Governor Eric Holcomb led an agbiosciences-focused delegation to Israel that returned on Friday. Holcomb signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority to collaborate on identifying 21st century challenges in agbiosciences and technology. Holcomb says, “there are abundant opportunities for academic exchanges, mutual investment and cross collaboration between our two states.”
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler joined Holcomb on the trip, and he told Hoosier Ag Today that he believes there are great opportunities to bring economic development to Indiana. He said that the Israeli people are very innovative with their technology, but they are limited by the lack of agricultural land since 60% of their land mass is desert. His message to them was simple.
“We’d love for you to come to Indiana. We’ve got acres of corn and soybeans, or other crops, for you to do your research. They readily understand that doing this on us much smaller scale is one thing. But if you want to scale it up, and you want to be able to sell the technology more broadly, you’ve got to do it in larger crops on larger acres.”
Kettler said he thought the trip was great for the Agbiosciences Delegation, which consisted of AgriNovus Indiana President and CEO Beth Bechdol and representatives of the state’s agbiosciences industry that included representatives from seed companies, Purdue and Huntington Universities, among others.
“One afternoon, most of the Ag Delegation went to something called Agrivest, which was essentially a pitch competition where startups or early post startup companies would make pitches about their technology in front of a crowd of investors or potential investors, including venture capitalists, that were at the conference. I think it’s safe to say there were a number of our delegation that were there that make great connections. I won’t be surprised to see, if it hasn’t happened already, by the first of next week there will be people making phone calls to figure out how they can work together, maybe from a research perspective.”
The Agbiosciences Delegation consisted of:
- Beth Bechdol – AgriNovus Indiana
- Bruce Kettler – IN State Department of Agriculture
- Jay Hulbert – Ag Alumni Seed
- Scott Beck – Beck’s Hybrids
- Scott Hutchins – Corteva Agriscience
- Kristin Bloink – Elanco
- Mark Lupke – EnviroKure
- Joseph Steck – EnviroKure
- Sherilyn Emberton – Huntington University
- Melissa Proffitt – Ice Miller LLP
- Jane Ade Stevens – IN Soybean Alliance/IN Corn Marketing Council
- Nate Mosier – Purdue University
- Mitch Frazier – Reynolds Farm Equipment
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