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Ag Innovation Showcase moves to Minnesota for 2019 event

North Bound: Ag Innovation Showcase moves to Minnesota for 2019 event

Conferences and events focusing on innovation and bleeding edge thinking are all the rage these days. Just look online and you will find every major business or investment group is leading a forum that brings together the greatest minds of the world to address challenges across the food, ag, science or business sectors. But, it’s important to note, before there was a Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit or a World Agritech Innovation Forum, there was the Ag Innovation Showcase, a premier event focusing on exploring important developments and trends in food and agriculture, across the entire value chain, hosted by the
Larta Institute.

“The event was born out a conversation with the Donald Danforth Plant Science center in St. Louis, said Rohit Shukla, CEO and Founder of Larta Institute. “They were interested in a collaboration to bring segments of the industry together for a relatively intimate event that would be both educational and demonstrative in terms of projects that are occurring right now that are tracing certain trends, as well as serve as a networking opportunity across the entire spectrum of ag.”

For more than a decade, this progenitor event has showcased scores of significant companies focused on food, agricultural biotechnology, plant nutrition and inputs, bioenergy and farm management, while also debuting important innovations in “waste to value” products and services. It also introduced discussion and exploration of the growing convergence between food and health through pioneering presentations, curated special content sessions, talk shows, and plenary sessions. The end result is the Showcase now attracts a worldwide audience and has a major impact on the growth of the sector.

Moving North

Since its inception, the Showcase has called St. Louis its home, but the 2019 event, scheduled for September 9-11, will move to a new home at the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It makes a lot of sense for an event so devoted to food and ag when you consider the role Minnesota plays in those sectors. Minnesota hosts one of the largest concentrations of agricultural companies and one of the largest networks of food coops in the country. It also is home to world-class institutions like the Mayo Clinic, which is conducting ground-breaking research into the gut microbiome and is a pioneer in life and health sciences. What’s more, Minnesota has a budding and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, comprising innovators across the value chain of food and ag, large and small companies, including smallholder farmers in specialty crops, world-class educational institutions, and a commitment to food and health. “Ag Innovation Showcase is drawn to Minneapolis because of its emergence as an innovation hub, “ said Bandhana Katoch, Director, Agriculture Practice for Larta Institute. “Our team is prepared to use The Showcase as a catalyst to heighten Minnesota’s global presence as a leader in food security, sustainability, and ag tech.”

“With Larta Institute’s Ag Innovation Showcase moving into Minnesota, it made a lot of sense for AURI to partner with the hosts and help bring some of Minnesota’s best value-added discussions and innovations to the table,” said Shannon Schlecht, AURI’s executive director. “I think this will be a great move for everyone involved because it provides new opportunities to showcase Minnesota’s innovation ecosystem as well as the unique assets that make it an important player in the food-health-agriculture convergence.”

2019 Event

Attendees can expect an event of the highest quality. First, they can expect a series of discussions that expand and update the understanding and exploration of Agriculture 3.0 in light of challenges to the bioeconomy. Additionally, participants will explore links between biodiversity loss, climate change and ecosystem threats posed by and to the
agriculture sector.

While returning guests will easily recognize the format of the plenary sessions, keynote conversations, special content sessions, and company showcase, this year’s Showcase has some new additions to coincide with its new home. “This year we are building individual day sub-themes towards the bigger theme of “Power of Convergence: Food, Energy, and Health,” said Katoch. In addition, this year’s Showcase will underscore its commitment to the extraordinary developments in healthy living through food by offering a Farmers’ Market and Global Café, which will feature nutritious, delicious and functional food.

This year’s Showcase is sure to be a highlight for everyone involved! To stay up-to-date on speakers, additions to the agenda, or to register for the unique innovation event by visiting the Ag Innovation Showcase’s website at


Day 1

Our Role in Regenerating Planet Earth: One Species at a time

The first day of the showcase will set the stage by hosting a keynote conversation between stakeholders engaged in the recent U.N. backed report 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment. The discussion will be followed by exploring the trends and challenges in and to plant and animal nutrition.

Day 2

Using Power of Convergence for Resource Optimization and Efficient Use of Natural and Other Resources

The second day of the Showcase begins with keynote remarks by Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer of Land O’Lakes, discussing the power of convergence and its role in agriculture, the impact on food security, biodiversity and ecological issues.

Day 3

Healthy Food for Changing Planet

The third day will wrap-up the concepts discussed on Day 1 and Day 2 by engaging the audience in discussions related to evolving food systems and their impact on planet earth and beyond.