December 3, 2018 – Chicago


Presentations by leaders developing breakthrough seed, soil & crop protection technologies including:

Innovations in Treater Equipment to Keep Pace with Seed-Applied Technologies

Derek Hemphill, Director of Sales and Service for North America Seed, GSI Group, Inc.

Derek has sales responsibility for USC as well as the Cimbria product lines in North America. USC, LLC has been a leader in the seed treatment industry for many years. Located in Sabetha, KS, USC prides itself on bringing innovative, top of the line, user-friendly Seed Treating Solutions to the industry and end-user. Prior to this role, Derek has spent his career in the grain equipment business with positions in engineering, product management, and sales.


Innovations in Treater Equipment to Keep Pace with Seed-Applied Technologies

Andy Renyer, Owner/CEO, USC, LLC

Andy Renyer grew up on his family farm in Sabetha, Kan. These farm roots are what helped identify a need in the seed treating world and establish USC, LLC. Andy and his brother started making their first treaters under the USC name in 1999. Together they have held many roles in their business and have years of experience and knowledge. Andy currently serves as the North American Sales Director for USC, LLC.

Gaining Ground Through the Power of Biology and the Consistency of Chemistry

Kevin Hammill, Chief Commercial Officer, Marrone Bio Innovations

Kevin Hammill has over 25 years of experience in the agricultural industry growing and scaling business initiatives and companies within the crop protection, plant nutrition and animal health industries. As the Chief Commercial Officer of Marrone Bio Innovations he is leading the development, commercialization and expansion of their market-leading biological crop protection and plant health portfolio. Previously, Kevin served as Chief Operating Officer at Valent. Prior to that, he served in various senior leadership positions at Valent, BASF, American Cyanamid and Ralston Purina.


Managing the Soil Microbiome

Dr. Ariel Zajdband, Head of Product, Trace Genomics

Dr. Ariel Zajdband is the Head of Product at Trace Genomics. The company uses science and machine learning to understand what is happening to soil on a molecular level, then identifies techniques to increase crop productivity and improve soil health and sustainability. Dr. Zajdband’s work is mostly related to developing hardware and software solutions for agriculture. Prior to joining Trace Genomics, Ariel worked at Blue River Technology, the California Strawberry Commission and Mavrx. He holds a Bachelor of Science and doctorate in agronomy from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina).

The Future of Fertilizer Utilizing Pivot Bio Technology

Ernie Sanders, Vice President – Product Development, Pivot Bio

An industry veteran, Ernie Sanders joined Pivot Bio in October 2017. In his current role, Sanders has responsibility to design, develop and launch new products that help farmers be more productive while decreasing their dependency on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Before joining Pivot Bio, Sanders held a variety of roles in his 35+ year career at Monsanto. Most recently, Sanders served as the Global Launch and Product Expansions for Seed Applied Solutions Leader at the Monsanto Company.

Using Microbial Technology as a Complement to Traditional Cropping Methods & Inputs to Enhance Crop Yield

Mike McFatrich, Vice President, Business Strategy and Development at NewLeaf Symbiotics

Mike joined NewLeaf Symbiotics as Vice President for Business Strategy and Development in early 2015. In this role, he develops strategy, directs business development and guides the field biology effort. Mike has a broad range of experience in the industry, including work as a university crop specialist, manager of a soybean-breeding program, general manager of a regional seed company and product manager for crop protection seed treatment products for cotton, sorghum, peanut, rice and vegetables. Throughout his years of experience, he honed a keen interest in sustainability and the interface of biological crop protection tools with traditional chemical solutions to enhance crop performance starting with the seed.

A New Production Model for Enhanced Yield

Michael Gusefski, Senior Product Manager, Indigo Agriculture

Michael (Mike) Gusefski manages Indigo’s customer-focused wheat and small grains product portfolio. He is an experienced biotechnology manager with the ability to strategically analyze markets and technical information, as well as develop and implement clear action plans. Gusefski holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Indigo in 2017, he was the Global Product Manager for BASF.

Biologicals Alone or in Combination: The Best of Both Worlds Colliding

Vince Adams, President, Douglas Products Plant Health Division

Vince Adams has served in technical, sales, marketing and business development roles for companies that include Winfield Solutions, Stoller, FMC and Cytec. He most recently was Vice President of Innovation and Business Development with Winfield Solutions where he oversaw joint ventures, product development and launch process for crop protection and plant nutrition products. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Early Plant Nutrition for Maximum Plant Performance and Yield

Dr. Ryan Dierking, Research Scientist, AgriThority

Dr. Dierking is a proven research manager with expertise in planning, execution and delivery of field development programs including protocol development, data collection, trial reporting and analysis. He is proficient in a broad range of row crops and bioenergy crops, with a specialty in corn, sorghum, soybean, wheat and forage. As the AgriThority Research Scientist, he leads field research initiatives vital to the successful evaluation of clients’ products and technologies. Prior to joining AgriThority, Dr. Dierking managed all research related activities in the Midwest for Actagro.