As our population grows beyond 7 billion, humanity must also expand its ability to feed the world. Agriculture technology is striving to meet these needs by utilising emerging technologies. Here are six innovators and entrepreneurs that are driving the Agriculture Technology industry forward.
Julie Borlaug (@JulieBorlaug)
Julie Borlaug is granddaughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and father of the Green Revolution Dr. Norman Borlaug. Julie has worked to continue his legacy through developing agricultural partnerships between public, private and philanthropic groups to expand on his mission to feed the world’s hungry. Borlaug was previously the the associate director for external relations at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. She advocates for educating and engaging the next generation to ensure continued scientific and technology advances in agriculture to feed a growing world population.
Lisa Prassack (@LisaPrassack)
Lisa Prassack is the President of Prassack Advisors, a firm that works with manufacturers, farmers and consultants to discover the benefits and opportunities available in existing and emerging agriculture technologies. It is working in tandem with innovators at the intersection of agriculture, food, energy, water management and the Internet of Things.
With extensive experience in emerging markets, Prassack brings a unique point of view to issues surrounding big data in agriculture. She has seen precision agriculture evolve rapidly both in capability and promise to help farms improve productivity and efficiency, committed to helping agriculture clear the remaining challenges.
Tim Blank (@TimBlankllc)
Tim began his career at The Walt Disney Company’s The Land Hydroponics Greenhouses at EPCOT Center, conducting cutting-edge research with scientists from NASA, USDA, DOE, and Disney. In 2005, Tim left the Walt Disney Company and founded Future Growing. Future Growing quickly became a leader in building vertical aeroponic food farms for LEED green buildings, rooftops, urban farms, and commercial greenhouses. It is here that Blank developed Tower Garden residential and commercial growing systems.
The Juice Plus+ Company acquired Future Growing in 2016 with a vision to spread Tower Garden technology all over the world. Tim now serves as the Chief Technology Officer at Juice Plus+ for the Tower Garden division. He spends the majority of his time speaking publicly about the future of farming and developing the next generation of products at the Tower Garden lab. Blank is also a popular keynote speaker at global agricultural and environmental conferences.
Mohamed Hage (@hage_mo)
Mohamed Hage is a young entrepreneur with over ten years of experience running software and real estate companies. He is the pioneer behind the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse – Lufa Farms, offering customisable weekly baskets with the season’s freshest offerings that can be delivered to various pick-up points near you, just from subscribing to the company’s website. Clients have until midnight to choose the contents of their basket, and the items are then harvested the next day at the Lufa greenhouse.
Hage is driven by a keen personal interest in environmental science, sustainable fresh agriculture, and the challenge of renewable energy. This inspires how crops at Lufa Farm are grown hydroponically, with the irrigation using recycled water through an ingenious recirculation system that processes rainwater and guaranteed to be pesticide and fungicide-free.
Kim Keller (@kimkkeller)
Kim Keller is the co-founder of SK Women in Ag, which is an organisation focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women while strengthening the Ag industry as a whole. Keller is also the co-founder of the Ag Tech company, Farm At Hand, with a goal of making farm data more accessible to farmers. Originally an in-house solution for her family’s farm in North East Saskatchewan in 2012, it became an innovative and rapidly growing seed-to-sale management platform for farmers and the Agriculture industry globally, with users across North America, South America, South Africa, Australia and the UK.
Following the acquisition of the company in 2016, she returned to the farm full time to follow her passion for both farming and helping her fellow farmers. Keller launched Do More Ag to promote mental health awareness in Ag, supporting resources for farmers and breaking the stigma.
Brennan Turner (@BrennanDTurner)
Brennan Turner is the President & CEO of Farm Lead, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. FarmLead is a risk-free, transparent online and mobile grain marketplace, with the objective to provide an inexpensive and efficient way for busy farmers to list and sell their grain – and for equally busy grain buyers to source the quantities and quality of grain they need.
In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business. Today, FarmLead, has more than 5,000 registered users and it has seen over two million tonnes of grain traded through its online platform.