Thank you for joining us for the 2023 AgTech Summit.
Join us to explore how technology solutions are addressing some of the most significant challenges facing agriculture today – and learn about what is on the horizon. One of the premier AgTech hubs in the nation, Champaign-Urbana is uniquely positioned to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and industry for learning, networking and advancing this sector.
March 5, 2024
Illinois Conference Center
111 St Mary’s Rd. Champaign, IL
This interactive conference offers participants the opportunity to learn and share knowledge about the current state of agtech and looking into the future through dynamic panels, inspiring keynote presentations, and networking opportunities. This event is free thanks to our generous sponsors.
For sponsorship information, speaking opportunities and more, please contact Laura Bleill at [email protected].
7:30 AM REGISTRATION OPENS
8:00 AM WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS
- Laura Appenzeller | Executive Director, University of Illinois Research Park
8:05 am Champaign-Urbana Welcome Week Proclamation
- Deborah Frank Feinen | Mayor, City of Champaign
- Diane Wolfe Marlin | Mayor, City of Urbana
8:15 am The Journey of Sustainability
- Brad Arnold | SVP, General Manager Precision, AGCO Corporation
- Paul Hunter | Global Sustainability Manager, Kin + Carta
- Emily Heaton | Regenerative Ag Stakeholder Coordinator, UIUC College of ACES
- Moderator: Kim Kidwell | Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign
9:15 am Opportunities in Alternative Proteins
- Michelle Ruiz | CEO & Co-founder, Hyfe
- Sean Madison | Director of North American Business Development, Innovafeed
- Michael Tai | Co-founder & CEO, Boston Bioprocess
- Moderator: Jack Marck | Managing Director, Illinois AgTech Accelerator
10:15 am break
10:30 am Carbon Strategy in AgTech
- Dennis Beard | Managing Partner, Serra Ventures
- Nick Reinke | CEO, HabiTerre
- Ross Bricklemyer | Modeling Strategy Lead, Bayer Crop Science
- Moderator: Lisa Ainsworth | Research Leader, USDA ARS
11:30 am GLEN “GB” BRANDT PRIZE FOR AG ENTREPRENEURISM
11:45 am Lunch
12:30 pm The Future of the AgTech Workforce
- Laura Gerstner | Director of Precision Tech Enterprise Program Management, CNHI
- Maggie Brickerman | Partner, gener8tor
- Jen Quinlan | Food & Agtech Innovation Program Lead, Cargill
- Amy Funk | Director, Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation, Agriculture and Nutrition Innovation Center
- Moderator: Amy Fruehling | Sr. Director Corporate Relations, UIUC College of ACES
1:30 pm MOORE INNOVATION PRIZE AND STARTUP PRESENTATION
1:45 pm Break
2:00 pm The Intelligent Farm
- Brian Sutton | Founder and President, AirScout
- Mark Moran | Tech Innovation Leader, John Deere
- Connie Bowen | Co-Founder, Farmhand Ventures
- Jeff Klock | North America Digital Strategy Leader, Cargill
- Moderator: Germán Bollero, Interim Dean, UIUC College of ACES
3:00 pm Perspective of Growers & Producers
- Mark Scholl | President, J and M Scholl, Inc.
- Lena Head | Co-Owner & External Relations Manager, Head Bros. Land and Cattle LLC
- Matt Riggs | President, Riggs Beer Company
- Moderator: Sarah Michaels | Agriculture Reporter, WEEK 25
4:00 AGTECH SHOWCASE & NETWORKING RECEPTION
You’re invited to join us for the AgTech Showcase & Networking event immediately following the Summit at the Illinois Conference Center. The AgTech Showcase is an opportunity to connect with other attendees and see what innovations companies are working on. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
This event was streamed on the Research Park YouTube channel.
Thank you to our AgTech Summit Planning Committee
- Laura Bleill, University of Illinois Research Park
- Desiree Clayton, University of Illinois Research Park
- Pedro Fernandes da Costa, University of Illinois Office of Corporate Relations
- Amy Fruehling, University of Illinois College of ACES
- Kim Kidwell, University of Illinois Office of the Chancellor
- Cathy McArthur, University of Illinois Research Park
- Brendan McGinty, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
AgTech Student Career Panel
Students were invited to join us to hear from their peers working in agtech within the Research Park. Join us in the ACES Library Wednesday, February 15 at 5pm. Learn more here.
Research Park Tours
Guests were invited to join us Monday, March 6 from 2-4 pm for tours of the Research Park. They visited with startup companies in the EnterpriseWorks incubator and corporations throughout the Research Park. Tour stops included John Deere, Country Financial, Nvidia, Caterpillar, Rivian, Corteva, AGCO, Epivara, Verizon, D-Next, Abbott.
The I-Hotel is connected to the Illinois Conference Center. We recommend staying here, but there are several other hotel options in town.
Champaign-Urbana AgTech Week
Champaign-Urbana has long been a hub for technology as well as agriculture. In the past decade, those two paths have converged, paving the way for the community to become an “epicenter for AgTech.” In addition to the AgTech Summit, there are several events during AgTech Week from March 6-10.
Edwin Moore Family Agriculture Award
The Edwin Moore Family Agriculture award was established in 2016 with a generous gift to EnterpriseWorks. The goal of this award is to help startup companies engaged in the development of new innovative technologies that may lead to increased productivity and/or efficiency in farming or to create new agricultural opportunities, including new processes, new crops, and new food production systems.
The award honors the legacy of Edwin E. Moore (1924), who graduated from the University of Illinois College of Agriculture and began farming in Will County. Throughout his agricultural career, he and his wife, Iva, used innovative farming practices for both crop production and livestock management. Two of their four children also became farmers, Edwin and Thomas (1953, College of Agriculture), and continued use of innovative farm practices. Subsequent generations of Edwin Moore’s family have continued to pursue farming and ag-related careers capturing the same innovative spirit.
The previous winners include:
Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism Award
The Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism was established in 2021 in honor of Glen “GB” Brandt, a legendary figure in the field of Illinois agriculture, who passed away in late 2020. The BRANDT Foundation partnered with the University of Illinois to provide the winner a $10,000 prize.
The BRANDT Foundation was established in 2012 as a philanthropic extension of BRANDT, Inc. The Brandt family has always stood with their communities and as their company grew, so did the opportunities to give back. The BRANDT Foundation offers donations, grants, and support to the charities, organizations, and communities that reside in the same area of the company; geographically and industry-related.
The previous winners include:
AgTech Summit History
Check out these highlights from our AgTech Innovation Summits of past years.
2022 AgTech Innovation Summit Photo Gallery
March 9, WCIA: AgTech Innovation Summit
March 9, Brownfield: Vertical Integration has farmer/brewer less concerned about inflation
February 23, Speaker RFD Profit Watch
2021 AgTech Innovation Summit Recap Video
2021 AgTech Innovation Summit Photos
AgTech Summit 2021 in the Media
March 20, The News-Gazette: Rural Paxton farmer’s spirit recognized
March 12, AgDaily: Illinois Farmer Receives Ag Entrepreneurial Award
March 4, WCIA: We’re thinking spring in Champaign County
February 10, Smile Politely: The 2021 AgTech Innovation Summit is Happening on March 10th