The 2019 Indoor Ag-Con Conference will bring together 40-plus top executives, educators and trend forecasters from the indoor agriculture industry. We are adding speakers to our roster daily so check back regularly. Among our many presenters include:
Joe Swartz, Vice President, AmHydro
Joe Swartz, Vice President, AmHydro, is a master hydroponic farmer with over 55,000 hours of hands-on greenhouse production time. A year round grower for 35 years and a consultant to the hydroponics industry for over 20 years, his specialties include professional grower training, system design, crop production methods, biological pest control, greenhouse business management, specialty produce marketing, and food safety protocols. He has consulted for companies, growers, and investors across the globe and has successful growing operations in 66 countries around the world.
Dan Plant , Co-Founder and Co-President , MVP Farms
Dan Plant is Co-Founder and Co-President of MVP Farms, an indoor farming company based in Calgary, Alberta. MVP integrates and operates third-party equipment and technology prioritizing crop quality, production consistency, and cost minimization—to be the best possible supplier of fresh, local, leafy greens.
Previously leading commercialization efforts with energy-tech startups in London and Houston, he started his career with Brookfield—a global asset manager—supporting M&A in their agriculture, renewables, and transportation infrastructure groups. Dan has a BAH in Applied Economics from Queen’s University, Canada and a MSc in Economics from Uppsala University, Sweden. Extracurriculars include tennis, skiing, fly-fishing and meditation.
Nick Genty, CEO, AgEYE Technologies
Nick Genty is CEO of AgEye Technologies where he leads a team in pioneering the use of computer vision and deep learning algorithms to optimize the yield, morphology and phytonutrient levels of high-value crops within controlled environment agriculture. Nick previously led Iconic Solutions, an international digital agency that creates AI and IoT applications for global brands and cutting-edge startups.
Stacy Davis, Sales Account & Marketing Manager, Germains Seed Technology
Passionate about agriculture, Stacy Davis has worked in various sectors of the agriculture industry for 25 years including owned and operated Kohala Mountain Farm. Four years ago, Stacy joined Germains Seed Technology North America where she oversees the company’s marketing while managing new product development projects for both organic and conventional seed treatments. Founded in 1871, Germains Seed Technology is an industry leader that specializes in seed priming, pelleting, filmcoating, disinfection and plant health. With eight locations in both the US and Europe, Stacy works with a team of industry experts who collaborate with growers, seed producers, and dealers to provide and develop seed treatments that are solutions for field challenges and or to help maximize crop productivity.
Robert Colangelo, Founding Farmer, CEO, Green Sense Farms
Established entrepreneur and community-minded businessman Robert Colangelo is founder of Green Sense Farms Holdings, Inc. An infectious entrepreneurial spirit, he is founder of several leading environmental for and non-profits. Among his many accomplishments: he developed “The Art of Sustainability” course, Indiana University South Bend (IUSB); Presented Tedx Rush U Chicago TEDx talk on vertical farming; founded and serves as host of Green Sense radio show; national brownfield redevelopment expert; founded Brownfield Development, LLC; Founded Brownfield News Magazine; Founded National Brownfield Association (non-profit); Founded the Surplus Property Round Table (non-profit); Mentor, University of Chicago, Harris School for Public Policy; A published author, Colangelo also has a B.S. in Earth Science/Geology & M.S. in Earth Science/Hydrogeology, Northeastern Illinois University.
Andy Moreno, Genetic Detection Systems Engineer, HSG-AME Certified Laboratories
Andy Moreno is the Genetic Detection Systems Engineer for HSG-AME Certified Laboratories. He has installed, trained on, certified, and supported qRT-PCR technologies and systems for food and human applications. He also designs microbiological test design schemes, implementation programs, and food safety validation for food production and food quality organizations. He is the founder and Host of The AME Food Testing Show on BlogTalkRadio.
Click on these links to listen to these no charge, informative interviews for more information!
Raja Ramachandran, CEO and Co-Founder. ripe.io
Raja is the co-founder of ripe.io; a technology company creating the blockchain of food to help the food supply chain achieve transparency, efficiency and improved value to solve problems around traceability, food safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance. Raja, a serial entrepreneur, was most recently on the founding team and headed product development at R3CEV, the world’s largest financial institutions consortium, to build and deploy distributed ledger and blockchain solutions. Raja has had 20-year career working at Bank of America, Citi, Silicon Valley Bank and Wells Fargo. Raja is passionate about connected technologies and how they can be utilized to revolutionize ways to create a more sustainable and healthier food business.
Michael Heaven, Eng, MBA, Vice-President & General Manager. Argus Control Systems Ltd.
With over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles for companies specializing in process control and optimization, Michael has extensive senior leadership experience in the application of measurement and control technologies in a variety of applications including steel, paper, solar cell manufacturing, water coasters, interactive entertainment, vision systems and satellite communication. Prior to his current role at Argus Controls, Michael held executive positions with Aurora Solar Technologies, Whitewater West Industries Ltd., Papertech Inc., Norsat International Inc. and was Executive Vice-President of Honeywell’s Measurex business based in Cupertino, CA.
Michael has first-hand experience in controlling the critical factors that maximize yield, reduce costs and eliminate waste on a wide range of processes and applications. He is extensively published with over 15 patents/applications. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at McMaster University and an MBA from Queen’s University.
Penny McBride, Founder, FarmTech Society
Founder of FarmTech Society , Penny McBride has worked for the past 15 years in sustainable food solutions and organic waste management systems. She serves as the Vice Chair to the international Association for Vertical Farming, promoting information sharing to promote progress and development in the Vertical Farming Industry. Penny co-founded Vertical Harvest of Jackson, which is a three-story hydroponic greenhouse that not only supplies fresh produce to local grocery stores and restaurants, but also employs individuals with developmental disabilities. The greenhouse is one of the first of its kind in the world. Through the years of project development and implementation of Vertical Harvest, Penny gained a vast amount of experience understanding greenhouses systems, building codes, fundraising, and community development.
Penny has created a dynamic consulting team to help new urban farms sprout throughout the world. Located in the beautiful mountains of Jackson, Wyoming, she is inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her. With an MA in Environment and Community from Antioch University, which demonstrated that utilizing a systems approach to finding creative solutions to many of today’s planetary pressures, Penny has been able to successfully apply these principles through her professional career.
Shane Terry, CEO, TapRoot Holdings, Inc.
Travis Higginbotham, Global Director of Cultivation Support, Fluence Bioengineering.
Travis oversees global cultivation and production-efficiency support for Fluence Bioengineering, ensuring clients successfully manage critical environmental factors. Prior to Fluence, Higginbotham was Director of Research and Development for Battlefield Farms. Higginbotham has a B.S. from Clemson University and is finishing his master’s degree in Horticulture at Virginia Tech.
Venki Pegadaraju, Ph.D. , Vice President of Business Development & Technology, Agribody Technologies, Inc.,
Venki Pegadaraju, Ph.D. , is Vice President of Business Development & Technology for Agribody Technologies, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company partnering with innovative seed companies. He was previously Market Development Manager for Agri-genomics at Illumina; Consultant at BMGF (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation); Director of Emerging Markets at Douglas Scientific; and Head of Research at Bio Diagnostics (Eurofins). At Monsanto, Venki research focused on understanding the mode of action of various drought leads that supported multiple product concepts for engineering and deregulation of first-generation drought tolerant corn.
Venki Published several research (>25) articles in the area of genome sequencing, plant defense signaling and molecular breeding with high citations in peer reviewed journals. His educational background includes a M.S in Life Sciences, a Ph.D. in Genetics from Kansas State University, where he discovered and characterized unique genetic pathways for improving plant defense mechanism against Aphids.
Andrew Carter is Co-Founder and CEO of Smallhold.
Smallhold is the first Distributed Farming pioneer, placing connected, autonomous Minifarms throughout the Northeast–each capable of growing between 30 and 120 pounds of produce a week in a footprint the size of a refrigerator. They focus on organic mushroom production, growing hyperlocal food in grocery store produce aisles and restaurant dining rooms.
Zack Olson, P.E., Black & Veach
Zach Olson leads the NextGen Agriculture initiative at Black & Veatch, focusing on providing engineering and construction solutions to innovators working in food and agriculture technologies. Zack holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University, with a focus on the design of power systems. He has worked to provide clients with electrical design solutions in process and industrial applications, including delivering projects via alternative delivery models, such as design-build and energy services contracting.
George Carter, Sananbio
A serial entrepreneur in food tech and medicinal cannabis, George Carter now leads marketing and vertical farming technology growth efforts for Sananbio in the US and abroad. A fervent supporter and food system disruptor, George brings his deep passion for community, access, and business to the world of vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture. Through automation and technological innovation, George believes vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture can transcend niche markets, lowering the cost of production and increasing access to fresh, local produce in the communities that need it most. George has his MBA in Organizational Leadership from the University of New Mexico and he is actively engaged with state legislative leaders to close the food security gap that plagues much of New Mexico.
Maarten Vandecruys, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Crop Solutions.
After graduating from Vlerick Business School, Maarten founded Urban Crop Solutions in order to provide total solutions for the fast-emerging closed environment vertical farming industry. Urban Crop Solutions engineers, manufactures and installs fully automated and integrated indoor farming systems using own LED grow lights that are both efficient and effective under any given climate conditions.
Urban Crop Solutions wants to become the global independent reference of the fast-emerging urban farming industry by installing the best solutions that can grow the healthiest leafy greens whenever and wherever you want. UCS creates fully automated vertical farming systems using LED lighting that are both efficient and effective under any given climate conditions.
We’re adding more speakers to our roster daily. So check back for the latest updates on other many other speakers, including:
Dan Albert, FarmBox Greens
Erika Summers, Sananbio
Brian Lanes, formerly of PlantLab
Jeff Calloway, Founder , CFOCannabis
Nona Yehia, Founder/CEO, Vertical Harvest
Chris Tosi, CoFounder, Pulse Labs
Sam Khoury, Board Member, National Restaurant Association
Dr. Mitch Day,Lab Design, American Cannabis Company
Steve Davey, Agribusiness Developer