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Agricultural Innovation in New England To Be Highlighted at 2018 Convention

May 24, 2018
It’s hard to believe but the 2018 BIO International Convention is less than two weeks away! And even with the abundance of high-profile international companies that will converge on Boston for the 2018 BIO Convention, the work that is being done right in Boston’s backyard cannot be overstated. The New England region – consisting of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont – is one of the top regions for life science innovation and home to many companies working in agricultural innovation.

On Tuesday, June 5 at “Food, Health and Environment Future Day,” BIO will take you on a virtual tour of the region, highlighting companies in the area to showcase the importance of agricultural innovation in New England.

From food producers to agricultural innovation companies to farmers, the “Biotech in Our Backyard Panel: New England’s Booming Food and AgTech Innovation Ecosystem” will explore all aspects of food and agricultural biotechnology.

The panel will be introduced by Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts, who will discuss his state’s efforts to work with companies in the agricultural innovation sector, including to reduce phosphorous pollution through Vermont’s Phosphorous Innovation Challenge – a grant program to assist companies working to reduce phosphorous pollution from animal waste by incentivizing phosphorus capture and converting it to a saleable product..

Secretary Tebbetts will be introduced by Ron Stotish, president and CEO of AquaBounty Technologies, located in Maynard, Massachusetts. Stotish’s company developed the AquAdvantage® Salmon, the first and only genetically engineered food animal to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Stotish will moderate a panel of four experts from the region to discuss their work in agricultural innovation. Included on the panel will be two experts from right down the street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Victor Guzov from Monsanto’s Cambridge location will speak about his company’s partnerships with educational institutions in the area, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Monsanto’s work in advancing agriculture technology.

Al Kriz from Bayer’s LifeHub will outline Bayer’s presence in the New England region, including the establishment of their LifeHub to connect New England communities with biotechnology for crop science.

“The Boston-area and New England region offer so much for companies working with biotechnology to advance agriculture innovation,” said Gene Harrington, BIO’s Director of State Government Affairs for Food and Agriculture. “From being home to several world-class universities to its unique innovation ecosystem, Boston can be considered an incubator for advances in biotechnology in agriculture in addition to human health.”

Mark Cooper, Plant Manager for Scotts Miracle-Gro’s compost facility in Lebanon, Connecticut, will also join the panel to discuss his company’s partnership with other companies to combine food and yard waste to create hybrid composts for soil.

Lastly, Joanna Lidback, a dairy farmer from Barton, Vermont, will participate in the panel and speak from her experiences incorporating biotechnology and other sustainable practices on her farm, the Farm at Wheeler Mountain.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from these experts and see how innovation in Boston and the New England region is reaching farms across the country.

For more information about “Biotech in Our Backyard Panel: New England’s Booming Food and AgTech Innovation Ecosystem” or “Food, Health and Environment Future Day,” view the full schedule here.

And don’t forget to register for the 2018 BIO International Convention.