Cultivate Conference

an emerging technology in agriculture conference

Save the date for Cultivate! On November 14th, we’ll be hosting the 3rd Cultivate Conference. The event will feature short TED-style talks and a farmers’ panel focusing on emerging technologies in agriculture. Throughout the event, speakers will share their experience, developments, and challenges. The topics will cover a wide array of the AgTech industry including software applications, precision agriculture, drones, alternative farming methods and more.

What is Cultivate?

An emerging technology in agriculture conference that convenes leaders to explore tech innovations they’ve created, are currently building, or are searching for in their industry.

What can I expect?

Hear from all corners of the agriculture ecosystem and learn about tech innovations happening in the industry. The event has been designed to have equal parts of mainstage content and networking so you have space to learn from the experts and time to connect with future customers and industry leaders.

What’s included with registration?

Registration gives you access to mainstage content, panels, industry booths, and complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Who attends this event?

This event will attract attendees from all areas of the agriculture and technology industries, from software developers and farmers to startups and venture capitalists.

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SPEAKERS LIST

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NOEL ANDERSON

SENIOR TECHNOLOGIST AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STRATEGIST
JOHN DEERE

Noel Anderson is part of the advanced technology group at John Deere Electronic Solutions and has been named a John Deere Fellow. He has been working in the areas of precision agriculture, autonomous off-road equipment, and UAVs for over 25 years. Many of his 117 US patents are in these fields. Prior to joining John Deere in 2000, he worked at Case Corporation and Concord Inc. He was on the faculty of North Dakota State University after receiving BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer engineering from Iowa State University. Noel and his wife have lived in Fargo since the late 1980s.

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Erik Barner

CHEIF INVESTMENT OFFICER
GEN7 INVESTMENTS

Erik Barner is the Chief Investment Officer of Gen7 Investments, a Fargo-based private investment firm. Erik joined Gen7 shortly after its inception in June 2017. Prior to joining Gen7, Erik was an Equity Research Aanalyst with Institutional Capital, a global asset manager in Chicago. Erik got his professional start as an investment banking analyst at Piper Jaffray. After Piper, Erik served as a private equity analyst at Norwest Mezzanine Partners. Currently, Erik serves as an adjunct professor of finance at North Dakota State and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Hospice of the Red River Valley. Erik is originally from Fargo and is a graduate from the University of St. Thomas (2007) and Columbia Business School (2013).

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RANVEER CHANDRA

CHIEF SCIENTIST
MICROSOFT AZURE GLOBAL

Ranveer Chandra is the Chief Scientist at Microsoft Azure Global. His research has shipped in multiple Microsoft products, including Windows, Visual Studio, XBOX, and Azure. Ranveer is leading the FarmBeats, battery research, and TV white space research projects at Microsoft. His work on FarmBeats was featured by Bill Gates on GatesNotes, and he has been invited to present his research on FarmBeats to the Secretary of Agriculture, and on TV White Spaces to the FCC Chairman. Ranveer has published over 90 research papers, and has over 100 patents that have been granted by the USPTO. He has won several awards, including best paper awards, and the MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators Under 35. Ranveer has an undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur, India and a PhD from Cornell University.

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BJ BRUGMAN

GLOBAL ACCOUNT MANAGER
ELANCO

BJ Brugman is an experienced corporate sales account manager with a demonstrated history of working in the animal pharmaceuticals industry with skills in budgeting, sales, strategic account management, B2B sales operations, and data analytics. He earned his Master's degree with a focused in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University - Krannert School of Management and MBA from Indiana University - Kelly School of Business.

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CHRISTINA CONNELLY

TRADE COMMISSIONER
CANADIAN CONSULATE

Christina Connelly has served as Trade Commissioner for Agri-Food at the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis since 2014, where her role is to facilitate trade and investment opportunities between Canada and the US-Upper Midwest in agriculture and food. Previously, Christina worked for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for seven years managing international trade programs and bioenergy policy efforts. She also spent several years evaluating state and federal energy, immigration, and defense policies in both Minnesota (Office of the Legislative Auditor) and Washington, D.C. (U.S. Government Accountability Office).

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CARTER MALLOY

FOUNDER AND CEO
ACRETRADER INC

Carter grew up in a farming family and has a lifelong passion for investing and agriculture. Prior to AcreTrader, he was part of a $1 billion equity investment firm for 5 years. Before joining in 2013, Carter was a Managing Director with Stephens Inc., a large private investment bank, where he focused on equity research analysis on the Internet, Data & Analytics and Real Estate Processing sectors. Prior to Stephens, he owned small businesses focused on internet marketing and sustainable fuel technologies. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and has previously held Series 7, 63, 86 and 87 licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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CRAIG RUPP

FOUNDER AND CEO
SABANTO

Craig Rupp is the founder of Sabanto. He has over 30 years of experience in high-volume product development, complex signal processing, technical innovation, and entrepreneurial leadership. He has also worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies and has co-founded multiple startups. Craig grew up on a farm in NW Iowa and received his BSEE from Iowa State/MSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology.  He brought the industry the StarFire receiver, the Greenstar display, and was a co-founder at 640 Labs, the creator of the FieldView Drive.

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ELAINE SHUANG QIU

VENTURES FOR FOOD, BEV AND AG-TECH
PLUG AND PLAY

Shuang Qiu is the Venture Analyst at Plug and Play Ventures focusing on early-stage investments in the agriculture and food sectors. With past experience working with farmers, distributors, and retailers, she accumulated extensive knowledge and insights into the food industry. Originally from China, Shuang is now based at Silicon Valley and works with startups and corporations globally. She spoke at various industry conferences(IFT, FBIF, Aglanta, etc) and actively engaged with the Ag and Food investor community. Prior to joining PNP, she was a startup co-founder, edamame farmer, ag policy consultant, and produce buyer - various roles along the food supply chain. She holds degrees in Plant Science - crop production and Agricultural Economics from China Agriculture University, University of Maryland (B.Sc.) and Cornell University (M.Sc.)

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Chris Abbott

INVESTOR
CGC VENTURES

Chris joined the CGC Ventures team in 2018. Previously, Chris led Craig-Hallum Capital Group’s investment banking group efforts focused on sustainability, agriculture and agtech. Prior to Craig-Hallum, Chris worked at Piper Jaffray & Co. and AWJ Capital Partners, focused broadly on technology, sustainability, healthcare and consumer companies. He also currently serves on the Boards of CGCV companies. Chris loves to compete in triathlons, basketball and tennis. He is an avid supporter of InnerCity Tennis and charity: water.

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Dr. XIN SUN

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
NDSU DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING

Dr. Xin (Rex) Sun currently is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABEN) of North Dakota State University. Dr. Sun earned his Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Nanjing Agricultural University in 2013 and was a visiting scholar in Animal Sciences Department at North Dakota State University from 2010-2012. Before Dr. Sun joined NDSU ABEN faculty team, he was a research scientist at Department of Animal Sciences of NDSU (2015-2018) and a lecturer in the Agricultural Engineering Department at Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), China (2013-2015).

Dr. Sun’s research is focusing on emerging advanced technologies in Precision Agriculture. His research interest areas include agricultural automation systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning, precision crop and livestock production.
As Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI, Dr. Sun has been successful in acquiring close to $5.05 million with 25 different research projects. Dr. Sun has collaborated with many academic and industry partners which include Harvard University, Iowa State University, Texas A&M University, Nanjing Agricultural University, Jiangsu University, USDA, National Pork Board, Hormel Food, JBS and Charoen Pokphand (CP) China, etc. Dr. Sun currently served as the member of journal editorial and reviewer boards for 16 national and international journals focusing on agriculture and environment, meat science, animal science, food engineering, and food chemistry.

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Colin Steen

OPERATIONS LEAD AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
SYNGENTA VENTURES

Colin Steen is Managing Director and Head of Operations for Syngenta Ventures, and has been with the Syngenta Ventures team since 2018. Prior to this Colin has held multiple Sales and Marketing leadership roles at Syngenta throughout his 24 year career. Most recently he managed the Golden Harvest corn and soybean business across the Midwest, an experience that has given him deep understanding of the needs of the US farmer. In addition to this experience, Colin was an Investment Manager at LSP BioVentures in Boston from 2006-2009. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Premier Crop Systems and Sound Ag.

Born and raised on a grain and cattle farm in Weldon, Saskatchewan; Colin holds a B.Sc in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan (focus in Crop Science) and a MBA from the University of Guelph.

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MARK WATNE

PRESIDENT
FARMERS UNION MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY AND FARMERS UNION SERVICE ASSOCIATION

Mark Watne was elected as the ninth president of North Dakota Farmers Union in November 2013. In his capacity, he serves as president of Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Company and Farmers Union Service Association, all headquartered in Jamestown. Mark has a long history of Farmers Union involvement, first as a youth and young producer farming at Velva. In 1990, he was elected to the NDFU State Board of Directors. He served for six years, and was also state treasurer. In 1996, he began a 15-year-career in Jamestown at the Farmers Union state office as a development specialist, agricultural strategist and staff executive director. He has led the development of the organization’s farmer-owned restaurants and other innovative ideas. Mark has been a board chairman for the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives, located at North Dakota State University, and is currently a board member for First Community Credit Union, Jamestown. He continues to farm but resides in Jamestown with his wife, Michelle. They have three grown children – Eric, Meghan and Nick.

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JAY MCENTIRE

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
ARVA INTELLIGENCE CORP.

Bio coming soon!

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MARIAN SINGER

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
WELLNTEL

Bio coming soon!

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RACHEL GERRISH

CO-FOUNDER AND SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
AGBOT CHALLENGE

Bio coming soon!

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BRIAN DAWSON

CEO
HARVESTPORT

Bio coming soon!

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Sanjeev Krishnan

CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
S2G VENTURES

Bio coming soon!

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Connie Bowen

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
THE YIELD LAB INSTITUTE

Bio coming soon!

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Steven Brockshus

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
FARMLAND FINDER

Bio coming soon!

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JOEL HARRIS

CO-DIRECTOR
AG STARTUP ENGINE

Bio coming soon!