Agriculture 2.0 – The First Sustainable Agriculture Conference

On September 17, 2009 at the New York Marriott Downtown in New York City, eight sustainable food growth companies will be pitching their businesses to investors attending NewSeed Advisor’s Agriculture 2.0 conference – reportedly the first sustainable agriculture investment conference.

The brainchild behind this inaugural event is Janine Yorio, who after 12 years working in finance has “committed to applying her insider knowledge to an industry with integrity, one that revolves around people and which contributes to the greater good of mankind and mother earth.”

For sustainable food entrepreneurs, while the opportunity for you to formally present at Agriculture 2.0 has passed, there are still plenty of reasons to attend if you can. For example, there will be much to learn from your peers at the eight companies highlighted below. You will also have the opportunity to meet with venture capitalists, private equity investors, high net worth individuals, government officials, entrepreneurs, academics and farmers – all focused on alternative agriculture.

Not a bad way to spend a day.

Visit for more information and to register. You can also reach Janine on Twitter (@newseedadvisors).

Brief Profiles of Presenting Companies:

  • Good Natured Family Farms (Kansas City, KS) – Good Natured Family Farms was started to give small family farms a market for their products by banding together to product quantities required to sell to local food retailers, without going through middlemen. The alliance now has more than 100 sustainable family farms distributing dairy, meat and fresh produce to Hen House Markets and Balls’ Price Choppers in Kansas City and the Mercantile in Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Bio Soil (Hattiesburg, MS) – Bio Soil Enhancers has been working with bioremediation (using microorganisms to return the natural environment to its unaltered state) for more than 20 years. The company is leveraging its experience to increase crop and garden output and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides through organic means.
  • HQ Sustainable Seafood (Hainan, China) – HQ is an integrated aquaculture and aquatic product processing company, with operations based in the environmentally pristine island province of Hainan, in China’s South Sea. Its mission is to increase profitability through the introduction of zero-toxin products while respecting the environment and communities in which it works.
  • Sky Vegetables (Needham, MA) – Sky Vegetables is in the rooftop farming development business. Never heard of that? Imagine the rooftop of your favorite grocery store being home to a hydroponics greenhouse, wind turbine and/or solar panels, composting systems and rainwater harvesting. Next, imagine the food grown in the greenhouse traveling “downstairs” to be sold to consumers.
  • Marrone Bio Innovations (Davis, CA) – Organic pesticide manufacturer that screens naturally occurring microorganisms to identify those with novel and effective pest management characteristics. They then use their “efficient process” (lab and field testing, fermentation process development, scale-up and formulation), to develop them into products in approximately three years and for approximately $3 million, compared to new chemical pesticides, which take at least $180 million and up to 10 years to discover and develop.
  • Farm Power (Mount Vernon, WA) – Farm Power facilities utilize anaerobic manure digesters to harvest methane gas from manure, which is burned to create electricity for sale, while sending the processed manure back to farm partners as an organic fertilizer free of pathogens and odor. Capturing methane has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tons per year.
  • Dakota Organic Prairie (Harvey, ND) – Dakota Prairie offers organic flours specifically developed to meet the needs of food manufacturers. Its product line includes white, whole wheat, rye, soft, gluten-free and spelt flours, along with cracked grains, whole grains and bran flakes, which provide “a home-baked taste and texture that is full-flavor, hearty and wholesome.” The company is passionate about quality and organics, and utilizes a state-of-the-art computerized European mill to ensure consistency.
  • Vital Farmland (San Francisco, CA) – Farmland LP, a U.S. private equity fund, acquires conventional farmland and converts it into certified organic, sustainable farmland. Its investors benefit from the security of owning farmland while participating in the growth and profitability of the organic market.

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10 responses to “Agriculture 2.0 – The First Sustainable Agriculture Conference

  1. The investor interest in the conference has been astounding, and they’re coming to the conference in full force, looking for investment ideas.

    Now, if we want to create real change, we need to encourage entrepreneurs who have innovations that can actually change agriculture and make it sustainable to come to the conference, meet the investors, and make it happen!

  2. Six Berkshire County (MA) chefs are collaborating on a “Berkshire Grown” dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan on the evening of September 16. Any early arrivers might want to check it out.

    • Brian, thanks for the suggestion on the “Berkshire Grown” dinner. I passed the information on to Janine Yorio who is putting on the conference, suggesting she let attendees know. Sounds like it should be a great meal!

      Kurt, thanks for linking to this important event. Bringing entrepreneurial energy and investment to agriculture and food will pay huge dividends, and, by the way, is the primary goal of #ProFood. Cheers, Rob

  3. Hi Rob
    I’m linking to this post on my Stellar Content Facebook fan page.

  4. Hey Rob, are you going to be there?

    • Hi Lee, unfortunately I won’t be able to make it, but there are several people I know that will be there: @ZacharyCohen @ShellyRoche @Plenticulture @NewSeedAdvisors to name a view. Plus, I understand there will be a great group of people with money and an interest in supporting sustainable ag and food.

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  6. Really wish I could attend! Sounds like great stuff. Perhaps I’ll toddle along to Farm Power after the event & see what they will share..I pass close to them once a month when I go grocery shopping.

  7. The Health Factory Farm
    We are developing the biggest agricultural aeroponic growing system developed by NASA, in the state of Florida. The system is a growing environment housed in greenhouses. Within this greenhouses is a highly efficient growing system utilizing many vertical aeroponic growing tubes. Pumps powered by wind and monitored by a computer pumps water and nutrients to thousands of growing chambers. Our greenhouses have 6 to 7 times the output of conventional greenhouses.

    We are in the process of seeking investors who are interested in developing highly productive farms, and to grow with us with this innovative technique.

    For more information please schedule a visit to the Farm in Loxahatchee, Fl

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