AgTech is a big deal in Sacramento's "Farm to Fork" economy. UC Davis is all all over it, a lot of companies have moved here to benefit from the school's world-class research, and the local industry just keeps seeing green -- investors forked over $4.6 billion to AgTech startups worldwide last year (compare that to only $500 million in 2012) as they look to tackle production and sustainability issues facing the farming sector. All that action will affect the regional economy, the crops and livestock raised here, and ultimately the food on your plate.
At Davis's Sudwerk Brewery, AgTech innovators explained how innovations coming out of Yolo County are a game-changer -- for global food production as well as for our economy -- and why you, whether you shop at the farmer's market or not, should care.
* Sarah Hovinga, senior scientist at Bayer CropScience, the largest AgTech firm in Yolo County
* Joe Kopenick, Associate Director of New Venture Resources for UC Davis's Venture Catalyst, which helps turn university research and technology into for-profit ventures.
* Kristy Levings, Program Director for AgStart, an AgTech incubator in Woodland, and a third-generation farmer in Yolo County.
* Jeremy Warren, CEO and co-founder of Astrona Biotechnologies, a startup that's creating a handheld device to detect pathogens in the food-supply chain, from farm to kitchen.
0 to 5:45 min - Intro of California Groundbreakers
5:45 min - Intro of the panelists
10:30 min - Why Bayer, Monsanto and other major international companies are coming to Yolo County
14 min - What are AgTech startups focusing on?
16:30 min - How a UC Davis graduate turned lab research into a VC-funded biotech company
21 min - How UC Davis's Office of Research is turning students and alumni into entrepreneurs
27 min - On a scale of 1 to 10, where does Yolo County stand in AgTech prominence and potential?
32:30 - Are local farmers on board with AgTech and being the beta testers?
37 min - What can UC Davis do more of, or better, to boost AgTech?
43:30 min - And how about about local government in Yolo County?
46:30 - Is our "Eat Local" mentality hurting or helping the local AgTech's efforts to grow?
50:45 - How involved do UC Davis faculty get in AgTech startups?
58 min - Are insects the future of food?
1 hr, 1 min - What can Yolo County do from a public-policy perspective to keep local AgTech startups here?
1 hr, 7 min - How is UC Davis making money off its Venture Catalyst efforts?
1 hr, 12:20 min - How is the AgTech industry tackling the citrus-greening disease?
1 hr, 17 min - Examples of cool AgTech companies and products coming out of UC Davis and Yolo County that are making an impact
1 hr, 33 min - The "blank check" question: Panelists' wish lists if they got Federal funding and/or contracts to further AgTech
1 hr, 41:30 min - Efforts to build more maker spaces and lab space in Yolo County to boost research and development
1 hr, 47:30 min - The Bay Area effect: With changes in San Francisco currently impacting Sacramento's economy and real-estate prices, how will those changes impact AgTech and Yolo County?