Business Development, Boragen

    Placeholder photo
    John Dombrosky, CEO, Boragen

    Ron Joyce
    Ron Joyce, CEO, Joyce Farms

    Richard Rheingans
    Richard Rheingans, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Sustainable Development Appalachian State University

    Alexandre Zocche
    Alexandre Zocche, Poultry Team Leader for North America, Phytobiotics

    Conference Venue

    The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

    150 Slayton Ave, Danville, VA 24540

    Map and Directions

    Photo of IALR

    Area Hotels

    Courtyard by Marriott

    2136 Riverside Drive

    Danville, VA 24540

    Make a Reservation

    Holiday Inn Express

    2121 Riverside Drive

    Danville, VA 24540

    Make a Reservation

    Sponsor or Exhibit with Us

    Highlight your company and expertise in front of the top leaders of the agricultural industry.

    We greatly value all of our sponsoring partners and work closely to ensure prime visibility along with a beneficial return on your investment.

    Contact Cassandra Isley for more information.

    View or download the package


    This is a one-day regional conference converging extraordinary men and women, industry and academia, researchers and innovators, professionals and decision-makers gathering together to cultivate relationships and making an impact.


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