Virtual AgTech NEXT

Recognizing the robust agenda, and not wanting to create conference fatigue with a two-day program, we have shifted the conference to a series of 60-minute live, online conference sessions that will run on from 12 – 1 PM CDT on Tuesdays, from September 22 - November 10. A variety of conference packages are available.

Organized around the theme of Risks & Rewards featuring innovators, investors and industry experts. Network and engage via 1:1 meetings with attendees, interactive TableTalks, and sessions with our partners.

Let's Connect at AgTech NEXT!

Register Log In to AgTech Next Virtual


  • September 22nd 1:30pm-2:15pm (CST)

    Keynote: The Future of Protein

    A conversation between Pat Brown, M.D. Ph.D., CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods and Jim Carrington, Ph.D., President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Introduction by The Honorable Dick Gephardt.

    Presented by
    William T. Kemper Foundation

  • September 29th  Add to Calendar

    Farm Insights

    Keeping Food on the Table: Innovation on the Farm and in the Food Supply Chain

    Farmers are adopting varied strategies to create value through diversification of crops, products and markets, and new models for interacting with the food value chain from field to fork.

    Chris Chinn Missouri Department of Agriculture

    Scott Fullen Mid-South Family Farms

    Tony White Tony's Family Farms

    Stephanie Regagnon Danforth Plant Science Center - Moderator

    Presented by

  • October 6th

    Entrepreneur Insights

    A Nod to Our Ecosystem

     Add to Calendar

    Matt Crisp Benson Hill

    Navigating the Messy Middle

     Add to Calendar

    Three entrepreneurs share similarities and differences on what they have faced as they scale-up their companies to grow wider market adoption of their distinct types of agricultural innovations.

    Naveen Sikka TerViva

    Andrey J. Zarur Greenlight

    Jake Joraanstad Bushel

    Brendan Johnson Bryan Cave Leighton Paiser - Moderator

    Presented by

  • October 13th

    Investor Insights

     Add to Calendar

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Risk Capital: Where Will It Go in the Next 24 Months?

    Dissecting new business trends in the industry alongside changing processes for production, distribution and retail. Where will these business changes provide the biggest opportunity for disruption and optimization?

    Larry Page, Ph.D. Lewis & Clark Agrifood

    Jobst von Petersdorf KWS

    Olga Yermolenko OY Group

    Ingrid Fung Finistere - Moderator

    Presented by

  • October 20th

    Bridging the Valley of Death:
    The Role of Philanthropic Funding

    Spotlight on IN2 Companies

     Add to Calendar

    The IN2 program is a novel partnership between the Danforth Center and the Wells Fargo Foundation aimed at bridging the technology valley of death. Can this program serve as a model that can be replicated and scaled?

    Cris Handel, Ph.D. CoverCress

    Orlando Saez Aker

    Bala Venkata, Ph.D. RNAissanceAg

    Claire Kinlaw, Ph.D. Danforth Plant Science Center - Moderator

    Early Discoveries Primed for Impact

     Add to Calendar

    Danforth Center scientists showcase their promising food and ag technologies.

    Chris Topp, Ph.D. Danforth Plant Science Center

    Mao Li, Ph.D. Danforth Plant Science Center

    Presented by

  • October 27th

    Sustainability Insights

     Add to Calendar

    How Do We Create the Food Value Chain We Want?

    With globalization, climate change and new consumer demands, what does the farm of the future look like, and how do these trends impact the entire ag and food value chain?

    Sanjeev Krishnan S2G

    Renee Vassilos The Nature Conservancy

    Mary Shelman The Shelman Group - Moderator

    Presented by

  • November 10th

    Envisioning the Future of Agriculture and the Planet

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    The role of technology for the future of food production, post-commodity opportunities for agriculture, and communication with the public.

    Robb Fraley, Ph.D. Former CTO Monsanto

    Stephanie Regagnon Danforth Plant Science Center - Moderator

    Presented by

  • 10:30-11:15

    Member Celebration – Community Heroes

    This session is all about you, our members. Here, you’ll meet a few of your fellow members and learn all about their inspirational stories within their communities. Come celebrate one another and inspire one another to THRIVE

    COOP Community Heroes / #THRIVE

  • 11:15-11:30

    BREAK - VEXPO / Solutions Lab

    When a crisis hits, our members THRIVE. Take this small break to hit the VEXPO (Virtual Expo) floor and NISC’s Solution’s Lab where you will find everything you need to know from all our partners. Here you can watch videos, download docs, chat with partners directly and more.

    VEXPO / Solutions Lab

  • 11:30-12:10

    Learning Core 2 – Thriving in a Crisis

    2020 has been a year to remember… Even though we would all like to forget! How have you adapted during a crisis? How have you had to change? Sit in on this session and learn about the tools that can help members to not just survive during a crisis but THRIVE!

    Todd Eisenhauer / VP Strategy & Operations

  • 12:10-12:30

    BREAK - VEXPO / Solutions Lab

    When a crisis hits, our members THRIVE. Take this small break to hit the VEXPO (Virtual Expo) floor and NISC’s Solution’s Lab where you will find everything you need to know from all our partners. Here you can watch videos, download docs, chat with partners directly and more.

    VEXPO / Solutions Lab

  • 12:30-1:10

    Learning Core 3 – Best Practices

    After two full days of learning, you might be wondering what to do with all this information. Sit in and hear first-hand from subject-matter experts have to say on the topic. The Learning Core series wraps up with its Best Practices where it shows you how apply this knowledge to your Cooperative and THRIVE!

    Ed Wolff / VP Professional Services

  • 1:10-1:30

    BREAK - VEXPO / Solutions Lab

    When a crisis hits, our members THRIVE. Take this small break to hit the VEXPO (Virtual Expo) floor and NISC’s Solution’s Lab where you will find everything you need to know from all our partners. Here you can watch videos, download docs, chat with partners directly and more.

    VEXPO / Solutions Lab

  • 1:30-3:00

    THRIVE to Take Flight / Wrap-Up

    This virtual thrill-ride closes with a very special speaker delivering a powerful message. Sully Sullenberger closes out NISC’s Virtual Experience speaking about his experiences and growth in popularity.

    Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger / / Retired American Fighter Pilot


Experience all seven weeks of AgTech NEXT virtual conference sessions, EARLY BIRD TICKETS are $300.00 until August 24. Customize your participation with either 4-Sessions for $275.00- or 2 Sessions for $150.00.

EVENT SPEAKERS / featured presentations

Risks across the global food production system have risen to an all-time high in the face of global health, social, economic, environmental, political and technological disruption. However, the risks we face provide unique opportunities. Those willing to innovate, chase better solutions, pivot towards new ways of doing things, and reshape our future will reap the rewards.

Our 2020 speaker lineup has been selected for their track record of innovative thinking and impactful decision making. Through virtual conference sessions based on the theme of Risks and Rewards, we strive to create a holistic agenda that balances perspectives from thought leaders, farmers, small businesses, tech entrepreneurs, and investors.

Pat Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

CEO & Founder - Impossible Foods

Keynote: The Future of Protein

Jim Carrington, Ph.D

President - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Keynote: The Future of Protein

Chris Chinn

Director - Missouri Department of Agriculture

Farm Insights

Matt Crisp

President & CEO - Benson Hill

Nod to our Ecosystem
Entrepreneur Insights

Robb Fraley, Ph.D.

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer - Monsanto Company

Envisioning the Future of Agriculture

Scott Fullen

Owner - Mid-South Family Farms

Farm Insights

Ingrid Fung

Investor - Finistere Ventures

Investor Insights

Dick Gephardt

President and CEO - Gephardt Government Affairs

Keynote: The Future of Protein

Cris Handel, Ph.D.

SVP Marketing and Sustainability - CoverCress Inc.

Spotlight on IN2 Companies

Jack Joraanstad

Co-Founder & CEO - Bushel

Entrepreneur Insights

Claire Kinlaw, Ph.D.

Director Innovation Commercialization - Danforth Plant Science Center

Spotlight on IN2/ Early Discoveries Primed fror Impact

Sanjeev Krishnan

Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director - S2G Ventures

Sustainability Insights

Mao Li, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator - Danforth Plant Science Center

Early Discoveries Primed for Impact

Andrey J. Zarur

Co-Founder, President, & CEO - Greenlight

Entrepreneur Insights

Larry Page, Ph.D.

Principal - Lewis & Clark AgriFood

Investor Insights

Jobst von Petersdorff

Business Ventures, Licensing and M&A - KWS SAAT

Investor Insights

Stephanie Regagnon

Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships - Danforth Plant Science Center

Farm Insights
Envisioning the Future of Agriculture

Orlando Saez

Co-founder & CEO - Aker Technologies, Inc.

Spotlight on IN2

Mary Shelman

Founder - Mary Shelman Group

Sustainability Insights

Naveen Sikka

CEO - TerViva

Entrepreneur Insights

Chris Topp, Ph.D.

Associate Member - Danforth Plant Science Center

Early Discoveries Primed for Impact

Renee Vassilos

Director Agriculture Innovation - The Nature Conservancy

Sustainability Insights

Bala Venkata, Ph.D.

Cofounder - RNAissanceAg

Spotlight on IN2

Tony White

Founder & CEO - Tony's Family Farms

Farm Insights

Olga Yermolenko

Partner - OY Group

Investor Insights

What to expect at the Virtual AgTech NEXT?

AgTech NEXT is designed to bring together the people who are shaping the future of food. The seven-week online series also creates space to network, discuss, and explore disruptions to the food production system through a fine-tuned agenda of keynotes, discussion panels, 1:1 meetings and themed TableTalks giving attendees the ability to add their voice to the conversation, and identify new collaborators and investors.

Engaged Discussion

Through a series of provocative panel debates, gain a deeper understanding of emerging trends, and find opportunities to manage risk and maximize rewards for your business.

Strategic Insight

Learn from leaders about creating value and new models through innovation and tech integration. Consider your business within the context of a global agtech ecosystem.

Action-oriented Networking

Make connections that will develop into lasting partnerships. Take advantage of 1:1 meetings and interactions with our Partners to build new relationships that help grow your business.

Shared Expertise

Add your voice to the conversations shaping the future of the industry. Share expertise in collaborative, peer-to-peer discussions focused on discovering new solutions to challenges.

TableTalks / Enhance Your Conference Experience!

Join a TableTalk; TableTalks are curated presentations and conversations that are moderated by an industry expert on a specific theme. A series of TableTalks will take place following each session.
While complimentary to attend, registration is required.

View Schedule

Sponsored by

1:1 Meetings / It's the personal connections you make that deliver the most value to you and your organization

We will provide you with the tools you need to maximize your ability to connect directly with conference attendees. See who has registered, apply filters to identify the people most relevant to your needs and connect with them to network and share information.

Virtual Exhibit Hall / Learn From Our Partners

AgTech NEXT 2020 partners are some of the boldest, most impactful organizations at the forefront of today's AgTech industry. Working across international supply chains, these teams offer groundbreaking and innovative solutions from production thruogh purchase, farm through finance, and beyond.

Our partner companies are the backbone of AgTech NEXT, demonstrating their unique perspectives on challenges of Risks & Rewards, looking toward the future of food.

Please visit with our Partners and Early Stage Companies 30-minutes prior to each session, to engage and learn how they can impact your organization.






Italian Trulli

AgTech NEXT 2020 is hosted by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest independent nonprofit plant science R&D institute.

Visit us at

We cultivate conversations with the brightest minds in the field who are discovering, developing, financing and deploying leading edge technologies to address key challenges in agriculture and the food production pipeline.

Our Mission: Improving the Human Condition Through Plant Science

Feed the hungry and improve human health
Preserve and renew our environment
Enhance the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science

The Danforth Center has been at the forefront of international industry development, facilitating partnerships, investment, and innovation in agriculture.

Danforth Center events have been attended by over 4,000 leaders in agricultural research and commercialization, representing 26 countries around the world.

Over ten years, Danforth Center gatherings have helped nearly 200 startups raise $1.1B.