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Ag Innovation Forum 2018

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February 22, 2018 • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
American Royal • 1701 American Royal Drive • Kansas City MO


Members $85; Non-members $125; Students $30



Lisa Prassack, president, Prassack Advisors, will set the tone for the forum with her overview on emerging technologies in the agricultural sector.  She will also share her insights on what she is hearing that people want in terms of new technology.  And consumers . . . what do they think about this?  Her career includes work as the PMO for Agrium’s acquisition of Viterra and as Trimble Agriculture’s Strategic Marketing Director, where she was responsible for precision farming strategy, planning, M&A and global strategic partnerships with companies including John Deere, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Land O’ Lakes, CHS, AGCO, Monsanto-Climate and DuPont Pioneer.  

Developing New Ideas

These entrepreneurs will share their stories, ambitions, and expectations in bringing new technologies to agriculture.

  • Kevin Heikes is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer for IN10T, a digital agriculture company focused on solving farmer adoption challenges in agriculture.  Using the latest technologies and processes IN10T works with both farmers and agri-business to combine application of science, data analytics, computer science, engineering and service to improve the execution of digital agriculture.
  • Jason Tatge is Co-Founder & CEO of Farmobile, a company created to provide farmers with real time access and ownership of their farming information.   After successfully exiting from his previous high-tech start-up, Jason has been intensely focused on using IoT devices to passively collect data from farm equipment as farmers operate on their land. 
  • Jerrod Westfahl is COO of AgriSync, an app that enables farmers and advisors to connect and resolve support issues on the farm. Farmers can connect with multiple advisors from different companies to submit and receive support in real-time via video. Advisors can manage multiple service tickets through a dashboard and remote video that allows them to see what the farmer sees in real-time. 

Making Ideas Flourish

There are many elements that must come together for an entrepreneur to succeed.  Several universities in the region have highly-touted entrepreneurial programs.  The University environment can also provide assistance in commercializing new ideas.

  • Chris Fender leads the University of Missouri’s Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations (OTMIR) which facilitates the commercialization of advanced technology and intellectual property at MU.  Chris oversees the work of 16 staff members and seven student assistants.   Previously, Fender conducted plant-breeding research at Monsanto and Asgrow Seed Co. He is a co-inventor of a patented method used to compare genotypes in soybean tissue samples. 
  • Tom Field, PhD, is the Director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  An enthusiastic advocate for free enterprise, the potential of young people and opportunities in both agriculture and rural communities, Tom is a fifth-generation cattleman, who challenges audiences to lead their organizations to excellence by asking the right questions and seeking solutions beyond conventional wisdom.
  • Barry Adams is a Founding and Managing Partner of Prairie Crest Capital, LLC, which is a Midwest-based venture capital firm focused on early stage investments in promising, transformational agriculture and technology innovation. Previously, Barry was a Principal at ColBridge Capital Management, LLC, an event driven hedge fund. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Taking Your Idea Mainstream


Jeremy Williams is vice president of agriculture productivity innovations at Monsanto Company where he leads ag productivity innovations, formerly known as chemistry technology.  He began his career at Divergence Inc, leading the company’s bioinformatics and target gene discovery efforts.  He oversaw the MON 102100 research program which, with the firm’s acquisition by Monsanto, became the key element of Monsanto’s Nemastrike technology.   He is a co-inventor of several patents held by Divergence and its collaborators.  Jeremy will share his experience with what happens when an innovator teams up with a larger player. 

Is Your Runway Long Enough?


Dan Cosgrove is vice president, business development at DuPont Pioneer where he leads a group responsible for mergers and acquisitions, venture investment and all licensing and collaboration activity at Pioneer. Prior to taking a business development role, Cosgrove was the leader of the intellectual property group and corporate counsel at Pioneer.  Dan also serves as a venture partner at Radical Ag Tech Acceleration Fund where he mentors in Radicle’s venture partner network.  He is a member of the Iowa Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy and a former board member of the Agriculture Future of America.



Tim Hammerich is an Agribusiness Recruiter and the host of the “Future of Agriculture” weekly podcast. He owns the Texas office of AGRI-associates and is the Founder of, which helps students and young professionals find their place in modern agriculture. Tim is a former National FFA President who spent the first eight years of his career in the feed and grain industry.

Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Silver Level - $500 sponsorship – includes one complimentary registration, logo displayed in event slideshow and listed in meeting invitations as a sponsor
  • Gold Level - $1,000 sponsorship – includes two complimentary registrations, promotional opportunities listed for silver level, plus logo included in event signage
  • Platinum Level -- $2,500 sponsorship – includes three complimentary registrations, promotional opportunities listed for gold & silver levels, plus logo included in event program
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Thank you to our sponsors!

Dairy Farmers of America
MCC Business & Technology
MFA Incorporated

Compass Minerals
Kansas Department of Agriculture
Missouri Soybean Association

American Royal
FCS Financial
Frontier Farm Credit
Kansas Corn
Missouri Corn Merchandising Council

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be received by February 15 for refund. No refunds will be provided after February 15. Registrations are transferable.

Further Information

Contact Erica Venancio for further information at: or 816-912-2084

Earlier Event: January 18
January 2018 Meeting
Later Event: March 2
March 2018 Meeting